paying it forward with ammo brass

I’ve been picking up spent brass (in addition to other litter) when I camp. Partly to clean the place up, and also with the possibility of recycling the brass for a few retirement bucks. I have (or had) a couple pounds in a heavy duty gallon ziplock.

yesterday’s misadventure

I am halfway up between the tall peaks to the north and valley floor to the south (the part of Reno I can see).

camping spot below

(oops, looks like wordpress doesn’t see the new imageserver DNS records yet… we’ll see if the pics show up later)

Halfway up from here to the peaks there appeared to be some RV roofs. I could just pick them out with binos. So yesterday morning Muffin and I set out to see what it was.

It’s a pretty good slog up the trail and I needed the walking staff a few times to keep from slipping. We reached the spot and it appears to be a junkyard:


There was a makeshift gate across the trail and it’s common for there to be areas of private land intermixed in public lands. I skirted the edge of it just in case and aimed toward the main gravel road I knew was somewhere down the hill to the west.

There was a bulldozed path leading down and we started down. Again, steep enough the staff was useful. 2/3rds the way down I could see the backside of a sign (hopefully not NO TRESPASSING) and a small concrete structure:

well? pump station?

Followed the path to the structure and saw the sign said NO HUNTING, which doesn’t really clear up the ownership issue. The structure wasn’t a cistern, but did hold some power components and a pipe for gas or water or something:

the little concrete structure

We made it down to the road where another makeshift gate had padlocks on it. We ducked under the pole and back onto the road. The walk down was less steep but longer, as roads tend to be. There was a little bit of water in the ditch in a couple places which was surprising. Muffin jumped in and slurped it up; we were hot and tired from the walk.

Made it back to the van and realized I had lost my keys on the hike. Here’s the scenario:

  1. locked out of the van, keys lost
  2. only water is in the dog’s bowl
  3. we are already whipped from the slog up/downhill
  4. phone is charged in case I need to call a locksmith

We did the hike again, looking for the keys. No go. This was not a great situation. The dog was tired and starting to look for places to lie down on the last circuit, so I didn’t want to take her on another round.

I took a drink from the dog bowl and resolved to do the hike in the opposite direction in case I could spot them that way. At that point I saw a quad coming off the hill. I flagged him down and made the “using invisible keys” hand gesture. He handed me my keys.

He said he found them on the road, so my guess is he found them between my first circuit when I lost them and second circuit when I could not locate them. It’s also possible I just didn’t see them, but the dirt is light in color and the keyfob is sizeable and black.

At any rate, I was grateful.

today’s PIF

I was migrating stuff across servers this morning and noticed a guy in an old truck meandering around looking at the ground. I figured he was hunting brass to recycle and offered him mine. I hadn’t found a place to recycle them yet, they were taking up valuable space in the van, and I figured it was my turn to help somebody out. He was grateful. Worked out nicely.