77 days in the the Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains, located in the western part of the United States, are a completely different mountain range than the Alps and the Himalayas. The long and wide mountain range stretches from New Mexico to Canada with a distance of 4,800 kilometers. The highest peak on the US side is Mount Elbert 4399 m and on the Canadian side Mount Robson 3959 m.

The Rocky Mountains stretch from British Columbia in Canada across the United States all the way to Mexico. They start in northern Mexico, where they reach an altitude of about 3,700 meters. Moving further north, the Rocky Mountains become wider and higher. For example, in northern Colorado and Utah, the mountain turns into a complex of mountain ranges, which in total is about 500 kilometers wide. In addition, Colorado alone has more than 40 peaks that rise above 4,000 meters. The highest peak of the Rocky Mountains, Mount Elbert, is also located in Colorado. Large rivers in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are, for example, the Colorado, at the source of which lies the Rocky Mountain National Park. In the state of Montana, the average width of the Rocky Mountains is 240 kilometers, and seven peaks reach more than 3,350 meters. The Missouri, the longest river in the United States, originates from the Rocky Mountains on the Montana side, which is a tributary of the Mississippi.

The Rockies on the Canadian side are a little different than the Rockies in the US. The Canadian Rockies look different from the American Rockies because the Canadian mountain range has sharp peaks, and its mountains are often separated by U-shaped valleys. The American Rockies, on the other hand, have more rounded peaks, and rivers have carved V-shaped valleys into them. The differences have arisen from the glaciers of the Canadian mountains.

There are 62 peaks over 4,000 meters in the Rocky Mountains, while the Alps have 82 mountains rising to a height of over 4,000 meters. The highest mountains in North America are in Alaska, where Denali rises to a height of more than 6,000 meters. The climate in the Rockies is drier and hotter compared to the Alps. The mountains are gentler than the Alps and easier to navigate on average. The Rocky Mountains are located in a high highland compared to the Alps, where the valleys between the mountains are flat and open fields where it is easy to build roads and houses.

On the west and east sides of the Rocky Mountains, the amount of snowfall and the structure of the snow is different, which affects avalanche risks. Most of the rain coming from the Pacific Ocean stays on the west side of the Rockies, where the amount of snow can be considerably large. Even on the eastern side, there may be 2 to 3 meters of snow, which is not exceptional at all. Snow is generally drier in the Rockies than in Northern Europe and the Alps.

I received an invitation to the Rockies from America’s cousin, who works as the head hockey coach in one of Montana’s hockey clubs. I answered the invitation affirmatively and left for the United States to get to know the Rocky Mountains and the American national parks, to run in the mountains and to get to know the American way of life.

Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, California…

The US flag features the stars of the 50 states and the stripes of the 13 founding states.
Most of the best climbing opportunities in the USA are located in the Rockies. The Rocky Mountains are one of the largest mountain ranges in the world.

The United States is located at the height of Central Europe and North Africa, so the climate is similar to that of Spain and Italy. So far I’ve been to five states in the Rocky Mountains in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and the west coast of the USA in California. Life in the Rockies is similar and clearly differs in many ways from California. The biggest difference is the mountains and a lot of space to live compared to being close to the sea and the big metropolises in the Los Angeles and San Fransisco area. California has more Mexicans, Latinos, and blacks compared to the Rockies. Along the way, 45 other states from Vermont to Texas were also learned.

The 50 states of the United States. The Rocky Mountains run from Canada through the United States to Mexico in the following states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. The mountainous area is dry and easy to navigate compared to the Alps. People have a lot of space to live in the mountains on their own ranch.

Montana – Western and Rocky Country

There is a lot of room to live in Montana, only one million people live in a state the size of Finland, which is the second least in the United States after Wyoming. Montana is currently a very popular moving destination in the United States. There is a lot of space and your own peace, and summers are cooler than California. Montana is in the highlands at an altitude of 1,500 to 2,000 meters, where gentle mountains rise to a height of 1,700 to 3,300 meters.

Montana is known as Grizzly country and Big Sky country because it has the highest number of grizzly and black bears in the United States. In general, there are ten times more bears in the United States than in Europe, and they do not avoid humans in the same way as in Finland.

The rocky mountains are dry, and the highlands between the mountains are flat, where it has been easy to build roads and ranches. Due to the drought, there are many forest fires in the Rocky Mountains, which are tried to be controlled by letting the forest burn periodically. Brave smokejumpers jump from helicopters with parachutes near the fires in groups of 3 to 8 people, equipped with a chainsaw, shovel and heavy firefighter’s equipment. Firefighting in mountainous forests is hard work and sometimes requires victims, sometimes burnt single-family houses.

Pickup trucks are a prominent part of the Montana countryside. GMC, Ford and Jeep can be seen on every corner, every third car is a pickup truck. It is typical for Montana ranches to have three cars and a large trailer in the yard. Pick-ups, i.e. trucks, work on ranches partly as work trucks, which, thanks to the goose-neck, are easy to tow all kinds of things. In the US, gas is half as cheap as in Europe, and car prices are 25% cheaper, so you can get everywhere in the countryside by car.

1976 GMC K1500 Sierra.A classic sight in Montana, where every third car is a big pick-up truck.
Montana – Big Sky Country. New York is the same distance from Montana and Europe, and you can tell.

Ranches are part of Montana’s culture. Farming, cattle breeding and horses and modern solar energy production are part of ranch life. Montana also has a lot of oil production and mining and a few garrisons.

Plaid shirts, boots and cowboy hats belong to the same alternating nature of mountain wilderness and countryside. Wearing a checked shirt and jeans and work clothes gives the most believable effect, New York chinos are not in heavy use here.

1973 GMC Sierra classic. Chevrolets, Fords and Jeeps are in every yard. Pickup trucks are also well suited for bear hunting trips.

In their free time, Montanans hunt bears, elk, and whatever. You don’t need a permit for guns and there are several of them on almost every ranch. Here, the thinking starts from the fact that the individual has the freedom to do what he wants and any kind of regulation is far from Montana. Other popular pastimes include fishing, golf and snowmobiling. Young people play ice hockey and American football as well as gymnastics. Hiking in the nearby mountains is also popular.

People living in the Rocky Mountains and Montana could be called rednecks who are hard at work. Hillbillies, Mexicans, and Latinos live somewhere in the South, Californians in the West, New Yorkers in the far East, and Louisianans in the Bibble Belt on the other side of the United States. Every corner of America has its own accent, it’s the same in the Rockies.

Painting works. I painted the fence and did other work as needed. I’ve done these jobs before.

A lot of work is done in Montana, the annual vacation is only two weeks, but the employees have several weekends off, good wages and low taxes. Hospital, study, and insurance costs are high. In Montana, goods are about 25% cheaper than in Finland, but construction is more expensive. In the homeland of hamburgers, of course, the best and tastiest hamburger places had to be tested, of which Derry Queen (DQ) won.


American school bus. Yellow school buses, traffic lights and police cars are familiar from movies.

There is a flat area between the mountains, which enables effective running training. The temperatures are suitable for running until the snow comes, after which you should take your skis and head for the mountains. There are few or no light traffic lanes and street lights in Montana. On the other hand, Urheilupaikati are in good shape after all.

In the United States, gymnastics is popular. 70 children participated in gymnastics exercises. The city of 50,000 inhabitants also has two other gymnasiums.

Trail Running in the Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains. The paths of the Rocky Mountains are made for running and Trail Running trips.

Montana’s gentle mountains are perfect for Trail Running and downhill training. The mountains are very easy to navigate and the visibility is good. The trails are perfect for fast running and there are no rocks or roots on the trails. There is no undergrowth and the terrain is fast.

Autumn is the best time for trail running. The temperature is not too hot anymore, there is still enough light. However, in the mountains it is necessary to pack the necessary equipment to survive a possible injury far away in the mountain wilderness overnight. In my case, the most important equipment is usually two headlamps, a knife or pickaxe and a shell jacket, and in autumn a merino layer, a light down jacket and a liter of water. The standard equipment also includes a map, compass, telephone, power bank, first aid kit, beanie, gloves and sunglasses. The right survival gear and survival skills allow you to move around in the mountains in all weather conditions.

There are many trails in the mountains of Montana that are well marked. There are good parking lots, places to eat, maps, signs and toilets at the start and end points of the routes. Trail running and day hiking are popular in Montana. Lähivuori can be reached from the city center in 10 minutes by car, and the parking lots are usually quite full.

Grizzly country gets its name from the fact that Montana has the most Grizzly bears in the United States. You have to be careful with 2.5 – 3.0 meter brown bears, and there are warnings about them in several places. However, you can move on mountains when you get to know their way of working and how to move. Bear attacks often happen in national parks, where people from the cities do not know how to act properly, but go too eagerly in search of bears.

Bears have not been hunted in national parks for 30 years, when they have learned that there is no need to fear humans. Grizzlies have even come dirt-close to human settlements in the vicinity of national parks. When encountering a grizzly, you shouldn’t be active, because the weight of a bear is 4 times bigger than an adult man. You shouldn’t run away either, so as not to wake up the beast’s predatory drive. Instead, you should stop, pretend to be small and calmly walk away. On the nature trails, it is recommended to move in groups of at least three people, as even wolf packs sometimes make the grizzly escape from the valleys to higher mountains. Only a rifle or a larger pistol will work against a Grizzly.

Black bears only weigh 150 kg, so you should look big against them and, if necessary, fight with the equipment you happen to have with you. A black bear is more carnivorous than a Grizzly, so a man with a knife or a stone has a good chance. You shouldn’t get lost between a mother bear and her cubs, because the bear feels her cubs are threatened. Bears usually make a lot of noise in the forest, so on the trails you should stop and listen every few hundred meters. Bears seek cooler places in the summer and hunt at dawn, dusk and at night. A bear can smell a person 3000 meters away, depending on the direction of the wind. I don’t think pepper spray is good against bears. It might just provoke the bear into attacking. Instead of pepper spray, a dog, a knife and a gun are better options.

Backcountry of Montana. Yellow-brown Running meadows and coniferous forests are typical in Montana.

The Rocky Mountains are home to both moose and fallow deer, which may sometimes become agitated and run over. The good old trick is to protect yourself from a clumsy big moose behind a tree. A hoof blow can be fatal if a deer runs over it.

Cougars, or mountain lions, are big felines weighing 70-80 kg, which prey on deer and smaller animals. Cougars move and hunt at night and sit on tree branches, from which they are ready to jump on a smaller or weaker individual. A cougar’s attack is often surprising, and in case of them it is good to watch the branches of trees and keep a knife or a stone ready to pull. When hiking with children, the weakest and smallest individuals walk in the middle of the group, if necessary on their laps.

Lynxes in the Rockies are dog-sized, slightly larger than in Europe. They usually don’t attack adults, but when hiking with children, you should look for them on tree branches.

The rocky mountains and running, good paths are perfect for trail running hikes.Deer and deer are really tame. I’ve seen about ten deer near town on almost every mountain hike. Deer seek shelter from the proximity of people and usually move halfway up the slopes of the mountains. The advantages of deer and roe deer include large ears, terrain coloring and fast feet.

Wolf packs are king of the valleys. Large wolf packs make even large Grizzly bears retreat to higher mountains. Wolves hunt cooperatively and are efficient killers. For them, a gun is the best survival gear.

The Gates of the Mountains

The Missouri River is America’s longest river, which is a tributary of the Mississippi River. The Missouri originates in the Rocky Mountains, runs mostly calm, relatively narrow in the upper reaches between the mountains and through the countryside. In Montana, there is a wonderful canyon called the Gates of the Mountains, a few kilometers long, where the forested mountain slopes rise steeply directly from the river. Our mission was to explore the Missouri River by boat and on foot.

We launched the boat and drove along the meandering, calmly flowing Missouri towards the downstream. The cliffs towering above were full of climbing routes and caves. In the 50s, one of the most destructive forest fires in Montana happened in the same canyon, where 12 Smoke Jumpers died when they were trapped by the fire. Only a few firefighters were saved by abandoning their heavy equipment and running bravely through the fire for a couple of hundred meters.

Missouri by motorboat. As the name suggests, The Gates of the Mountains is a narrow canyon between mountains. Quite a place for adventure. One of my favorites during the trip.

I completed the second part of the assignment while hiking later in the fall. In my opinion, The Gates of the Mountains is one of Montana’s finest camping destinations in Helena. Due to the fall hunting season, we put on red vests so we wouldn’t be shot as a deer or a bear. The air was fresh at the end of November, and in the backcountry it is good to have the necessary equipment with you in case of a snowstorm.

Mountain wilderness. In the Rocky Mountains, the mountain trails are well marked.
The Gates of the Mountains. On a hike in the backcountry of the Missouri River. Montana’s camping equipment includes a checkered shirt and, due to the hunting season, red vests so I don’t get shot as a Grizzly bear. These trails can also be ridden on horseback.

A supervolcano and 1000 bison in Yellowstone


Located in the state of Wyoming, south of Montana, Yellowstone is currently popular in America. So popular that its own Netflix series has been made around it. The latest Yellowstone film by National Geographs is also of high quality and worth watching. It opens up the activities of animals as part of the cycle of nature.

The wider area of ​​Yellowstone is amazing. I have understood it only as the trip to the USA progressed. A supervolcano, drought in the Rocky Mountains and the world’s biggest beasts in the same area. It’s interesting to explore. In the event of a supervolcano eruption, one third of North America would be covered in 10 cm of ash and one third of the people would die. Next to that, everything else is small. A volcanic eruption would possibly be followed by darkness from the ash cloud and some kind of cold ice age. Earth’s volcanic activity has increased, at least in Iceland, Japan and Indonesia.

After arriving in Yellowstone, we went to see the Hot Springs, hot springs whose color changes according to the seasons. Sulfate changes color and smells somehow.

While driving in the northern part of Yellowstone, we saw an incredibly large herd of 1000 bison in one valley. We stopped the car and I took some pictures from a suitable distance. Bison are herbivores, but after the summer there were still a few training bullfights going on among the herd. From 1000 kg of bison, you can also get a good and tasty steak between the hamburger. However, buffaloes are protected in the national park.

We saw an amazingly large herd of 1000 bison in the northern part of Yellowstone. In the summer, the leader of the pack must take on a free match every day for 30 to 40 days against challenger males. The winner gets the entire herd of bison. Back in the day, Indians riding horses drove bison down the cliffs, from which some mountains are named Buffalo Jump.

For some reason, the entire trip I didn’t see any predators, so we headed to West Yellowstone Grizzly Park. In the bear park, we got to see almost three metric giants up close, which weigh as much as four men. The grizzly bear is a bigger, stronger and more aggressive version of the European brown bear cousin. Grizzly bears live freely in Yellowstone. About a thousand Grizzly bears live in the Rocky Mountains.

Wolves have also been brought to West Yellowstone from Alaska, which is not a native stock. The nearly extinct wolf population has been allowed to grow, and they have gradually come closer to human settlement.

West Yellowstone has a bear park with 250 to 700 kg grizzly bears. This 350kg, 2.5m beast came five meters away to have a look.

For some reason, one of the largest volcanoes in the history of the earth, the largest beasts that lived on earth, and a drought have been concentrated in the Montana and Wyoming region. At the Dinosaur Museum, I learned that dinosaurs lived in Montana and Wyoming. The interesting museum offered a lot to think about.

Tyrannosaurus rex. Jurassic Park in Montana. Dinosaurs have lived in Montana and Wyoming, one day they may come back.

In the center of Yellowstone is a large, 100-meter-high waterfall, the second highest in the United States. In the impressive large canyon, the water rushing down keeps the thunder in the middle of the mountains. There are several different vantage points for the waterfall both upstream and further downstream. When coming from the direction of Yellowstone’s East Gate, you can also visit the third largest dam in the United States, 100 meters high, in the park.

Yellowstone is the first national park in the USA. In the middle of the national park is the second highest waterfall in the United States, with a height of 100 meters.

Other wonders of Yellowstone are gas stations at an altitude of 2,000 meters. The entire Yellowstone area is located in the Rocky Mountain highlands at an altitude of 1,500 to 2,000 meters. Other animals in the park include moose, fallow deer, roe deer, deer and eagles.

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park. The national park is located near the Canadian border.

Glacier National Park is located near the Canadian border in the state of Montana. A slightly more unknown national park is even better than Yellowstone, according to some. The park’s vegetation is more lush and the mountains have sharp peaks and U-shaped valleys in profile in the style of the Canadian Rockies.

Glacier National Park has amazing valleys.As eagles soar in the sky, the green valley is inhabited by large grizzly bears, black bears and wild wolf packs.

We took a short hike to Glacier Lake, a glacial lake with picture-perfect conditions in September. On the way, we wondered if we would encounter Grizzly bears, but luckily we had left our snacks in the car. The park has a lot of grizzly bears, black bears and wolf packs.

Glacier Lake.

US national parks are built for tourists, perhaps too easily. I have seen numerous hiking trails in the Alps, southern and northern Europe, the Himalayas and New Zealand, and nowhere have I come across such well-maintained national parks as in the United States. I think it’s a good thing that nature is protected, but tourists may get a false sense of security on well-maintained and easily accessible highways and hiking trails, in the middle of bear hunting grounds. If you decide to go to a national park in the USA, you should read the instructions and follow them.

A great moving game, the apartment goes with you.

From the trip to Glacier Park, in addition to the wonderful national park, I remembered the wonderful Golf Resort on the west side of the park. You can also ski there in the winter, and bathe in the Hot Springs. The Canadian border and the Canadian side of the Rockies are definitely worth a visit.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree National Park is located in California near Los Angeles near Palm Springs. Joshua Tree National Park is known for the Joshua trees that only grow here, the big yellow Boulder rocks and the dry desert. Due to its proximity to Los Angeles, Joshua Tree is popular among Los Angeles residents.

Joshua Tree has world-class climbing opportunities for bouldering. The best times for climbing in the desert at an altitude of 1000 meters are from September to spring. It’s too hot there in the summer. Even in October, the car’s thermometer showed +40 C. Climbing route tops can be bought near the main gate.

Tom Cruise. Every true climber will visit Joshua Tree once in their life.

Boulder stones, 5 to 20 meters high, are in the park as islands in the desert area. You can adventure and climb between the stones. Yellowish stone is rough with good friction. Climbing down is more difficult than up, so the descent must be planned before climbing.

The Joshua Tree grows in a dry sandy desert, with a 20 meter high Boulder rock in the background.
The rocks of Joshua Tree are well suited for bouldering.

Joshua Tree is a once-in-a-lifetime must-see for climbers. This time there wasn’t enough time to climb properly, but it’s great that I got to visit Joshua Tree. Next time, climbing shoes will be included.

You can camp in the national park for a week. You can’t get water anywhere, so it’s a good idea to bring it with you. It’s hot in the desert and it’s a good idea to reserve 2 gallons (8 liters) of water per person per day. If the car breaks down and there is no cell phone field in the middle of the national park, then the heat without shade may become a big challenge.

NHL game in California

In the USA, NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB professional leagues, which in Finland can only be dreamed of. When we left for America, it became clear that we would at least go to an NHL game. Los Angeles was chosen as the location, which is a good fit, because hockey can also be played in California. Of course, you need a Kings fan hat on your head, but otherwise you’ll be fine with summer equipment.

In California, you can go to a hockey game in shorts and a sleeveless shirt. It was +40 C outside.

Wayne Gretzky, No. 99, is one of the world’s greatest hockey players, whose jersey is frozen on the ceiling of the Crypto Arena. In the 1990s, Gretzky went to play in Finland with the NHL All Stars team.

Gretzky’s frozen jersey.
NHL match in a 20,000 person arena in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Kings have won the Stanley Cup in the 2012 and 2014 seasons, which was a result of the hockey boom in California. The NBA teams LA Lakers and LA Clippers also play in the same 20,000-person arena.

In the evening’s match, the Los Angeles Kings beat the Phoenix Coyotes 6 – 3

The club’s star captain Anže Kopitar, who has played the most games in the shirt of the Los Angeles Kings, tied the game and led his team to a victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. The match was even until the halfway mark, after which the Kings took a two-goal lead. The atmosphere of the NHL game was great, and at the same time you got to see AnžeKopitar. The Los Angeles Kings are one of this year’s championship favorites.

Finnish NBA star Lauri Markkanen’s match in the middle of the Rockies

One of the finest patterns and events of the trip to the United States came true in front of the Utah Jazz’s home crowd. NBA star Lauri Markkanen is the Utah Jazz’s number one player, who was selected to the NBA All Stars team last season.

Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah with a million inhabitants in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Salt Lake City served as the 2002 Winter Olympic city when Samppa Lajunen won a combined three Olympic golds. Salt Lake is also applying for the Games in 2030.

Utah Jazz’s home cave and Home Audience are the best in the USA. The NBA star Lauri Markkanen, selected for the All Stars team, is the number one player of the Utah Jazz, who blocked the opponent’s sure dunk to everyone’s surprise.

The Utah Jazz faced the Phoenix Suns in the evening’s match, where the Phoenix Suns were the early favorites. At the start of the game, RAP music played in the arena, and the club gave out free Utah Jazz cheer shirts to 20,000 spectators. The match was part of a new NBA concept, the NBA In-season Tournament, which is played in the fall.

In basketball games, the style of music changes when the home team switches from offense to defense, with the goal of distracting the opponent and giving the home team focus. Markkanen scored 21 points in the match and the agile and most colorful character of the team, Jordan Clarkson with dark skin and tattooed dreadlocks, No. 00, scored 37 points. Kevin Durant, one of the NBA’s best players, scored 38 points. The match was tight and, contrary to prior expectations, Utah Jazz’s great home crowd cheered the home team a few times from the chasing position to the lead. In the end, the Phoenix Suns, one of the NBA championship favorites, won the game 131 – 128.

Utah Jazz number one player Lauri Markkanen, no. 23.
Salt Lake City Olympic Park. In the Olympic park, you can ride on the toboggan track and carry the Olympic torch.


Palm Springs, Hollywood stars and Venice Beach

Next in line was Palm Springs next to the big city of Los Angeles with 20 million inhabitants. In Palm Springs, we stayed at the World Mark Indio, which has stylish Hot Springs, a great golf course, a decent big gym, several basketball and tennis courts, and restaurants. If I had to choose a place where I would come again, then Palm Springs is a good candidate: warm evenings, palm trees, Hot Springs and proximity to Los Angeles.

Palm Springs. On a date with a Hollywood actress.

Palm Springs World Mark Indio’s Hot Springs pools were in a large area in the courtyard, where every detail had been thought out. Our group had fun at the pools several times a day, and there were also numerous outdoor barbecue spots. Since I train 1-2 times a day, the possibility of a gym is always a good thing.

World Mark Indio. I will come here again.

From Palm Springs we took day trips to Hollywood Boulevard, Venice Beach, the LA Kings game and Joshua Tree National Park. Hollywood Boulevard pleasantly surprised me. I thought I would still get excited about movie actors, but Hollywood Boulevard had all day to see. From there we headed through Hollywood’s residential area of ​​houses worth tens of millions up the mountain along a scenic road to see the Hollywood sign.

Hollywood Bouleward. A local cafe popular with Hollywood actors.
Hollywood stars. Walt Disney and my favorites were found on Hollywood Boulevard.

After Hollywood Boulevard and Berly Hills sight seeing, we drove to Venice Beach, the beach of the Pacific Ocean, popular with Hollywood stars. I thought that it had come a long way from Finland, I went for a run and took a dip in the Great Ocean for a swim.

Venice Beach popular with Hollywood stars.A mountaineer went for a dip.

Overall, the trip to Los Angeles and Palm Springs was great. Los Angeles has great sunsets and you could run even more here. Los Angeles has the FIFA World Cup in 2026 and the Summer Olympics in 2028, so I’ll be back.

Hi, is there another round of golf tomorrow?

Fairmont Golf and Hot Springs. First round of golf in my life and the next day we decided to play another round. It was nice, but I still need to practice using the driver, zipper, putter and iron stand.

Fairmont Golf & Hot Springs offered us a wonderful setting to play golf in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. I’ve spent my life working on various endurance and strength sports, but ball games have been less popular. At the age of 44, the first round of golf in my life was to be crowned. Playing was great, but difficult. In this sport, strength is not enough. The day ended with the question: will there be a second round tomorrow? The next day, after the Hot Springs and a hearty breakfast, we headed to the track. I already knew golf etiquette and played a believable pro player, at least in my own opinion, but there were many funny things left to tell posterity.

Boulder Conservative Church

Faith Lutheran Church. The Missouri Synod, a sister church of the Mission Diocese, is a conservative church in the United States that I have attended on holidays.

I prayed and found the Missouri Synod church in Montana, which is the sister church of the Mission Diocese in the United States. A small conservative Lutheran church of 30-40 people pastored by Reverend Pullman warmly welcomed me to the mass and shared communion. After God’s service, every other Sunday we had a meal together and after every other Sunday we had Bible study together. The small congregation seemed like faithful followers of Jesus.

Autumn Harvest Festival and Thanks Giving

In the fall, we participated in Montana’s local harvest festival. A few years ago, the local Ranch host had decided to organize an outdoor event for the children at the end of the harvest season. The event included shooting corn with a cannon, a corn field maze, lassoing bulls and an entire amusement park. The harvest festival had grown to the size of a few thousand people, which was organized for a month. Of course, a big ranch must have a big host.

Big man and American host. When the easy-going host of a big American Ranch and the leader of the harvest festival is brought next to a 1.9-meter-tall man, one realizes that he is in a big world.

One highlight of the year for Americans is Thanks Giving Day, which includes turkey cooking and the Macy’s Parade. This is quite the opposite of Finnish castle festivals. There is competition throughout the year to perform in the cheerful parade, and dance groups and singers perform all over the United States.

Thank Giving Day. The Macy’s Parade is part of the traditional program of the American Thanksgiving Day. Teams from across the states have been competing for the chance to perform on the day of the celebration.


Next time I’m going to head to Yosemite National Park to climb and check out The Wave and Grand Canyon National Parks in the direction of Colorado and Arizona. Los Angeles will host the World Cup in 2026 and the Summer Olympics in 2028. Palm Springs is a vacation spot worth visiting. Trail Running and rock climbing trips are expanding in Montana, with a rifle you dare to go deeper into the backcountry to conquer 4000 meter mountains.

The Rocky Mountains include grizzly bears, mountain lions and great mountain adventures.


Mountain greetings from Montana, in the autumn 2023

Jussi Haikka


If you want to go to the United States

It is easy to travel to the United States. An ESTA permit for three months costs 20 dollars and it takes 15 minutes to make the application. For a period of six months and longer and for work, you need a Green Card application. A round-trip flight from Finland to the Kallivuori in Montana costs about 1000 dollars. A domestic round-trip flight from Montana to California costs about $200. National parks are almost free, the best way to get around is to drive a car. There are different options for accommodation. When hiking, bears, cougars and wolves have to be taken into account in a completely different way than in Finland. For a longer stay, you can take the car out of traffic, ask a friend to send the mail electronically, and arrange housing matters. You can get tickets for NHL and NBA games in a good place for 100 dollars. Food is the same price as in Finland, fuel is half the price. Renting a car is also affordable. In the United States, you can go everywhere by car or by plane, there are no public transport and light traffic routes in the same way as in Europe. The best time to travel is from late summer in August to September, summer is hot, especially in the south. In Montana, the time difference compared to Finland is 9 hours, which you can adjust to in two weeks.