I am an active-duty Navy chief and an avid outdoor enthusiast. On my off time, I enjoy riding my mountain bike through Southern California's beautiful natural parks. Most rides are around 50 miles or so, and I usually ride with a friend, but this time I decided to ride by myself through Joshua Tree National Park one July day. Big mistake.
I planned a 57-mile loop around the park that would showcase most of the popular tourist attractions. I checked in at the ranger’s desk to verify current parks conditions and was told that there was a small chance of thunder-storms throughout the day but no other alerts in place, so I set out on my ride. Later in the afternoon, I noticed that the sky was getting darker and the wind was kicking up, so I decided to head back. But I was still over 30 miles away, so I decided to take a shortcut to make up some time. Big mistake number two.
According to my GPS, my shortcut would take me through 13 miles of very rugged terrain, but I really wanted to get back quick. About five miles into the ride, the rain started and I got caught in a downpour. I crested the summit of a hill, and as I made my decent down the back side of the hill, I got caught in a mudslide, which pushed me off of the trail and crashed me down the hill about 10 meters. I had cuts, scrapes, and a sprained ankle, and my wheel rims were both bent, with several broken spokes. On top of that, my cell phone and GPS both now had water damage. It was now after 5 p.m., and I had at least two more hours to go.
After walking for 2 hours, I was no closer to the visitor’s station and it was now completely dark. So I reached into my pack, grabbed my SureFire UNR Commander®, and kept pushing on. The UNR’s 800 lumens were so bright that I could see everything. This was vital to keeping me sane and put my mind at ease about the possibility of an animal attack. After 3 more hours of walking, my Commander was still going strong. About 11 p.m., I finally made it to a service road, where I was picked up by a park ranger. Man, was I happy to see him! He told me that he’d seen my light from over four miles away and was on his way over to see what it was.
Thanks for putting out such a great product! It could’ve been a much longer night without my UNR.
See the UNR Commander flashlight: