When I was prospecting out in the desert I used to be bad about doing something that everyone always tells you not to do. I just couldn't keep my nose (and the rest of me) out of any old mine that I found (must have been a left over from when Stanley and I prowled all the old coal mines down home). One of the main things I hunted for was the old mines anyway, not so much to go in them, I was looking for the tailings (the rock they had dug out). Them old timey guys were good, but they weren't great at finding all the gold. A lot of the old timers were out in the desert on foot with only a mule or donkey to haul stuff around. Even if they found a good gold vein they still had to get the gold somewhere so they could sell it which in Nevada meant either all the way to San Francisco or at least to Carson City, all on foot. Needless to say, they didn't waste there time except for the highest grade ore which meant they left the lower grade behind. Gold in them days was only worth $16.00 an ounce but by the time I came around prowling behind them it was closer to $800.00 an ounce so finding they left over's was well worth it!
I was a few miles outside Tonopah checking out some old mines on one trip. I enjoyed being in that country because I had found both gold and turquoise around some of the mines. However, it is the desert and I was out there around the first of August and it was HOT! It was still in the 90's at midnight which made sleeping a real pain. Even just throwing a blanket on the ground was still miserable. I had been out there for close to a week and was getting close to the point of calling it quits just because I was give out from lack of sleep when I found another old mine. The mines for all the other tailing piles I had been checking were caved in so this one was the first open mine I had seen on the trip. One thing about a mine, it's cool inside! When I got less than a hundred feet into that mine it felt like walking into an air-conditioned room and I decided right then that I was going to spend the night inside and get a good nights sleep. I felt pretty safe sleeping in this one because most of the first few hundred feet of it was solid rock and there was very little fallen stone. I only went back around 50 feet or so, just enough to find the cool spot, flopped down on my blanket and was asleep pretty well before my head hit the ground.
PS - Since this guy scared me half to death I should finish the rest of the story:
As soon as I was able to quit shaking and made sure I didn't need to change pants I followed him out of the mine. In case you can't figure out what happened I'll give you a hint. Snake roasted over a campfire is one of my favorite meals and there is a friend of mine that is really impressed by having a snake skin belt....