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davef
05-15-2008, 12:01 PM
I've been ghost towning to Arizona and Nevada from Connecticut for the last 3 years but that translates to about 2 weeks time on the ground. Each time I go I get better prepared to visit these out of the way places but this last trip made me confront the issue I can't control-I don't know anyone out west so I am gt'ing alone. This last time I got a flat tire in the desert going to Helvetia mine in AZ. I fixed it and got back ok but it raised a few questions I'd like to ask:
1. Can I post here for other gt'ers to meet me at 'x' location on 'y' day to go to a gt ?

2. If I have to go alone what advice/standard safety rules have YOU WHO LIVE IN THE WEST/GHOST TOWN learned ? I know the usual - gallon of water per day/cell phone/tell someone whom to call if I don't call them back by 'x' time... but what about, best car rental agency to deal with[I had problems with Payless]/best satellite phone to rent/if I can't bring a weapon from CT what's the next best weapon, machete?/do you check with police before going to an area YOU aren't familiar with ? ETC.

Thanks all for your comments.

D

sbruce
05-15-2008, 05:14 PM
Best advice to give is: don't go out alone to very remote ghost towns. I have been lucky but had some close calls - like nearly getting lost a couple of times and encounters with unfriendly desert rats, one of whom pointed a shotgun in my direction. With the price of gold at nearly $900 an ounce imagine this problem will be worse in the West now, where active gold mines or small prospects are being worked.

So if alone maybe try the more populated places altho they are usually not as interesting as remote ones.

Joel
05-15-2008, 05:29 PM
1. You can or private message others if you feel that's safer and saner.

2. I think a lot depends on where you go. If you fly into Tucson or Phoenix for example, your options are greater. If you fly into Tombstone, then you just limited your rental options. (You had mentioned Helvetia, so I'll stick to Southern Arizona since I know it a bit.)
Weapons are up to you. When I go out, I have a no kill policy regarding animals. I know someone will say what about this or what about that, but it's up to you. Wildlife encounters are typically harmless out here, but you might want to search on line newspapers for the areas concerned too. There are bears that have been killed in the Sierra Vista area the last few years. Thanks to the illegals and their dropping of trash, it seems quite a few have equated the sell of humans with that of a free meal. That's not to say that you will encounter, but you might. Research is always the best tool.
If you're going down to the border area, say Old Glory, then just be aware of what is down there. You don't see deputies from Santa Cruz or Pima County that often. If you're lucky, you might see BP or ICE in the area. Perhaps not, most of their checkpoints are much further north. It's a bit of the luck of the draw regarding how much law enforcement that you will see in an area. I've seen BP at Lochiel right at the fence and also driven from Naco to Phoenix without seeing any. Local hikers and 4WD forums might be a good source of information for areas too.
I think it all depends on your temperment. There are illegals and drug smugglers out here, but I'm not going to stay at home on the couch just because they are out there somewhere. Most of us have encountered strange folks out in these areas but to be fair also have encountered some pretty decent folks too. I can honestly say that I feel safer in the California Gulch between Ruby and Old Glory down by the border, than I do at the Dillards at Park Mall in Tucson or walking any street in Phoenix.
The desert in Southern Arizona has its share of woes, but I don't see any of them as being worse than any urban area.

brian10x
05-15-2008, 05:30 PM
I live in Southern Arizona and have been to Helvetia many times.

I'm trying not to be a loner anymore, but the fact is, I've gone out alone for 10 years. If I don't learn to change fate may catch up with me.

Let me know if you will be in this area (Tucson) on your next trip, and where you want to go.

If at all possible, I'll set time aside to go with you, and lend you the sidearm of your choice. I'll bring a cooler and you can by the water.

My last trip to Helvetia:

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k137/brian10x/DSC03140-1.jpg

raiders81
05-15-2008, 07:35 PM
With the price of gas sky rocketing I think it would be a great idea for people to team up and go GT'ing.

I would like to get out and see more of them. I was able to visit many as a kid but my Step-Father passed before being able to impart his knowledge of alot of locations.

I'd enjoy tagging along if you come to the Tucson area. Let me know and I will try to make arrangements.

I lived in Danbury CT for a bit as a child as well. We spent time exploring the woods and discovered many old barns, houses, cars and other abandoned items. Do you do much exploring out in your home area?

Vulture
05-16-2008, 08:33 AM
The "bug out bag".

Always ready & always with me in the field. It isn't small & it isn't light, but it is small enough & light enough. This is a "Maxpedition versipack" jumbo, large main pocket & expandale. Has pocket for 1 ltr water bottle & concealed gun pocket.
Contents;

1st aid kit with sterile wipes, ointment, bandages, etc. TP. Hand wipes.
Flashlight w/ extra batteries. Matches. Camera. Binoculars. 4 granola bars.
Water. Compass. Magnifying glass. Mirror. Pad & pencil. Swiss army knife (one hand trekker) Gerber multi tool. Titaniun .357 & more ammo.
"Don't leave home without it".

<

Norman Johnson
05-18-2008, 02:33 PM
I am sorry to say that any place you go in California will be visited by someone else within a 24 hr time frame Friday through Sunday. The rest of the week make it a 36 hr window of solitude. People get friendlier the further from civilization they get. Foget the guns. We don't need them out here. Beer works better for pacifying the angry. Build road before you try using the gas pedal to get you past a bad spot and buy a good leatherman or pair of pliers to pull out the cholla spines. I have seen a buddy of mine drink himself into heat prostration because he was running out of salt in his system. A hand held CB might be cheaper than a sat phone. If you are driving a rental -- no donuts. Tire stores can be a long drive at 40 mph. I reload all my first aid kits with the real stuff you will probably need --- Pepto, Advil, cold remedy, and Benadryl. NJ

Vulture
05-18-2008, 03:25 PM
I am sorry to say that any place you go in California will be visited by someone else within a 24 hr time frame Friday through Sunday. The rest of the week make it a 36 hr window of solitude. People get friendlier the further from civilization they get. Foget the guns. We don't need them out here. Beer works better for pacifying the angry. Build road before you try using the gas pedal to get you past a bad spot and buy a good leatherman or pair of pliers to pull out the cholla spines. I have seen a buddy of mine drink himself into heat prostration because he was running out of salt in his system. A hand held CB might be cheaper than a sat phone. If you are driving a rental -- no donuts. Tire stores can be a long drive at 40 mph. I reload all my first aid kits with the real stuff you will probably need --- Pepto, Advil, cold remedy, and Benadryl. NJ

Guess I'm doing everything wrong here in AZ. So no guns, on the mex border where hundereds of pounds of drugs & heavily armed gangsters pass everyday, & just need pepto for that bad taco lunch. Well that really lightens up my bug out bag. Now I only need a fanny pack, (a CA regular activity). Thanks for the expert advice pal. I'm sure yer' right, the AK totin' gangsta' will friendly right up if offered a PBR.

PS...you best stay in Califruity.
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Norman Johnson
05-18-2008, 03:42 PM
See, now that's your problem, if you guys would get a real desert instead of that gangster-friendly welcome mat, you would be able to stock your fanny packs with avecados like we do out here. Besides, in Death Valley, Our tourists are mostly Germans. But that is summertime. It is an odd tourist season and they all have visas. NJ

Vulture
05-18-2008, 03:47 PM
See, now that's your problem, if you guys would get a real desert instead of that gangster-friendly welcome mat, you would be able to stock your fanny packs with avecados like we do out here. Besides, in Death Valley, Our tourists are mostly Germans. But that is summertime. It is an odd tourist season and they all have visas. NJ

Well you friendly right up to new folks doncha'?

This is not only a real desert, it's a real beautiful desert.

I don't want an avecado up my bum like you do out there.
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Norman Johnson
05-18-2008, 04:18 PM
Dave, Try a trip to California. Rent a FWD and head for the Panamint Mountains by way of Trona. There are 7 driveable canyons with mines or ghost towns, including Goler wash where you can go to Barker Ranch and stare at the sink with the ragged curtain where they found Charlie Manson. And then continue on up to Butte Valley and stay at the Geologist's cabin. The Panamints have 8 BLM cabins in various places where one can stay the night. The highest peak is Telescope at 11,000 and you can drive to about 8,000 in several places. North is the Hunter Mountain area with several cabins and Saline Valley where the hot springs are clothing optional. Again north is Eureka Valley and the highest sand dune in North America. Ever been to Cerra Gordo? Darwin? China Garden Spring? The Revenue Mine? The Minnietta? The Defense Mine? Clair Camp? The World Beater? All well worth the time. One week and you can see it all or stay the whole week in South Park Canyon. Everything above is a 4 hour drive from anywhere in the LA area. Or fly into Vegas and take a FWD road out of Red Rock Canyon up and over the Spring Mountains to Beaty and come into to Death Valley by way of Titus Canyon or Daylight Pass. Hike up to the Keane Wonder Mine and go into the tunnel that says, "Danger" where the wire netting has been pulled back enough to let one squeeze through. Out. NJ

Norman Johnson
05-18-2008, 04:31 PM
Sorry, V. but I'm married. I have been to the desert around Tucson and on dirt roads up the state to the Tonto area. Az is beautiful. I've read every Zane Grey ever written and I love tripping around the backcountry out there. If it wasn't for the bottle shooters, I would have no problem with guns in the desert. But I have personally picked up many trash bags full of brass, glass, shot gun shells and clay to do anything but growl when I hear shooters in the wild. NJ

brian10x
05-18-2008, 05:13 PM
Sorry, V. but I'm married. I have been to the desert around Tucson and on dirt roads up the state to the Tonto area. Az is beautiful. I've read every Zane Grey ever written and I love tripping around the backcountry out there. If it wasn't for the bottle shooters, I would have no problem with guns in the desert. But I have personally picked up many trash bags full of brass, glass, shot gun shells and clay to do anything but growl when I hear shooters in the wild. NJ

Please don't pick up any more shotshells here in Arizona.
My absolutely favorite thing to do is to aim just below them with a pistol and watch them fly through the air.
Its just about the only thing that still gives this old man pleasure.


Besides shooting at illegals.


http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k137/brian10x/crossing.jpg

Norman Johnson
05-18-2008, 05:35 PM
My guess is that there are more non-NRA people who have taken courses from NRA instructors than have actual NRA members. I am an NRA member. The same rules that apply on the shooting range apply in the desert. Pick up your brass, wear ear and eye protection, etc. etc. If everyone who took a weapon to the desert had taken an NRA course beforehand, I would feel safe. But I have been down range of too many idiots to know that is the case. NJ

brian10x
05-18-2008, 05:40 PM
My guess is that there are more non-NRA people who have taken courses from NRA instructors than have actual NRA members. I am an NRA member. The same rules that apply on the shooting range apply in the desert. Pick up your brass, wear ear and eye protection, etc. etc. If everyone who took a weapon to the desert had taken an NRA course beforehand, I would feel safe. But I have been down range of too many idiots to know that is the case. NJ

I hate picking up brass, so I only shoot revolvers in the desert now.

Besides, its not always wise to go rooting around in the bushes with all the critters around.

Vulture
05-18-2008, 05:57 PM
My guess is that there are more non-NRA people who have taken courses from NRA instructors than have actual NRA members. I am an NRA member. The same rules that apply on the shooting range apply in the desert. Pick up your brass, wear ear and eye protection, etc. etc. If everyone who took a weapon to the desert had taken an NRA course beforehand, I would feel safe. But I have been down range of too many idiots to know that is the case. NJ

OK sport, here it is so that even you can understand it.
You come in here insulting some of us, & have no GT'g experience to relate. Take a train punk & don't come back.
You don't have a clue...,& you don't have a voice...so fuk off & hit the ol' dusty trail.

You made a bad first impression pal...
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Norman Johnson
05-18-2008, 06:41 PM
Nothing like friendly advise from the locals to make a person know when they are welcome. My apologies V. I'll stick to actual ghost town experiences and leave the jokes for others. Every day my wife tells me I'm not funny and should give up the on the humor business. The photo below was taken at Clair Camp in Pleasant Canyon in the Panamint Mountains. The mine is up on the ridge a 1/2 mile away and a thousand feet higher (7,500') and was accessed by a cable that ran to towers on the ridges. The mill and cable and towers and mine are all still there. Most of the buildings in the photo are from the 30's but the mine and cables and some of the mill equiptment are from in the late 1870's. NJ

raiders81
05-18-2008, 06:46 PM
Umm the Arizona desert is responsible for around 100 deaths a year. Mostly illegals, still I would qualify that as a "REAL" desert. Secondly this is still the wild west. Shootings still happen between border patrol and smugglers. I have personally been told, by local law enforcement near the border, that it is a good idea to carry protection. Sighting the illegals and smugglers in the area. We always take the coil wire off the car when we have to leave to ensure it will still be there when we get back. Any illegals would rather pack into my truck and drive that than walk more. Third I have had an encounter with a not so friendly bear before. If not for our dog things maybe very different for me.

Mr. Johnson, this site is filled with mostly kind hearted people. Some have some views I don't agree with but they state them in a humorus fashion in most cases. However your postings seem to have you pontificating from a perch down to us lowly Arizonans. You have very little to stand on when it comes to knowledge, and actual experience in our area. You have fu up there in Northern California and please comment on areas you have some knowledge of. Like your a$$, seems your head spends enough time in there.

brian10x
05-19-2008, 05:53 AM
Nothing like friendly advise from the locals to make a person know when they are welcome. My apologies V. I'll stick to actual ghost town experiences and leave the jokes for others. Every day my wife tells me I'm not funny and should give up the on the humor business. The photo below was taken at Clair Camp in Pleasant Canyon in the Panamint Mountains. The mine is up on the ridge a 1/2 mile away and a thousand feet higher (7,500') and was accessed by a cable that ran to towers on the ridges. The mill and cable and towers and mine are all still there. Most of the buildings in the photo are from the 30's but the mine and cables and some of the mill equiptment are from in the late 1870's. NJ

Beautiful Jeep! What year is the old girl?

Norman Johnson
05-19-2008, 09:27 AM
She's a '60 and clean in and out, with a Ford 300 inline 6, Holly 2 brl, D.U.I ignition, 3" lift, Deaver rear springs and Rancho fronts, good bucket seats, and everything else pretty much stock. I keep her packed and ready, but she is a noisy ride and doesn't like a long road trip. Off road you can't stop her or slow her down. The photo below is at the Minnietta Cabin on the Panamint Valley side of the Argus Mountains in CA. I believe the cabin is from around 1921, but this is near the Modoc Mine and the old Hearst claims from the late 1800's. On top off the mountain in the background are the remains of the ghost town of Lookout City.

brian10x
05-19-2008, 10:49 AM
I keep her packed and ready, but she is a noisy ride and doesn't like a long road trip. Off road you can't stop her or slow her down.

That seems to usually be the case. The better off-road, the worse on-road.

I used to run a modified Suzuki Samurai that would act like a little cockroach off-road, going darn near anywhere, but it was pure h e l l on the highway.

GaryB
05-19-2008, 11:20 AM
One thing to realize is Central-Northern California is nothing like Southern California. Nevada is the same way. Go any place that hasn't been invaded by out of stater's (places like Reno and Vegas) and it's a whole different world.
I feel a whole lot safer in Berkley, CA than I do in Imperial, CA. Then again people in hemp sandals and Volvo's rarely scare me much.

danbo
05-22-2008, 06:41 AM
Wow that’s so true. I worked as a ranch hand for four years in
the Eel River valley, south of Eureka in Humboldt Co. CA.

It was the most “gun toten”, “red neckin”, blissfully
conservative place I have ever lived. ( I miss it so! )

jtkeefe
05-22-2008, 09:02 PM
????????????

bad bob
05-22-2008, 10:24 PM
????????????



Elaborate please. I see Joel answered a couple of your questions. I doubt if anyone is purposely ignoring you, so please feel free to complain if you feel slighted. :)

Vulture
05-23-2008, 06:19 AM
Elaborate please. I see Joel answered a couple of your questions. I doubt if anyone is purposely ignoring you, so please feel free to complain if you feel slighted. :)

JTKeefe is referring to my dust up with Norman. I admit that at the time I didn't feel inclined to spring for a "Welcome to neighborhood" muffin basket. Maybe a nice bunt cake will make amends.
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Norman Johnson
05-23-2008, 08:42 AM
That's sweet.