Date: November 17, 2014
Participant: Tom Mahood
General search area: Westerly fringes of the Upper Covington Flat area, where it descends into the badlands madness.
Rationale for searching this area:
Filling in remaining areas westerly of Upper Covington Flat near the 10.6 mile Serin cell tower radius.
Impressions of area and findings:
This is just incredibly nasty terrain. At the risk of over-anthropomorphizing the situation I’m inclined to call the terrain malevolent. I had the constant sense the ground was just waiting for me to make the slightest mistake in movement and then react by letting loose. And this is not an area where one wants to be “let loose”. OTOH, I may just be whining like a little girl.
It’s been my impression going in that this was an unlikely area for Bill to have ended up in. Despite those misgivings I wouldn’t have been comfortable not having done at least a good faith search of the area. It was an area that needed to be crossed off.
With the whining out of the way, coverage was good. I spent some time scanning facing slopes with binoculars and was able to see most obvious areas. In particular I spent time going over the area above where I found the faded store receipt on JT68.
I’m relieved to have closed out (in my mind) this area without any incident and am looking forward to not going back. The eroded westerly slopes of the Upper Covington Flat plateau are unstable areas of madness and treachery. Many times I found myself longing to be in Smith Water Canyon instead!
From my perspective there are only a very few places remaining to have a look for Bill. They are either small holes in ground coverage in the Smith Water Canyon vicinity or unsearched areas beyond the 10.6 mile cell tower radius that receive some of the Serin tower’s signal. In any case in the absence of any unexpected inspiration I see only a handful of future searches remaining for me before I close out my active participation in this. I am dead flat out of reasonable ideas. I’m starting to think aliens….
There is something called “The Streetlight Effect”. I’ve tried to be pretty conscientious about looking where I think the keys actually are rather than under the street light. But I think I want to spend some time hanging around under the street light where it might be at least a bit more fun.
GPS Mileage for this trip: 4.4 (dog) miles.
Cumulative GPS mileage to date: 828.6 miles