Thursday, March 24, 2016

"Spring Break in Santa Fe" or "While I was Hiking in the Desert"

With the winter we have had in Colorado it seemed prudent to take advantage of Lynn's off time during her school's Spring Break. The destination, Santa Fe NM for a few nights.

Pikes Peak from my parking space at work
On the way down to Santa Fe we stopped an activated Capulin Volcano W5N/SG-009 (an easy drive up) and Wagon Mound W5N/EL-016 (an easy walk up). I am not a fan of Capulin due to the crowds but Wagon Mound was perfect with little wind and mild temps.

On day two Lynn and I met Fred, KT5X, John, K1JD and Alan, NM5S (or as I learned his call phonetically; New Mexico 5 Station). Love it! After breakfast, Lynn, Fred, John an I headed to W5N/SI-010, Palomas Peak and Alan headed to W5N/PW-032, Glorieta Mesa.

W5N/SI-010 was a neat hike with great scenery and even better company. This is were I learned there are three basic types of tales:

1. A fairy tale starts with "Once Upon a Time"
2. A war tale starts with "This is a No-Shiter"
3. A Mountain Goat tale starts with "While I was Hiking in the Desert"

We heard a lot of Mountain Goat tales that entertained and amazed!

Kind of says it all
Fred thought it would take us an hour to summit and he was dead on, to the minute. After we summited Lynn and I were able to work Alan, NM5S, on Glorieta Mesa using 2 meters afterwards, Lynn went to 20 meter SSB and I worked a few stations using Fred's setup on 20 meter CW.

Fred running the pileup

Fred stands up while activating holding his rig, log and paddles (pen attached on a tether) and while this looks hard to master it is surprisingly natural and I had no problem using his setup.

SOTA Master Fred, KT5X/WS0TA
John has a relaxed but efficient operating posture

John's well thought out MTR-5 Station

KC0YQF running the SSB Station

many different types of cacti in the area

These suckers will reach out and grab you

After we exhausted the chasers we packed and headed to our final summit, W5N/SI-001 or Sandia Crest. Fred parked about a half mile below the summit and we took the Sandia Crest Trail to what would be our operating location. While we were sweating and shedding layers on Palomas Peak we were adding everything we had for Sandia Crest on order to stay warm and stay protected from the 55 MPH wind gust.

This time, instead of bugging Fred to use his station, I decided to do a first, a SSB only activation! Lynn already had a crowd of chasers worked and I took advantage of her freq and had some fun on SSB. Thank you K6EL for not only spotting me but correcting the RBN spot for Fred.

K0JQZ trying to figure out how SSB works

Lynn and Fred on the Sadia Crest Trail

Lynn and I had an absolute grand time! Thank you John, Fred and Alan!