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Clarks Mud Pit, Oregon

K7EEX's picture
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

When the plans for the weekend fell through, the sherpas jumped into action and planned something to do before telling me. Fearing that a free weekend would lead to a trudge up some hill hauling a heap of radio gear they seized on the moment to make a unified plan and then make a joint announcement. But they are compassionate souls - as they planned their day of geocaching and photography, they sought to placate the old man by finding a location with a nearby, albeit more mild, summit. And thus the great scheme was launched.

Clarks Mountain is a one point peak that rises just a smidge over 1200’ above the rocky shores of the Pacific outside Seaside, Oregon. Etienne’s report from 2012 painted a grim picture of a cold, muddy, darkly forested summit. He sent an email shortly after I posted the activation alert all but asking me if I really wanted to do this. Of course we did! But his warnings were heeded. No hiking boots were coming on this trip. They were replaced by knee high rubber boots and we outfitted ourselves with layers of waterproof gear.

Indeed, the two-mile hike up the Tillamook Head Trail from the parking area just south of Seaside was one of the muddiest trails we’ve ever been on. But we cinched up the jackets and ambled our way through the soaking rain. There’s a reason it is so lush and green here. As usual, the forest was alive with the sound of the talkative porters who chattered happily as they logged a number of geocaches and took photos of swirling fog, twisted trees, and enormous slugs. Soon enough we made it to the not-so-obvious summit area. While I stood up the antenna, the sherpas went to work on setting up a dry spot to hang out by the side of a huge overturned stump. They conspired to keep warm by chowing down on leftover Halloween candy while the radio portion went down.

I prayed as I typed in the self-spot on the SOTA Goat app. Please, please, please send. It connected immediately and within seconds of my first CQ I had a contact on 20m. I quickly reeled in another 10 contacts and when the pileup evaporated, I said 73 to all the chasers and shut it all down. We scrambled to throw all the wet and muddy gear into our bags and as quickly as we had setup, we were packed and headed back down the trail.

Yeah, Etienne is spot-on in calling this one Clarks Mud Pit. But getting really dirty and wet makes the food at Camp 18 all that much tastier.

The View
Might Big Slugs
The Trail
The View 2