Monday, May 26, 2014

SOTA Activation of Devils Head fire tower (W0C/FR-051) 26 May 2014

This was kind of a last minute activation. If I had thought about it we would have also done a 2 pointer near this one as well but I was not confident in my ability to get there without instructions so we just did Devils Head.
Lynn at TH sign

Great day temp wise and not a lot of wind. There was the threat of an evening thunderstorm but such is life in the Rockies during the spring time.

We used an Elecraft KX3 along with a Buddipole Vertical. I set up the vertical in the backyard last night and made sure the taps were in the right spots, they were.

There were a few cars at the TH, maybe 10 or so. However, there is overnight camping in that area so I thought some of them could belong to tent campers. As we headed up we saw very few people, stopping to talk to one young couple about the gopro that was on my walking stick and some other hikes in the area. We made our way up and it was a rare event to be the only people in the fire tower, besides Bill but he works there.

Halfway point

Lynn enjoying the views

I talked to Bill about setting up an antenna and he mentioned another rock formation (that we actually passed). He told us how to summit and we were off, but not before Lynn picked up a few free goodies from Bill for her kids at school.

There were a few kids about but they left and one other couple that summited that rock with us. A few other guys came over to chat about what we were doing and that was it. Glancing at the fire tower from time to time I notice how packed it was. I was grateful we were not operating from there but did have a direct view over to it. There is a rule that not more than five people at a time on the tower. Maybe they gave up today.

I was surprised at the amount of people we passes on the way down and I should have taken a video of that but my knee was giving me problems so I was thinking about trying not to put too much weight on it. Near the TH we passed a few people that were smoking on the way up. I used to smoke but I was kind of disgusted that people would do that on a trail in the National Forest with all the fires we have had in the last few years. I do not want to sound negative but it did surprise me a bit.

It was difficult to get out of the parking area. Difficult if you had a normal size car. We got in and were out of the parking lot in a flash. I love the two door Jeep for just this reason. There were cars parked from the TH all the way to he gate that closes off that road in the winter. I would guess about 1.5 miles away.

Other than that it was a perfect activation. Considering the amount of people I could not have asked for a better spot to setup and operate. Thanks Bill for the tip!

I forgot to turn the audio recorder on so I do not have any audio of the activation. Sorry about that. I had to loop some iMovie music through the 14 minutes of play time.


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