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Everything posted by desertdog
These are some of the things we look for when a subject is presumed deceased, or there is a strong chance that they are deceased. When I referenced BMI, I'm assuming high BMI due to body fat, not muscle (e.g. some body builders have super high BMIs, but virtually no fat - one reason the BMI system is a bucket of fail). The decomposition of the lipids for a body left in-situ creates a 'ring' where plant life will not grow for some period of time. The amount of time depends on the amount of body fat decomposed into the soil, the 'washing' effects of wind, rain, and runoff, and the tolerance of any native plant species to the compounds left in the soil. Another one is mounding. There are naturally barren areas in nature (Clear Creek in California, full of serpentinite is a good example) not caused by organic decomposition. However, the decomposition of collagen compounds will tend to attract any wind-blown dirt and dust, causing an odd accretion of 'dirt' that very roughly outlines the size and shape of the body, or what was left of the body. This tell is not obvious, and is easy erased by running water. It's 'good' for maybe a year after the disappearance. For a body still somewhat intact in a green, vegetated areas, the off-gassing caused by decomposition can brown immediately adjacent greenery. This is similar to the effects of geological off-gassing in volcanic regions that will brown and kill nearby plants or trees. Again, this is a more short term indicator, but if someone goes missing in winter, is 'preserved', then undergoes rapid decomposition in the spring thaw, these spots can sometimes be easily seen from the air. A field of green, and a weird patch of oval or elongated brown (most common with grasses). Finally, look for odd shaped rocks, about the size of a human head. In an arid environment, the head will dessicate fairly quickly, due to all the openings (eyes, mouth, nose, ears, spinal attachments, even the sinuses). Skin will 'leather' out, and the soft tissues of the eyes, mouth, and nose will be long gone. What you're left with is something that looks oddly like a grey, leather rock or bowling ball. A gentle tap with a stick or pole will result in a hollow 'thud', of obvious reasons. Finally, the easiest one is just using a cadaver dog. A well-train dog AND a well-trained handler can locate remains in excess of 25-30 years old. This is incredibly challenging for the dog, because the scent profile to the dog is about the same as the scent profile a human gets from a brick - not much. At this point, the dog is really trying to sniff out bone fragments, though a few theories and studies suggest that some dogs are able to smell DNA remnants trapped within the intraosseous spaces (a similar profile to cancer sniffing dogs, being able to isolate odors of individual cell types). The latter part of this is theory, but cadaver dogs themselves exist and have been effective in the past. Or, we just keep eyes open and look for bones sticking out of the ground.
Human remains are scavenged and displaced a lot less than one would think. I don't know why (could be we smell really bad), but most cases of consumption by animals involve the human being taken down as prey. Does it happen? Yes. Is it common? No. A lot of things come into play, like the local animal population, other sources of food, local climate, and so on. There are also several 'tells' that bodies leave behind sometimes, depending on the BMI of the individual. It's pretty fascinating stuff, really.
Looks like it may be soggy this weekend. If so, I guess I'm back to playing electrician and swapping out old switches and outlets, building a table for the Ammo Plant, and whatever else needs to get done around the house. Oh yeah, oil changes.
We made it out there via the eastern entry point (80/95 interchange, Rest Area exit). Berm to Copper King turnoff was nothing for the truck. I just roll over crap like that. There had been some recent use of the short road out to the shaft and dumps, based on fresh tracks. We found some so-so ore samples, some nice quartz bits, and I came away with a few nice chunks of garnet crystals. There are more out there, which may require a return trip. After lunch we shot a little, and then headed over to Copper Queen. Not much left there, so we checked out Hard To Find. Same thing. Around lunch time, I could hear people shooting off to the south of Copper King, and I could barely make out the glint of a vehicle. I think they were at the Hard to Find - we found a couple dozen fresh 5.56 casings at HTF. But they vanished, most likely off towards Jessup. I had no info on the road conditions from HTF to Jessup, and it was getting on 1530. So we doubled back, took a short cutoff to the main road, and went out the same way we went in. I saw the buildings out to the west of Copper King - they looked fairly well built, from a distance - not sure I'd call them a shanty town. But I didn't get close enough for a good look, and had no desire to do so We ended up using a soft dirt hill for a backstop, facing ENE. So other than some noise, they'd have had no reason to complain. I pondered driving down to the power lines and trying that road to get back onto 80, but again, late in the day and minimal provisions (plenty of water, just not a ton of food and more importantly, no coffee). Still, it was a fun day. We may attempt Jessup from the I-80 side (maps suggest it's doable) in a few weeks. I think this weekend I'm going to head out towards Como for a look-see, and maybe a little further East. There are some spots towards Yerington I want to explore eventually. And I'm looking for a 600-1000 yard shooting lane. An old missile base? Now THAT sounds interesting. More interesting than dust mine timbers and ancient rusty can fragments. Though I was able to teach her that motor oil used to come in cardboard cans with metal tops/bottoms after we found a lid at Copper King. If you get stuck or break down, just hit up my mobile. I can always mount rescue mission easily enough. Family is liking the new place. Needs more work than we initially thought, but mostly cleanup and touch-up. Still, so worth it.
Oh, I learned something interesting about Toulon and all the trailers and junk out there. According to LE (Sheriff), it's basically a registered sex-offender haven. The owner of the property rents out places to folks on the state offender registry. Even if I could get in, that pretty much strikes the place off the list of places to explore. Huh. Older kid and I are heading out that way shortly for the same thing. Going to poke around Copper King, maybe Copper Queen. Unclear what the road conditions are. If she doesn't get her ass in gear most riki-tik, she's gonna get left behind, though. *grumble*
Hell or high water, I’m heading out Sunday morning to find some range time with my new Glock. Hopefully the grip extensions will be here by then. No idea where I’ll go, probably somewhere out around Lovelock-ish, or closer. At worst, I’ll head north up 447 to a spot (Bob knows) and rip off some rounds into a big dirt hill. Course im spending all day Saturday in the Bay Area training SAR n00bs. So I should be just tired enough to not care about my shooting, but not so tired that I want to sleep all day.
Pull the magazine apart, and trim a bit off the spring. It's an iterative process, until you get easy insertion with still-reliable feeding. Probably why Glock sells a 9-rd version of that magazine (or they did a while ago. And. Holy Crap. I can go out and buy a Glock 42 right now, if I want. And not wait. Well, not longer than it takes for the NICS check. I think I'll just wait until my NV license shows up, then I'll go visit WCSO, update my CCW address, and buy w/out going through NICS (and saving the $25 bucks!!) F**k You, California. Just. F**k. You. I think I'll go order some AR magazines now. And once Man Cave is done, I'll pull mag locks off.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Northern Nevada, Southwestern Idaho
(and a Blip of Southeastern Oregon Thrown in for Good Measure)
June 19 - 28, 2001
This is the trip that I consider to be my favorite trip I have ever undertaken. It had been in the planning stages since the previous December. Originally, quite a number of people were invited and had semi-committed themselves to come along. Over time, however, eventually the number of people whose semi-commitments became firm commitments to this trip narrowed to four. And I was one of them.
Below, a list of historic locations we visited – in the order that we visited them:
1. Bodie & Benton Railway, California.
2. Stillwater, Nevada.
3. White Cloud City (Coppereid), Nevada.
4. Unionville, Nevada.
5. Midas, Nevada.
6. Spring City, Nevada.
7. Paradise Valley, Nevada.
8. Buckskin, Nevada.
9. National, Nevada.
10. Delamar, Idaho.
11. Silver City, Idaho.
12. Rio Tinto, Nevada.
13. Pattsville, Nevada.
14. Aura, Nevada.
15. Cornucopia, Nevada.
16. Edgemont, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
17. White Rock, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
18. Tuscaurora, Nevada.
19. Dinner Station, Nevada.
20. Metropolis, Nevada.
21. Charleston, Nevada.
22. Jarbidge, Nevada.