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Green Mountain, Oregon

K7EEX's picture
Summit: 
W70/NC-036
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Cellular Provider: 
AT&T
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

I read up on K7ATN's activation from 2015 and spent a fair amount of time looking at the maps.  It seemed like there was an easier way to the summit than the highly rutted road that he had taken.  Sure enough, there are good roads all the way to the bottom of the approach.

Head out Highway 26 to about milepost 46 and turn north on Fisher Road towards Buxton. Pass through Buxton and take Bacona Road out of town about six miles until you come to Buxton Lookout Road that turns off to the right.  Follow Buxton Lookout Road upwards until it reaches the closed yellow gate.  There is room for a single car to park off the side here with another spot a hundred yards or so lower down on the road if this is occupied.  This still leaves a .75 mile hike up a nice, albeit steep gravel road to the summit and the communication towers.

I was determined to get a number of contacts and I lugged a ton of equipment up the hill to help ensure that things would go my way.  I setup the Buddistick on a nice flat stump and configured it for 20m with the counterpoise pointed directly east.  Wow.  The reception was amazing.  No QRN at all.  Strong signals poured in across the band.  In fact, it was difficult to find a quiet frequency in which to start calling CQ.

I found a quiet slot, listened for a bit, then posted a self spot.  I called out a nice long CQ and was immediately innundated with a pileup.  I've never been on this side of a pileup and was somewhat overwhelmed.  I started picking through them as each station waited patiently for their turn.  Multiple stations from Kansas, a station or two from Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, and California got their chaser points.

After the pileup was worked and things got quiet again, I turned off the HF radio and fired up the handheld on 146.52-FM suddenly noticing that I had broken the end off of my Long Ranger antenna.  I finagled it back together and held it with a spot of tape and called out a CQ.  Three stations that were prepping for the weekend VHF contest were alive on simplex and we quickly got them all sorted out.

When 2m went dead, I moved back to the HF rig and reconfigured the Buddistick for 6m.  A quick check of the SWR meter told me I was a 1.2 without tuning.  Great.  Let's rock this.  As I called out the first CQ, the radio went dead.  What the heck?  I turned it back on and called out again.  Dead.  The realization that the battery no longer had the umph left sank in quickly.  I'd had too much fun at 100w on 20m.

With a big smile, I stood up from my rocky spot, and looked out on the valley that stretched out below me.  This SOTA activation stuff rocks, I said aloud to myself.  Indeed.

 

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