Friday, Sept. 25, 2015

Early Friday morning, Mike and Maxine headed up to Black Mountain, on the east side of Hwy 101, near San Luis Obispo.  And Bill headed back to Cuesta Ridge, just west of Hwy 101.  The two teams believed that Journey was still north of Cuesta, but there was really no way of knowing once the bird flew into the Coastal Range.  It may have settled down immediately, or it may have continued skimming through valleys.

Meanwhile, back in the Bay Area, Ken and Libby were heading out before dawn to rendezvous with Journey and the other two teams.

Bingo.....Mike and Maxine, on Black Mountain picked up Journey's bearing still to the north of Cuesta Ridge, just as planned.  A while later, they picked up a second bearing, still north of Cuesta.  Then silence.  Bill on Cuesta was in perfect position to hear Journey fly by....... but that was not to happen.  After both teams suffered through silence for more than an hour, they decided that surely Journey must have slipped by, so M & M were off to Figueroa Mt. and Bill planned to drive down from Cuesta Ridge,  head south, and go to a highpoint, when someone has picked up the signal.

Since the teams no longer had the signal on Journey, Libby an Ken decided to head to Mt. Pinos, an uber highpoint which should pick up Journey as he flies south through Santa Barbara or up through the mountains.  At least that was the plan.  Libby and Ken picked up keys to the locked mountain access and remained all day.... with only three, brief, very faint beeps, which Libby was not sure were really Journey or simply extraneous noise.

Meanwhile, back on Figueroa Peak, M & M picked up Journey's signal, stll to the north and recorded multiple bearings. Journey decided to tease the team by first being to the north, then the SE, then back to the N, etc.  Obviously Journey was close.  But time passed, and it was almost 6 PM and Journey was still moving around.  Will he ever settle down?  Will the team come down off the mountain, or become a permanent fixture.  As it turned out, it was after 10 PM when the team was able to get into a motel.  What a long day this had been!  But at least they were a team who knew they had the signal.

Oh, and Bill?  What happened to Bill?  Well, thinking that surely Journey would pick up speed, Bill was sent to Mt. Wilson (north of LA), and never heard a beep.  So, neither the sure thing on Cuesta, or the possible.... became reality.  Bill was truly a solo team.  Not even Journey would join him or tease him with a single beep...beep...beep.

But, at least we knew where Journey had spent the evening, and could plan for tomorrow, Saturday, September 26.

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