Monday, Sept. 28, 2015 continued

Mike's Last Day of Journey

I simply can not convey nor condense everything that Mike accomplished on this last day with Journey.  I don't want to change Mike's words, so I will try to post some snippets to give you a sense of Mike's last day with a mission.

The story begins back on Double Peak on Monday morning.  "This is called Chase Syndrome-- the anxiety that something up ahead is getting away from you -- and the only antidote is to have a nice, calm experienced Day Leader there to tell you either to sit tight or to take off while she sits tight and monitors the scene.  So anyway, you know which way I twitched."

Mike then "drove up Sunrise Highway into the piney-woods community of Mount Laguna -- and found the High Point turnoff, perfectly described in the directions........  Then, at .3 mi. from the highway, as I approached a locked gate up a rise, my omni started beeping.  I coasted backwards to the off-pavement parking area, disconnected stuff, grabbed stuff, connected stuff, and charged up toward the gate.  I pulled on the padlock -- no luck -- and squeezed through, levelling my yagi in the same direction I'd been hearing the signal as I moved, and in the dip between roadway and scrub to the left I found my peak.  And then it went quiet."

Trying to access another high point in order to pick up Journey's signal, Mike heads towards Monument Peak.  Blocked by locked gates, he continues, "Yagi in the right hand now.  I'm determined to take the bull by the horns, but where ARE the horns?  Back to the gate.  Holy Toledo, there's a Forest Service truck at the bottom of the dirt lot, 75 yards away.  I holler 'Wait up?', but he doesn't hear me.  I scream at the nonplussed elderly couple just out of their car on the left, 'Tell him to wait?'  They do, and he seems to notice.  He walks away from us,.....then gets ready to slip behind the wheel.  At this point The Syndrome kicks in.  Without thinking, I'm at a dead run, full tilt down the hill toward him, waving the yagi from side to side high over my head, hollering 'Wait! Wait!Wait!   Well, he waited.  He was very nice, deferential, and informative.  His name was Chuck."

So Chuck gave Mike a couple of leads, and Mike continued his quest.  Through fences and escorted back out, heading higher and higher in the quest for the golden signal. Then Mike meets Troy who is Captain at a Fire Station/Cleveland National Forest/ USDA.  Mike lays out his mission and Troy offers to have one of his men go up and unlock a gate for him, plus gives him a padlock so that he can unlock the gate on his way out.  And Mike succeeds on getting up to Monument Peak.  Success to the Mountain, not to Journey.

"So, here's out best shot, Telemetry.  What's out there?  Hmm.  We know exactly who's out there, but we can't find him.  He's not reporting in.  And that's the way it is, says Walter Cronkite in my mind's ear.  I stay for two quarter-hour readings, then regretfully toodle back down, lock up, revisit Troy at Camp Ole to thank him and convey the 'Mission accomplished but without success' news, and call it a day."

"How I wish Bill could have stuck it out, and how I wish Phil and he and Libby and everybody were down here at the bottom of the state to experience this surge of fulfillment, kind of, at giving it your best shot and covering a lot of ground and coming back with a certain amount of data and a whole lot of percolating, hard-to-define satisfaction.  Joy even, maybe."

"Journey made good time on his final US day -- we have proof of that -- and we can surely be confident that he was over the border before 2 PM.  Good enough."

Posted by Lynn Jesus, Season Coordinator, GGRO Radio-telmetry Program
from Mike's Notes from Sept. 28, 2015

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