Nancy Jane Park

Submitted by k6vcr on Mon, 12/04/2023 - 22:25
Hunt Date
Hunt Story

As this was my first ever hide, I wanted to keep things simple and still keep things fun.

I scouted possible hides on a couple different trips over the last couple weeks and eventually settled on Nancy Jane County Park located in picturesque Crest, in the hills above El Cajon. I used an Ammo-can transmitter graciously loaned to me by Tom (VCR) (Thank you!) as a main, and placed it along the northern boundary of the park a few yards from the restroom next to a partially exposed boulder and attached a small four-element beam pointing directly at the start point as verified by Goggle maps and checked with a compass. 

With assistance from my son and grandson I hid two micro-transmitters within the boundaries of the park, one in a sub-surface sprinkler valve enclosure that had a loose fitting lid and the other between the lowest branches of a large pepper tree under a large pile of leaves that had accumulated. For the record, I placed no markings of any kind on the tree. Any tags present were most likely placed there by duly designated county officials with a serious and important job to do -- probably involving a significant number of taxpayer dollars -- and I am quite certain that tampering with such tags will result in swift and severe penalties.

After setting up, I drove around a few minutes to make sure things were working as expected and then made first contact with hunters staged at the designated starting point at about 1650, local military time. As the sun had not fully set and knowing the relative simplicity of this hunt when compared to some recent outings (Coronado comes to mind...), I was confident hunters would arrive on scene before dark, but ... sadly ... this was not to be the case!

Joe (SZO) and Greg (BAF) were first to appear, about 20 minutes into the hunt. (One of them mentioned something about noticing the main transmitting during my testing phase. I will defer to the group as to whether this can truly be counted as a 'Win!' but, personally, I choose to blame the designated hider for any 'head-starts' that may or may not have transpired.) By the time of their arrival, however, it was well and solidly DARK - in fact, while sitting on a chair perched upon the afore mentioned boulder I enjoyed very clear and very dark skies with many constellations clearly visible, and noted several satellites and one meteor overhead in the intervening time. (Did I mention dark? Because it was dark.) (Very dark.) They parked and began working on the micros - which were intentionally timed so that they overlapped slightly. However, I had restarted the main transmitter at the beginning of the hunt and unintentionally put it on top of the micros, which I know slowed things down for people. For this mistake I take full blame and offer a weak and half-hearted apology.

Next to arrive were Bill (ZM) and Joe (PHB), who had apparently decided to take a short detour through certain parts of El Cajon in an obvious attempt to obscure the fact that they too had been aware of the transmitter coming up on air at about 1600 during my testing phase. Or something. I lost track of time, but I think they arrived just about the time SZO and BAF had found their first hidden micro. 

Tom (VCR) with new-hunter Nikki (N6IKI - which is a pretty cool call sign!) arrived shortly thereafter. I am uncertain of their route, though, because I did not seem to be getting APRS updates from them. Their track basically stayed at Grossmont college until about the time ZM and PHB arrived, then suddenly and mysteriously shifted to the Greenfield exit off Interstate 8 and the next thing I new Tom was pulling his rig up onto the grass at Nancy Jane Park right in front of the main transmitter. From my perspective it was if they teleported there somehow. Ever the mentor, Tom allowed Nikki to use his sniffer and coached her through the process - just as he did for me a little over a year ago. Here, I do feel bad about my error with the main and the impact it may have had, and genuinely apologize.  But I am certain she got some good training and from all outward appearances she seemed to be having a good time!

Owing to a last-minute lack of navigation support and forced to work alone, Robert (SCD) was the final hunter to arrive on scene. Once he located the main transmitter, I secured it to simplify things for those still looking for Micros. Afterwards, we met at Finco Casa Blanca for decent food and pleasant conversation. I had the Shrimp Fajitas, and they were pretty good!

I want to thank Tom (VCR) again, for the use of his transmitter and for the training and guidance he has provided me thus far. And I also want to thank Joe (SZ0) for snapping some extra pictures, which I have included here. And I want to thank ALL of you for making this, my first hide, such great fun!  I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.


AJ6XP (Tim)


1st Place
2nd Place
3rd Place
4th Place