Our 2006 May Hunt

Our May hunt was once again our contribution to National Foxhunting Weekend, on 21 May 2006, at the University of Washington campus.

See the participants page to match the names below with their faces.

This being May in Washington, the weather forecasts were all over the map. But the morning of the hunt proved to be perfect—enough sun to make a beautiful day, enough clouds to keep us from overheating as we tracked down those elusive foxes.

Our biggest concern, frankly, was parking. The University parking garage has free parking on weekends, but this weekend also featured the University Street Fair, just a block away. Fortunately, the street fair hadn't gotten going yet, so we had no problems.

We had a smaller turnout this year, and only two transmitters, but that turned out to be an advantage in some ways. We were able to run several rounds, with a number of people taking turns hiding, and newcomer Amar taking over much of the photography duties with his shiny new camera. This meant that even your humble webmasters were able to get in on the hunting fun.

It was interesting to see how devious people could be when hiding transmitters. One of the foxes was hidden in the light well of a public bulletin board. The board reflected the signal in such a way that the hunters got a strong heading as they approached it, but if they moved behind it at all, the signal would drop to nothing.

But perhaps the trickiest hunt was instigated by newcomer Gordon. He placed the transmitter in a vent at the bottom of a utility stairwell in the back of a building on the Quad. This one gave us fits; we never did find a good signal, being stymied by "ghost" reflections caused by the other transmitter on a nearby frequency.

So with heavy hearts, we finally gave up, and Gordon went to retrieve the transmitter…and discovered he'd forgotten to turn it on. (To be fair, the power switch on Art's transmitter was unmarked, a point which has since been corrected. Call it a field test of its user interface.)

And with that, we adjourned to Costas in Fremont for some excellent Greek food and much good-natured ribbing at Gordon's expense.

Art and Jamie