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SteveHazard

What was your most difficult or challenging explore?

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Just wondering what lengths some of us have gone to check out or try to find that long forgotten place? Maybe it was to rope down a vertical shaft of a mine? Ever go someplace and have a run in with not so friendly people? A vehicle or equipment failure that made getting out a challenge? Or maybe it was just really really out there and took a lot of effort to reach and or find. 

Recently I got back from a trip with my daughter and we found a place that was just way out there. Several hours out on the highway. An hour up a mountain road. Over an another hour on a mandatory 4x4 trail. Then a pack into the back country about 8 miles several of which had no visible trail to a place I wasn't even 100% sure was there. And the hike out back out we took the longer way which was around 10 miles and hit elevations over 10K. My little one is 9 years old and she did that 10 mile stretch back to the truck in one day. Including the drive up and down we spent 5 days on our adventure. 

I did find what I was looking for... after starting to get a bit worried I might not near the end. I'll share the trip after I try to do some follow up on something personal I found. 

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Plenty of those in my past.

1968, wintertime. Late afternoon. Riding my motorcycle, a 1965 Yamaha YDS-3 250cc road bike on the truck trail to Big Bear Lake from my home on the desert slope. A couple feet of snow. Spun the rear tire on thick ice. Spun the chain off the front sprocket, which whipped around and snapped off a cast lug on the primary case, leaving a nasty tennis ball size hole and rearranging the transmission cogs and seized up the innards. Spent the night huddled against a pine tree in the snow. No gloves, a windbreaker, tennis shoes. Early next morning heard a vehicle approaching. It was my neighbor, he knew I was up there and didn’t come home the night before. Spent the rest of the day alternating between hot showers and parking in front of my Franklin stove thawing frostbite on my fingers and toes. I’ve been frostbit numerous times since. Getting frostbite doesn’t hurt, but thawing frostbite is misery ... :crybaby:

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That sounds pretty rough, hope to never experience getting frostbite. 

Speaking of getting stuck exploring places,  my father just a day ago... I guess he was trying to scout for wildlife or just exploring the area but he got high centered in sand someplace by the Las Vegas river/wash right before sundown. Something that really would not of been a big deal at all if it happened to me as I would not of got stuck in my truck, dug myself out if I did, or just walked as he wasn't that far from anything. But for the old guy with a weak heart and the limited ability to even describe where he was correctly it was a bit of a concern. I guess he had to call a dealer and ping his vehicle on GPS to let the help know where to go. He told me there where rattlesnakes all over shortly after it got dark... which yeah, makes perfect sense for an area down by water that had a day time temp of 110. He really should not of been out there like that trying to do what he was in his condition but you can only advice your stubborn parents so much from the next state over, he does what he wants. 

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Maybe get his a personal locator beacon, or something that can provide a safety net... Spot tracker so you can keep an eye on him ;-)

I can't recall any particularly difficult explorations, I got my 2wd nissan pickup stuck out by pyramid lake..  just needed to air down, jack up a couple of wheels and back fill...  it was a hassle for sure..  I think perhaps my risk aversion is higher than a lot of folks... I usually keep a large cushion of 'capability'..  .. I'd better duck now though.. murphy and all ;-)

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December 1989. A buddy and I decided to explore along the Bodie & Benton Railroad grade east of Mono Lake. We were in his Nissan 4x4 pickup. At the site of Warm Springs, my buddy decided he wanted to jump the grade, with me photographing the stunt. Big mistake. He had nowhere the speed needed to cross the grade let alone get the truck airborn. Instead the front wheels left the ground and momentum took him only far enough to solidly mount the frame smack dab in the center of the grade and all four wheels well off the ground.

It was after 5 PM. Sundown was fast approaching. OK, where are the jack and a shovel or two? Back at his house in Mammoth Lakes, more than an hour away driving. Lee Vining, the closest town, was more than 20 miles directly across the lake. Being December, sundown meant colder than it already was (there were patches left from the last snow), both of us were already hungry. And we didn’t even have a flashlight. What to do?

Winter chill hadn’t yet created frozen ground. We each had two hands (but no gloves). We started digging the railroad grade out from under the truck like a couple of badgers. Within minutes the truck started settling ever closer to the ground. Several times each of us got our hands squished between the truck’s frame and dirt. As the truck settled closer to the ground, it was getting increasinly difficult to fit under the truck, requiring the digging out of extra railroad grade well away from the truck. Numerous times we tried getting the truck out under its own power.

It was nearly 11 PM by the time we freed the truck. We were bleeding, hurting, filthy, frozen and starving (we didn’t have water, but took care of thirst with what snow we could find). We drove north out along the railroad grade until we hit the highway out to Hawthorne, then turned west to US395., then south to Lee Vining and arriving at midnight. Bodie Mike’s saloon there was still open. The few patrons saw what a mess we were and were eager to hear our story, so our drinks were on them.

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If it's interesting enough to me, and if I have the time, I'll do pretty much anything.  I'll drive as far as I can drive, grab my pack, and start walking.  I will be cold and tired and I won't care.  My daughter is not the trooper that yours is, Steve.  At least, she seems to be allergic to hiking, unless there is something at the other end that she REALLY wants to see/get.  In May we took a trip up to the obsidian beds in Modoc County.  She was desperate to see the "Pink Lady" mine and get some material, but halfway there the road was blocked by snow and it was already 4PM.  She was all too ready to strap on her back, lace up her boots, and follow me up the trail, through knee-deep snow, and she did.  Slowly, but she did.  Tossed some water and snacks in her pack, grabbed my pack with the InReach, and some spare ammo, and went for broke.

Sadly, the location information was poor, and by 5PM, I could not ascertain how close we were (or weren't).  The choice was push on, or turn back.  Alone, I would have pushed on.  With her, I didn't want to take the chance of hiking the woods, with an iffy trail, well into the darkness.  Plus the drive back to camp was a solid 30 minutes, on poorly marked USFS roads that had some serious washouts and tie-rod breakers. 

But, she loves to explore and see "what's around the next corner", and that makes me proud.  She's curious and daring, if a bit too stubborn. 

 

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After reading all everyone else's story's I guess I've had good luck the only thing I've had to deal with is getting a nail in my tire so I took the nail out and got my tire repair kit out and plugged the nail hole with a tire plug and re inflated the tire out at Bass Camp. I sure am lucky that's the worst that's happened when exploring 😀

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Just keep at it and explore deeper something miserable but exciting to tell later will be bound to happen at some point. Just try to avoid anything too serious. Also nothing needs to of gone wrong for something to be a difficult explore. It could just be a difficult location to get to or find. Sometimes it could be the story of the past that you piece together afterwards based upon what you found. I'm hoping to get a hold of somebody based on what I found... just been procrastinating at the thought of creating a facebook, lol. 

As far as difficult or bad things that have happened. I've run out of water 3 times... the worst time I actually turned back because I started to think the 5 liters would not be enough and I was right. Horrible 90 minutes without water down a shadeless sun exposed hill to the first nasty trickle of water that I happily drank straight. Speaking of being hot and dehydrated dry foods like granola bars become the worst tasting food ever to the point you may not be able to eat them. So I have learn to pick back up snacks that have more moisture in them. In the snow I've learned that the set of footprints your following has at least a 50/50 chance of belonging to somebody that is lost. Walking back 5 miles from your friends stuck truck is exponentially more unpleasant when it rains hard the whole time.  

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On 7/6/2018 at 1:43 PM, braindead0 said:

Hopefully that didn't jinx you ;-)

Being prepared goes a long way toward keeping he drama under control

"Well, I guess I'm making camp right *here*" is sometimes the best decision you can make when things go sideways. 

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