Participants: Patrick McCurdy, Tom Mahood
General search area: Park Blvd. to the area between Quail Mountain and Smith Water Canyon
Rationale for searching this area:
By this point we had excluded a great number of possible locations Bill could be. We had an implicit understanding that Bill must be somewhere we, or the initial searchers, hadn’t yet looked. It was becoming clear to us the remaining large unsearched area was that expanse between Quail Mountain and Smith Water Canyon. We had already explored the portions closer to Smith Water Canyon itself, but there were many hundreds of acres in between where no one had ever gone and there were areas of Serin Drive cell tower coverage splattered across them.
Impressions of area and findings:
There were two likely reasons area hadn’t been searched. First, at first glance it doesn’t seem like a probable spot Bill could have got himself to. However by this point, we had already searched all the probable spots, and all that was left were the fairly crazy locations. This was one of them. Secondly, this is a remote area with no easy way of getting in or out. It is exceedingly difficult to get in and search. Not that that was going to stop us. We had survived Smith Water!
The route we chose to get us there was along, difficult climb. Once we were in the general area, it wasn’t so bad. But it was obvious we were only sampling a small area of what there was. We were tending to travel east-west, generally along the canyons and ridgelines. If Bill were in fact heading toward Smith Water Canyon, he would have had to cross these canyons laterally, and could have ended up in any of them. My overall impression was that there was so much more area to search.
Poor, overall. Well, maybe not poor, just incomplete. Along our travel lines (and we had split up) our coverage was good out to several hundred feet. But the undulating terrain prevented us from seeing beyond that. Still, we covered a large swath of country that had never been looked at.
We called this, “The Epic”, as it was the most difficult we had done in many ways. I really had the sense we were going to come across Bill on this one.
GPS mileage submitted for this trip: 19.7 miles
Cumulative GPS mileage submitted to date: 465.7 miles
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