Participants: Tom Mahood
General search area: Southerly from Black Rock Ranger Station on California Riding and Hiking Trail
Rationale for searching this area: Complete clearing of the CRH Trail route that had begun with the previous search, JT21
Impressions of area and findings:
Similar terrain to the more southerly segment of trail. Also checked out the area between the trail and residential homes to the north, just outside the park boundaries. A distressed individual travelling to Black Rock ranger station via this route would likely see the homes and be tempted to detour to them. Revisited the site the personal effects were found on the prior search, more on that below.
Coverage level: Essentially 100%. It appears the area between that CRH Trail and the residential area to the north receives a lot of use by locals. Had Bill been in that area, he would have been discovered in time.
It had now been four weeks since I had notified JTNP of our findings near the CRH trail. As I was clearing the rest of the route, this time from Black Rock ranger station southerly, I thought I’d continue on to where we found the effects to see how well things had been cleaned up.
I must say I was more than a little surprised to approach the site and still see the blue of the sleeping bag in the distance. And I was absolutely stunned looking around and realizing not a thing had been disturbed since I had been there four weeks earlier. Everything was exactly as we had left it! It was just over three stinkin’ miles, on a good trail, from the Black Rock Ranger Station, and no one had bothered to even wander out and have a look.
It was at this moment I realized the full nature of the incompetent, bureaucratic beast I had been tangling with. It’s difficult to fairly ascribe motives to others, and I won’t attempt to do so here. I’ll let the readers come to their own conclusions. And if you think I’m being unduly harsh,….well there would be more revelations to come later. But for now I was pretty damn furious. At that point I made the decision to cease sharing the GPS search tracks we had been constantly providing to them. JTNP wasn’t a partner in this effort to find Bill, they were a hindrance.
GPS mileage submitted for this trip: 7.6 miles
Cumulative GPS mileage submitted to date: 322.5 miles
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