I was looking at hiding at Santa Rosa Mountain which had not been an ending point for quite some time. Then I had an idea to use Santa Rosa to hide the direct signal and use a bounce off of the Big Bear mountains. Using my DeLorme mapping software and Google maps I worked at a strategy. On the north slope of Santa Rosa I found a forest road that at one time went up to the peak. Going up far enough would get the signal over a ridge on the east side of San Jacinto Mountain and reach the San Gorgonio mountains. This would draw the hunters into Palm Springs instead of taking the direct route of Hwy 74 through Hemet. Another strategy was to draw the hunters to the forestry road off Hwy 38 (south of Onyx Peak) that overlooks the Banning and Palm Springs areas. I was going to hide here last month but it was 105 degrees at the hide area and 115 in Palm Springs so I hid near the beach instead. This month it was 90 up top and 100 in Palm Springs.
As with most
my hides there is always a complication. Driving up the
road to hide T1 I found out that Google maps doesn’t
always tell the whole story. The road was not in as good
of condition as I had hoped. I could not get up to the
height I needed before the road gave out. I hid the main
T and hoped. It was running 35W into a 15 element beam
pointed toward San Jacinto/San Gorgonio. As it turned
out, it could be heard at the Pathfinder starting point
but only when a plane was flying in the path that caused
a flutter bounce. This actually gave the hunters a
direct reading to T1 but in-route the signal came from
the bounce as planned.
three teams. Two followed the bounce and the third fell
for the San Gorgonio trick ending up off Hwy 38 with a
great view. None came by the direct route as was
planned. Except for the poor signal at the starting
point the hunt went well. Once in the area there were 5
more Ts to find.
One last complication, as I was picking up the last T (T7) it had just gotten dark. I couldn’t remember which bush I hid it behind, so I ended up sniffing out my own T.
The results: Team N6AIN/N6EKS T1 T7 T3 T4 T5 Time 1:41 2:22 3:04 3:30 3:50 Miles 120 124 132 137 140 N6MI/ AB6PA T10 T1 T7 T3 T4 T5 Winner ! Time 3:30 4:44 5:35 6:17 6:52 7:04 Miles 139 149 154 161 167 169 KF6GQ/KD6LAJ T-Wonderful view Time Afternoon DNF