Well, better late then never… Right??
The Tx was set up adjacent to a railway bridge – on one pylon, while the fox sat on the other. The fox and Tx were both below the level of the train, and both fox members had an excellent view of the sunset as we waited for the first team to show up. It took a while, but eventually TXO pulled up with teh screech of gravel, on the wrong side of the creek. They spotted the fox straight away and got across without even getting their feet wet. MZ joined the fox shortly afterwards and Roger crossed the creek and found the Tx without incident. FOX approached from the same side as the fox had driven in, but Greg opted to send Kristian out for exercise so he ran in to find us. It wouldn’t be the last time he’d be out hiking tonight…
The Tx was set high up on a hill, near a transmission tower. Too near. After complaints from the previous leg that the signal couldn’t be heard, the fox made rapid adjustments and put the beam in a tree, instead. First in was Kristian. On foot. (Do we see a theme?) His car arrived shortly after. Ryordan from TXO powered in shortly after and then MZ; a line of torches spread evenly across the hillside. They all found it within a short time of each other.
The fox made his way to a small reserve. As he skulked his way through the bushes, he thought ‘Gee, I look suspicious.’ And the dog he’d brought along for cover didn’t really help much. And indeed, neighbours accosted him soon after to ask what he was doing. With neighbours pacified and Tx finally placed, wedged in a tree not too far in with beam pointing west, the fox settled down to wait amongst razor grass and mosquitoes. Teams needed directions to get on the fox’s scent, but then MZ and FOX arrived very close together and TXO a few minutes later.
The fox had quite a long drive from the first leg but despite that, they had a long wait. After driving up a very overgrown, dry and rutty bush-track, the fox negotiated at 137-point-turn (but who’s counting? Anyway, the gender of the fox makes the fact that any 4WD happened at all worthy of general praise), plonked the fox up on a gate with the beam pointing west and settled down. There was lots of fox activities – car engines on the road, stopping, reversing, u-turning; and then disappearing. Torch light from adjacent hills. Many complaints on the radio. The fox calmly advised all teams that it was possible to drive in. Despite that, no-one seemed convinced. After what seemed like centuries, Kristian for the FOX team continued his exercise routine, strolled up to bid the fox goodnight, and then strolled back out the other direction. About ten minutes later, TXO finally deigned to join the FOX team and drove up with many complaints about the use of a beam. The fox nodded sympathetically. They didn’t snigger at all. Well, not much. MZ drove in not long afterwards. Cue much synchronised u-turning, and everyone finally got back out onto the road and gathered for the supper hunt.
Hunt 5 (supper hunt):
Plan A was aborted (after the discontent of hounds following Hunt 4, we decided the poor little mites really couldn’t handle what the fox had planned for Hunt 5; but don’t worry, boys – maybe next time!) and Plan B began a mobile hunt towards supper in Monbulk. Driving 10-20kph below the speed limit, the fox expected to be caught quickly, but as Monbulk approached, they realised they’d better go to ground instead. Frantic searching of Google Maps revealed a small park off David Hill Road. TXO was first and found it quickly. MZ conducted a thorough inspection of the fox’s tail shaft and undercarriage. They found the Tx eventually. And declared the vehicle roadworthy at the same time. The fox would like to thank them for their free service. FOX came shortly afterwards and found it without any trouble.
Everyone then adjourned for supper (MZ with a flat tyre which was reinflated with some good ol’ Monbulk air).
And the results are:
Well done, TXO and FOX! Equal first.