March All Night Hunt by Don & Steve
Or the hunt that we just couldnít find a T until going past it hunt
Well the day started off okay, we had a large turnout (about 7 teams), including Jippy. After getting into some lively conversations with other hunters, we waited for some sign of a signal from Dave IDF. 10:00am, nothing, 10:15am nothing, 10:30am nothing, 10:45am nothing. At this point Bob, ZHZ and Cathy said they where going to go up to Cajon pass to see if they could hear anything from there. There had been several tries at the cell phone & comm. Freqs. that had been pre-arranged, nothing. So at about 10:50am we left to go up to my home and pick up Steveís car and drop it off at his house, then go to Cajon pass too. As we transitioned to the 91 freeway, we got a call from Mike SNE that he had been in contact with Dave via cell phone. He had had some kind of failure, and was going to give us a bearing to go on. The bearing that he gave was 187 degrees. He told us that either the 5 freeway or Cajon pass would be okay to hear the signal from. As we drove east on the freeway, we tried to plot that bearing on the map, it didnít make sense! If a bearing is plotted from the start point at 187 degrees, it never touches land! So we got on the radio and pass this bit of information to Mike. Mike got back on the phone with Dave, and found out that that was Daveís bearing to us! Oh! That makes a bit more sense. Well by this time we where close to the 710 freeway interchange, so up we went north to the 5 freeway (about 20 miles extra). Somewhere along the way, we lost my pre-amp again (it still was working after my transmission to Mike). So we heard nothing of a signal until getting off at the overlook just south of Palmdale on the 14 freeway. The signal was weak but copyable. WE got a bearing of 12 degrees. The original bearing was 7 degrees from Dave IDF, so it wasnít too far off. The bearing of Daveís put the source all the way up into the northern portions of Death Valley; we had hoped that it wasnít that far out. We picked up gas in Mojave, expecting a long journey ahead of us. The bearing kept coming off the left side of our trek, but we kept going up the 14 till we got to the 178 that goes to Lake Isabella. At this point the bearing seemed to be coming from Owensís peak, where the bearing line crossed. We had a choice, I wanted to go forward until I could get a clear shot to the north, and I knew that at the 395 & 14 I should be able to get into that position. Well as we came close to that place, we now heard a voice T explaining that we only had 400 miles to go! So we got off the highway and went up Short Canyon as far as it goes, and then a short hike found us at a sign in sheet, but never saw a T! I had hoped to get pictures of the Tís but this was one that I had to pass up. Dave you did a good job of hiding that one! We where the first to sign in. On the way out we met several other hunters on their way up to the T. We swapped a few lies and went back to hwy 14 and re-confirmed our bearing to Owensís Peak. So we went back to 178 and went all the way to the road that goes to Long Valley area. On the way we heard a T that was mocking our dilemma at the start, we vowed to shut up that T when we found it! Up the road we went Steve Naviguessing and telling me to keep going, even though I told him I think we just passed it! Well after getting up to the top of the road, Steve agreed, it was back down the hill. So we decided that we would keep going for the main T. We had decided earlier that we couldnít win this hunt, because as it stood now, we will not be hunting all-day hunts for 5 months! We didnít want to add another one. It sounded like two Tís where off on a side road that takes you to a camping area, that we though that maybe thatís where Dave was staying. After driving by this one, I told Steve that I needed him to stay awake as we hunted for the rest of the Tís. We found the T down the side of the slope, it looked big enough to have gotten a signal back to the start, donít know why it didnít. We where the first to sign in here also, this is bad, we have no idea what the other hunters are doing. The last we heard was they where all planning going north, so even with the extra miles, we might be in the running. We could hear two more Tís ďBarking DogĒ & T2. We decided to go towards the campground and circle around back to Nine Mile Canyon road. Well about 5.3 miles in the campground is there but no signals, and a sign saying the road is washed out 6.6 miles ahead. So back we go to the main road. At this time we decide to just go get the annoying T and call it a day. On the way back we meet up with Steve XFC & Mike SNE, and swap lies. Mike is going in our direction and Steve is trying to find T1. We follow Mike to T annoying and sign in for him. AIN has signed in before we get there. So in the end we found 3 Tís had fun and made it home by 10:00pm, not a bad day for a T-Hunt.
Don & Steve KF6GQ