We went BIG with video in 2017. Out of the 83 original videos that we made over the past year, these are the Top 12 of 2017.
12. This was the second Bunks & Burros event that I organized for the Wild Burro Rescue and Preservation Project in Olancha, CA in 2017. Volunteers fed and watered all of the 200+ animals during their weekend long stay. They also cleared rocks out of Billy (burro) and Chicalene’s (mustang) corrals, enjoyed an incredible sunrise climb overlooking Owens Valley, and did some bone collecting during Sunday’s infamous Death Hike to the ruins of a former pack station and secret waterfall.
11. If you’ve ever visited Borrego Springs, you’ve probably seen the large metal sculptures created by artist Ricardo Breceda. His studio is located in Aguanga, CA off Highway 79 (near Temecula) and includes hundreds of his sculptures, most of which are available for sale. It was raining on the day that I visited and the overcast, cloudy skies really brought his sculptures to life.
10. This abandoned industrial ghost sits at an elevation of 1487 feet with beautiful views of the eastern Sierra Nevada and I had it all to myself.
9. Exploring the flumes, channels and hand dug tunnels of a 13 mile-long aqueduct built between 1907-1909.
8. Amber was brought to the Rescue after spending most of her life on a PMU farm (Pregnant Mare’s Urine), where pregnant horses are harvested for their urine in order to make hormone replacement drugs to treat menopausal symptoms in women. This is a PSA I made for the Wild Burro Rescue and Preservation Project to help bring attention to Amber and all the other animals living at the sanctuary.
7. Sitting at an elevation of 8000 feet in the eastern Sierra Nevada, this ghost mine operated from 1909 to 1938. Poor management and litigation eventually doomed the mine but numerous buildings still stand today.
6. The first time I went aerobatic flying was in a P-51 racing plane that my grandfather helped build back in the eighties. Unfortunately, I wasn’t buckled in properly and as soon as the pilot began his first loop, I realized I was flying without any type of restraint holding me into the plane. For the next 25 minutes, I was paralyzed with fear and gripped the bottom of my seat so hard that I could no longer feel my hands by the end of the flight. When I signed up for my first aerobatic glider ride back in 2014, part of the reason why I wanted to do it was to conquer my fear from that previous experience. Incredibly, I had absolutely no fear and enjoyed it so much that I knew someday I would be back to do it again. If you ever wondered what it’s like to be towed up into the sky in a plane without an engine while a three time member of the US Soaring team performs every aerobatic trick in the book, look no further.
5. The Arroyo Tapiado (translation: mud wall wash) is an area of the Anza-Borrego Desert which is home to the world’s largest collection of mud caves. Located in the Carrizo Badlands within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, there are 22 known caves and 9 slot canyons to explore. The caves are estimated to be over five million years old and were created by flowing silt from an ancient lake bed eroded by wind and rain.
4. With its 17 tunnels and 14 major trestles, this long-abandoned railroad through Carrizo Gorge in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park includes one of the highest woodpile trestle bridges in the world. Construction was eventually finished in 1919 but fires, floods and other disasters over the years have made the route inoperable.
3. During our first Bunks & Burros event at the Wild Burro Rescue and Preservation Project, we focused our attention on helping out the most vulnerable animals living at the sanctuary, the senior burros. It was an incredible weekend and I think this video really captures how much the burros appreciated what we did for them.
2. This annual 3-day event allows explorers of all skill levels access to miles of underground mines that were once some of the most profitable in the Death Valley region. This was my second year and I can’t wait to return in 2018.
1. Underground 2017 included more people, more crappers and even more surprises than last years event. My camp included friends from SoCalX, Abandoned Mine Explorers and Explorers of the Mojave Desert. During our two days of exploration, we spent a total of 13 hours exploring the mines, the majority of those underground.