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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the wife and I have been spending a lot of time in the Santa Rita Mountains since we got Kermit a couple months ago. We do a lot of exploring and enjoy following any really horrible looking "roads" just because we frequently find interesting things in the areas where most people don't venture. This morning as we were heading up the main trail to explore a new place, the wife pointed out a rather nasty little off-shoot trail that climbed upward and looked to parallel the main trail. It was a pretty nasty climb over a lot of loose rock and up a staircase sort of thing. About a 1/2 mile up it came to an end right in front of an old mine shaft.

So while the wife started shooting some photos I took some time to enjoy my other retirement passion, FPV drone flying. Attached are a couple snippet "photos" from my drone video that show the mine entrance. It still has an active claim on it (as the signage warned us) but they also sealed it off with a bat-friendly gate to prevent people from getting stupid and dropping down into it. But it did look like the shaft went quite a ways down.

Just thought I'd share since we both found it to be pretty cool. But we're newbie's to Arizona so any of you longtime locals will probably find it boring or just funny that we thought it was cool. :geek:
 

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Just thought I'd share since we both found it to be pretty cool.
It amazes me the grit that the folks who did the prospecting and actual mining years ago. Risk takers who would often stake their future on weeks of backbreaking labor under conditions that would make people nowadays quit in 10 minutes. Knowing that they would more than likely come up empty. Being able to explore the remains of their endeavors is an amazing thing.
Below is an ore sample from what started as a "transit" tunnel in the late 1800s to save transportation costs to a nearby mill (and security against actual theft because the ore at the time was pretty high grade), it turned into a mine that is still working today. It isn't pyrite making that color.
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My area of AZ is loaded with old and active mines. Some of those are so damn deep, you’d have to a little tapped to go down there!!
 

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That's what's awesome about the west coast. I would love to see stuff like that. I watch a father /daughter team explore abandoned towns and mines in that area. Pretty cool
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah the exploring is the best part about riding around here. So many places to go. The link below is an FPV video shot back in January before we got Kermit. Wife and I took the 4Runner up into the hills and saw this cave up over a ravine from where we were. So I had to fly over and check it out. Forgive my lousy pilot skills. I've only been flying for a few months and piloting from the first person view is both awesome and difficult.

As much as I wanted to, I couldn't quite hover in place really close to the ground and mouth of the cave...I just don't trust my skills enough at this point and there was no way I was going to hike over that ground to retrieve a drone if I crashed. So I played it really safe. No idea how far back in the darkness the cave actually goes but I can say it's a pretty new cave because it isn't on Google Maps from 2014. Google Maps just shows a small depression in the ground. In the video you can see the area to the left of the cave along the tree-line where the ground pretty much collapsed. I suspect that's when the cave mouth opened up. So it can't be much more than 5 or 6 years old.

This particular day was what really tipped us hard to start down the path of getting a SxS. We kept running into really interesting looking places but couldn't get terribly close to them with the 4Runner because the off-shoot "roads" are more like trails with lots of rocks and as good as the 4Runner is, it's not going to the places we can go now.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sweet. What kinda drone you have? I have an Autel Evo.. awesome drone! I want the new version they came out with.

All my drones are First Person View quads. This particular one is a little 3" model with DJI V1 digital goggles so I get 1080P video. I've got a fleet of 6 quads, smallest a 2" model and largest a 5" freestyle. And then I have one larger LOS type of drone, somewhat like your Autel. But I rarely, if ever, fly LOS because I love FPV. Flying LOS I'd never get close to that cave from my takeoff point, it's just too hard to see even a big drone that far out. But flying FPV I can go over a mile from my takeoff point with ease. Some guys using long range gear are flying as much as 10 miles from takeoff.
 

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I see why you didn't want to get too close and low...LOL
Drones are pretty amazing tools.
 
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