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desertdog

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desertdog last won the day on February 13

desertdog had the most liked content!

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About desertdog

  • Rank
    Just A Dusty Dog
  • Birthday December 3

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    S.F Bay Area
  • Interests
    Guess!
  • First Name
    Ed
  • Camera
    Whatever is in my pocket
  • Explore Vehicle
    A pair of boots, preferably Irish Setters or Danner.

Recent Profile Visitors

6,214 profile views
  1. CarPlay is coming in 2020. Wonder what the 'reviewers' will complain about then. The 1GR-FE/4.0L V6 motor dates to 2004/2005, but the 4Runner and late FJ Cruiser versions are a bit different than the Tacoma version that ended it's life in 2015. Still, they share 97% of the same parts and design, and it's a decent engine. Noisy as hell, but they got the bugs worked out by the 2006-2007 models. The consensus is to feed them good oil and good filters and not to rev them like sports cars (seriously - these things are not common knowledge about trucks?!) Even before then, the 3.4L V-6 (5VZ-FE) was running circles around most compact truck V6's out there. I think by now the smaller Toyota 4.7L V8 has proven itself, and the 5.7L V-8 seems to be a serious piece of machinery as well.
  2. I'll admit my bias off the top - I'm a Toyota fan. The reason for that is family history. 1983 - Dad buys a brand new bare-bones Toyota pickup for a work truck. He had it until 2005, finally donating it with about 270k on the odometer. 1985 - Grandpa buys a brand new bare-bones Toyota pickup. He passed away in 2013, and because of the estate trust, it was auctioned off (169k on the odometer). I bought it and gave it to my dad. He still drives it around town, uses it to transport stinky dog, etc. I believe it's just about to roll over 200k. 1998 - Dad needed more secure storage and more room for stuff, so he bought a new 4Runner. He's still driving it every day and it currently has about 330k on the odometer. 2003 - I buy the wife a 2004 Toyota Matrix XR. She drives it for the first 120,000 miles. In 2014 she gets a RAV4 and gives me the Matrix. I'm still driving it with 188k on the odometer. The damn things just last, especially it seems if they have a 'J' VIN (Japan-built). But even a J VIN isn't a necessity for longetivity. The '83 and '85 were NUMMI trucks (Fremont, CA). The Matrix is a '2' VIN (Canada). Wife is going to be in the market for a new ride soon, and she's 4Runner-curious, but also considering the RAV4 Limited (likes the power liftgate). Either way, I'm good with her options. I'll drive the Matrix until it dies, but I I don't think that will be for a while. My 2014 Tacoma doesn't get as much use (Bay Area traffic + 6MT = suck), but it's a good truck. With a mild lift and a little armor, it goes where I want I need it to go. I'm sure the PW is a decent truck, too. But given my experience and perceptions, I'm all about the Toyotas. As far as towing capacity, a few years ago I had to remove a lot of dirt and concrete from my house. I rented a tandem axle dump trailer (heavy), and loaded that SOB over the rails. I pulled it to the dumps, got on the scale, dropped the load, and then back to the scale. Turns out I'd towed 2000lbs of trailer + ~5000lbs of debris (over the rating for my truck). So yeah, it can pull. Not quickly, but it can pull. Things can, and do, go wrong in warranty and out of warranty. I prefer to keep my vehicles and get my money's worth. If they become totally unreliable or start to nickel-and-dime me, then I'll trade them. (CJ7, anyone?)Otherwise, it makes money-sense to me to pay up front and keep the thing 10+ years if at all possible. I'd still be in my 2004 Tacoma, except it was not feasible with an infant and certainly not feasible with a second kid. Otherwise, I miss the hell out of that truck. Maintenance, of course, matters. Don't buy into the "lifetime" hype for fluids. You have to ask "What's the lifetime of that 'lifetime'?" If people tend to trade in between 75-100k miles, then there you go. Drop that # in half and make that your maintenance schedule. Which reminds me, the RAV4 badly needs an oil change and a trans fluid swap.
  3. I don't think you stupidly stumble 8 miles into a place like that when folks are in pursuit. More to this, though it could be as simple as a mentally ill conspiracy type, or something nefarious. We'll never know.
  4. Helmet, 3 sources of light and an O2 meter are all you really need. Light is easy, helmets are cheap (hard hat will do), and the disposable O2 meters can be had for < $60 if you shop around. I suppose a 4-gas unit would be better, though. And those aren't cheap.
  5. Looks like they walked away from the claim, at least on paper, in the early 2000's, and finally 'lost' it a few years later. People get old, die, can't spend the time/effort/money. Still, it's on my list. Long haul for me, but hell, that one is worth it.
  6. Roy... Towards the end, the post with the metal tag...that's a claim corner marker, and it's showing the intersection of various corners of different claims (usually 1500' x 600' if memory serves, for lode claims). The problem is, that cryptic bit of information was more than enough for me to find out exactly where you were, some background on the mine, the claim names, former owner names, and of course a way to get there. For me, I don't care (other than to add it to my list of places to explore). I've never been there, and I won't share the information, but I'll drop you a PM with more details
  7. Wow, interesting place. Would you mind PM'ing me the coordinates or mine name?
  8. The second point of origin still holds my curiosity. I am genuinely glad to hear that signs of life are showing up in what's left of Paradise. It may not be much from the sound of it, but something is better than nothing. Our unit leader has family still living in Chico and Paradise, and one or two even work for PG&E. They rolled up to say hello one afternoon while we were taking a break for food/water. You can tell they're totally conflicted inside, between having a decent paying job and knowing that somewhere in the chain of command, that same company may have cost him his home and nearly 100 lives. She used to spend summers up there, and even drove by some prior family homes during the search. I can't imagine how heartbreaking it was for her, but she's tough (at least on the outside). What I went through was nothing compared to what scene evacuees had to deal with during the fire. The videos alone are horrifying, and I never felt the heat or smelled the fresh smoke. And then there's all the contamination from household chemicals, pesticides, gasoline, tires, oil, synthetics, and whatever else burned or melted. I knew it was bad when, before having lunch, I was wiping my face down with Clorox disinfectant wipes, alcohol, and anything else that would lift the dirt and oils off my face. At a number of the houses, we would often find nice dishes and glassware, something obviously loved and cared about by the owners. For some reason, we almost universally would pick stuff up, place it aside (usually on a foundation or a place no one could walk, and then keep digging. I've heard at least one story of survivors going back to the crater that used to be home, and finding those things. In that case, the plates and dishes belonged to her grandmother and were dear to her. In the middle of all that chaos and destruction, I was constantly looking for that 'one thing' to set aside which might help a survivor or relative realize that not *everything* was gone. No one told us to, no one reminded me to; just some odd, natural instinct. I want to see the town get back on its feet, but I suspect the Feds have other plans. They filed noticed of the possibility, which could happen by the end of the month. Not sure how I feel about that, honestly. I always see crews working on stuff, in very populated areas, and in remote areas. I'll be interested, as a shareholder, to see how everything shakes out.
  9. Those are all blanks. Over near the Project Shoal site, we found a ton of spent 7.62x51 brass with links. It was old - had a black patina - and the headstamp date was '84'. Those were not blanks, so someone was doing live-fire in the area (it's Navy land, but not closed off) with small arms, likely using an M60, given the marks on the brass. I gathered several hundred cases and tumbled them for about a day with stainless steel pins, Dawn dish soap, and Lemishine. The brass came out clean, but not super-shiny. I inspected every piece for incipient head failures, then reloaded a bunch of it with light duty 308 Winchester loads. The stuff shot well, but given it's history, I wouldn't use it in anything semiauto. Still, it made for sub-MOA rounds out of my 700SPS.
  10. It's adjacent to Dixie Valley. USN trains there, as do Marines. When we were there a couple of years ago, we had a nice overflight by a UH-60 on the deck. Pretty awesome stuff.
  11. The gated mine at Hercules is easy to enter. I know this from personal experience. When you make a door, you make a way in for everyone. When you fail to secure that door, it might as well not exist in the first place.
  12. We looked a couple of years ago. We found what MAY have been wood remnants from coffins, but nothing else. We hiked extensively and found basically nothing of the graves.
  13. BH is outside of the proposed takeover area. However, if that alternative goes through, part of 361 will be routed well to the east of its current location, and close to BH. That could be related to the closure. Would love to see some pictures of how they've blocked things off. Access was kinda crappy anyway, though we did send some cameras down a few shafts, nothing of interest popped up. I did rappel down another shaft, well to the south, with a video to document it. Maybe BLM saw that and thought they needed to take action. This really has me rethinking making videos any more. Why give them the satisfaction. Or perhaps I need to further anonymize the locations (though I thought I did a good job of that already).
  14. YT claims it's because they are removing bot/scam/non-human accounts. I know recently that Bob promoted one of my videos, and it got a lot of views. It also got some oddball comments, likely from bots/spam accounts. I'd imagine that's part of it. But, YT is about as transparent as a fresh batch of sewage (and their management has about the same IQ as a floating turd), so who knows. I have noticed over time that my firearms-related videos, especially reloading ones and ones relevant to CA's stupid laws, have gotten the most views. I'm sure part of that is driven by active search and Google's search result rankings. I've typed in terms to find something on Google and actually had a few of my vids come out as the 1/2/3 results, and I wasn't even keywording to find them. This was on a fresh Windows 10 install, using Edge, in a virtual environment, so no cookie/tracking/analytics magic, either. I don't understand it, and you really can't either. It's a black box, and until they let people poke around the innards, it remains a mystery.
  15. Concussions are bad things, to say the least. Delaminating rock is probably the one thing that freaks me out the most. I've stood in stopes where waste rock is 80-100 feet above, held in place by a floor or wall of timbers, and that doesn't bother me nearly as much as little cracks in huge slabs.
  • Our picks

    • This is the location of the famous Mojave Phone Booth. Unfortunately not much is left today, but it's still a cool location to visit with an interesting history. 
      • 1 reply
    • South Pass City WY
      South Pass City, approximately 90 miles north of Rock Springs, is a historic site administered by the state of Wyoming.  It consists of over 30 log, frame, and stone buildings, along with the Carissa Mine and Stamp Mill.



      South Pass City Historic Site
      • 11 images
    • Surprise Canyon, California
      Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs.  These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009.  I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum.

      The back story for this particular video is as follows.  On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California.  This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park.  This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland.  For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps.  The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City.  The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken.

      • 24 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips - March 31-April 2, 2000 - Into the Nevada Triangle with Lew Shorb
      My next series of videos will be based on a trip in 2000 that I took with Lew Shorb.  Lew is a board member here, as well as owner of the popular website http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/ghost.htm

      In breaking with my past habit of culling out historical sites and ghost towns and creating short videos dealing with these, I decided to keep the exploring part of Explore Forums in and create videos of each day of my travel and exploration, including our camps.  Scenery, travel, camping ghost towns and wide open spaces.

      Part one of this series, as well as subsequent videos, will all appear here within this same thread. Part I will start in my garage, where I was finishing up with the packing my truck.  The following day, after work, I begin my travels to meet Lew Shorb at Rhyolite, Nevada ghost town.

      Our three day, two night travels prowled about the "Nevada Triangle" section of northeastern Death Valley National Park; and will include such sites as:

      1. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad
      2. Gold Bar
      3. Phinney Mine
      4. Strozzi Ranch
      5. Currie Well (LV&T RR)
      6. Mud Springs Summit (LV&T RR)
      7. Happy Hooligan Mine


      This video, that of March 30th and 31st, will start off this series; and is brief, only being 3:28 long.  Nevada-Triangle_Shorb-2000_Part-1.wmv

      So, below is my narrative of part one of this series to give full context of what is seen in the video.  It will probably take longer to read than the video is long.

      --------------------------


       
      • 9 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips: May 1-3, 2000 - Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley
      Exploration Field Trips:
      May 1-3, 2000
      Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley

      What do you do with three authors, two 4x4’s, two two-way radios, three cameras, and camping supplies? Send them to Death Valley, of course. For three days in the first week of May, 2000, fellow authors and historical researchers Alan Patera, Alan Hensher and myself explored Death Valley north and south.

      Alan Patera writes and publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph books.  Alan Hensher has been published in several periodicals as well as authoring several books, centering primarily on the history of Mojave Desert sites.

      Alan Patera, who hails from Oregon, came south to California and picked up Alan Hensher; then the two came my way. At the time I was living in Ridgecrest, California. After overnighting with my wife and I, the three of us took off for Death Valley.  Alan was busy researching and photographing for a future edition of WESTERN PLACES, this time centering on the camps of the Funeral Range, which forms the eastern border of east central Death Valley.  Circumstances and changes of our journey lead Alan to plant the seeds of two more future books, this time centering just outside the northernmost section of Death Valley.




       

       
      • 4 replies
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