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Thread: Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

    Occassionally, my dad and I like to pack up his 4x4 and explore the desert. Usually we're looking for ghost towns, mine shafts, etc. Last weekend was one of our first times out in the autumn months and we were caught in the middle of nowhere after dark. During the day we could see the dirt road we were driving on cross the desert for miles... easy to navigate with nothing but a map book. After the sun went down though, totally different story. With the vehicle's stock headlights (it's a 2004 4Runner) the desert absolutely swallowed the light and our speed limit was like 25 mph due to limited visibility. Good thing we had a GPS; it actually lists many of the desert dirt roads and we were practically "driving by instrument" with that thing.

    This time out we only found a couple of abandoned miner's shacks so it was a pretty slow day. The road on the GPS had a recognizable "C" shaped curve in it, which was listed in my gazeteer, and according to the gazeteer there were various open mineshafts very close to the curve in the road. When we arrived there I took out my Thor and pointed the beam into the inky blackness... and actually saw an ore hopper waaaay off in the distance!

    I tell ya, mines are EXTREMELY hard to find in the desert. You can see them from far away, but as you approach, the desert features seem to change and you lose the mine. And here we were in the desert darkness and found a mine opening just out of luck!!

    We both grabbed our packs and I grabbed my Microfire K2000R... her first time out in the field hahaha... wow, what a great light!! I was not feeling one bit guilty about spending $350 on it that night... such a comfort to have such powerful lighting in such a DARK area. And lightweight too; in most of my mine adventures I've lugged the Thor along. K2000R was much easier to carry and use. (During the day when hiking it's in a MOLLE pouch on my pack.)

    Oh, and once we left the mine shaft it would have been VERY difficult to find the 4Runner without the throw-power of the Microfire. A true asset in extremely dark/rural areas!

    Once back on tarmac we drove past a VW bus that was stuck in the sand alongside the highway. We circled back to render aid... it was such a laugh. A young Canadian couple that were just looking for a place to sleep. Their VW was buried to the floorpan in soft beach-like sand and all they had was a Petzl LED headlight in THAT darkness. I used my Surefire M4 as a worklight when hooking their VW to our tow strap. With all the lights and gear my dad and I were carrying, we must have looked like "lights" in shining armor hahaha...

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* cqbdude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

    Great story Scott...Thanks for sharing....

  3. #3
    Flashaholic Glock40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

    I think you deserve to buy another light for helping out those people.
    Surefire A2. Surefire G2 Cree. Surefire E1E. Surefire 8NX. Inova X1. Inova X5. PT Yukon. PT Quad. River Rock Lantern. Fenix P1. Mag 2D LED. Mag 4D LED. Mag 3AA LED.

  4. #4
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

    Since the M4 helped in the rescue, you should submit that story to Surefire, and maybe they'll send you a free light!
    Green Laser, Surefire 9AN Commander; Photon III's; SL UltraStinger; ARC AAA; Costco 2AA Luxeons; Costco HID; PT Matrix 2; RR 2AA, SL 4AA PP Lux; AmondoTech Illuminator; MC60; 4DMag w/TLE-6EX; Husky 2D

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

    That really sounds like a fun adventure. Where abouts is this place if I may ask?

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

    lights in shining armor

    hee hee

  7. #7
    Flashaholic lucio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

    i'd love sooo much exploring an old ghost town..

    think there aren't very mnuch in europe though

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Last weekend was a redeeming one for the flashaholic in me...

    Quote Originally Posted by LowBat
    That really sounds like a fun adventure. Where abouts is this place if I may ask?
    Mojave area not far from Barstow. If you want to get out there, get yourself a GPS, magnetic compass (a decent one like a Silva) and a gazetteer. Lowrance and Magellan print excellent gazetteers and you can get them at Barnes & Noble for around $20. The gazetteers are excellent for general navigation and are amazingly accurate and complete. I also have a bunch of maps that I bought from the Bureau of Land Management office in Barstow and they go down to extremely fine detail but don't include mines (just geographical features).

    Oh, and bring a good pair of binoculars with you; you can usually find mineshaft openings by looking for piles of tailings. Trouble is, many times you can drive right past a mineshaft opening without even seeing it. You get out, walk 10 feet and bam, there it is.

    My dad and I average one good, deep mineshaft per day.

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