Jump to content

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


desertdog last won the day on January 4

desertdog had the most liked content!


About desertdog

  • Rank
    Just A Dusty Dog
  • Birthday December 3

Profile Information

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

Recent Profile Visitors

6,027 profile views
  1. desertdog

    This forum is dead.

    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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. desertdog

    Youtube taking views away from videos

    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.
  8. 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.
  9. Better off to not go in alone if you don't know much about the underground layout. If you have a map, and know of multiple exits, it's less dangerous, on two counts. First, you have the possibility of escape and second you have a greater chance of good air and replenishment of bad air. Beyond that, after a while studying the older methods of cut-and-fill, false flooring, and split-leveling, you can spot the dodgy stuff and proceed accordingly. Most people die in mines because they fall, and most falls are because they have inadequate light sources. Some die of hypothermia (flooded mines, but I've been in dry mines that got me close), and very few die from rockfall. But, odds are made better by being prepared. I usually have no less than 3 sources of powered lighting, an O2 meter (which I need to replace soon), a bunch of glowsticks (usually the white ones), a small can of compressed 'pilot' oxygen, gloves, a helmet, good boots, and a stout knife. If I'm going down into a hole, then a descent/ascent system will be built according to proper TRT practices where possible. If not doable, then I'll settle for good mountaineering rope setups as well. I've been in mines where people used shitty 3/8" Home Depot rope (left behind) for going down winzes as a backup handhold. Crappy knots on crappy anchors = sudden death. If possible, I like to get a truck up close and personal (safely) to the shaft and use it as an anchor. If it's good enough for fire/RS1, it's good enough for me.
  10. SAR teams head into mines frequently (in 'mine country', at least). Most recent one I can think of was in AZ this past summer. I saw pictures and footage of the rescuer going down to recover the victim (alive, but hurt), and they rigged some stuff that at least looked dicey (may have been perfectly safe for a 1-2kN rescue load, for all I know). I keep telling our unit people that we need to do some confined space/cave rescue practice, in the very least. Either would come in handy during a USAR event, especially in quake country. I think the idea is finally starting to get a little traction, too. Granted, caves are far less likely to be overcome by gravity, but many of the same principles apply (light sources, air monitoring gear, unstable edges/surfaces, water, etc.) That's not to say you won't die, and I generally don't like to enter mines without at least one responsible adult on the outside. At the same time, when I'm looking at a 50-100 year old mine that's accessible, I figure it didn't fall in on itself since the last person walked out. So there is no logical reason it's suddenly going to be that "today is the day". Honestly, between going into mines and driving in the Bay Area, I'll take the mines. At least desert mines.
  11. Point me in the right direction and let's go! Does he know anything about ropes/climbing/technical rescue? If so, he'd probably be fine. If not, don't encourage him until he does know something. Lol.
  12. That would be neat to visit. I'm starting to think that 'getting there' isn't so bad, at least in terms of mines. The harder thing is rigging up a safe rope system to descend. If I ever get around to publishing my 2nd 'Thompson' mine video from a few months ago, you'll see that getting down was a bit of a nail-biter. I have training and experience in using the equipment. But in the end, I went single rope with an anchor I would use again (but which wobbled a bit). Most of the time the challenge is anchors deep inside a mine. I have limited trust in timbering, primarily for two reasons. First, it's timbering that may be 50-100 years old. That always spooks me. Second, if something gives, you have to be really aware of how the dominoes are going to come down and what comes down with them. An overhead set of braces for a winze is easy enough. A few pieces of wood come down, wedge across the opening, and that's it. If they form the bottom of some greater support structure, then you're more likely to have a bad day. That's another reason I research mines as much as possible. I'm always thinking of an escape plan, should everything utterly go to shit in a hurry.
  13. desertdog

    UTV's? Suggestions?

    The Roxor seems like a waste of money. $16k base for a CJ-something clone? I'd rather drop 1/3 of that on something like this: https://reno.craigslist.org/cto/d/78-j-5-jeep-v8-4-sp-very/6773583646.html And spend another 5k going through it. And keep the last 5k for gas. More fun, more flexible, immense aftermarket. Or I might even consider going to something with the 4.0L HO and doing the same. All you miss out on is a Indian-tweaked French 4 cylinder diesel motor. And if you really, really want a diesel in a Jeep, buy cheap and do a swap. No, it's not turnkey. Yes, it will take time and effort. Most things worth doing take time and effort, though. Oh, and I have yet to see a CJ/YJ/XJ, etc.-style Jeep that didn't have a spare mounted on the back end. Have they stopped doing that recently?
  14. desertdog

    Youtube taking views away from videos

    All my views-per-day on my channel dropped by 40% 8 or 9 months ago. Can't figure out why. Subscribers only went up. Granted, my vids have been few and far between lately (no time to edit) but that doesn't explain it. Plus I have a hard time getting subscribers, which doesn't help.
  15. I've been happy with my Mavic Pro, so far. But it's also a previous generation. The DJI software is pissing me the hell off, though. All sorts of registration hoops to deal with. Luckily on the first day, I had 2 bars of service, so I set my phone up as a hotspot, joined the tablet to the WiFi, and got that taken care of. A few miles further out and I'd have been stuck using the phone for the controller. Really surprised there are no 3rd-party controllers for the DJI's.
  • 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. 
      • 0 replies
    • 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