Showing posts from May, 2021

A great camping/SOTA trip

 Last weekend I took the wife and dog with me to my favorite campground -- Shady Lake Recreation Area -- and was able to squeeze in two of my favorite Arkansas summits -- Tall Peak W5A/CS-002 and Buckeye Mountain W5A/CS-003. Shady Lake is a beautiful, if somewhat rundown, campground at the base of the Cossatot Mountains in western Arkansas.  We were going on a weekend, but it was not at all crowded and we were able to score the best camp site that overlooks the lake.  This was great, as my wife was happy to sit and enjoy the view and nature while I hiked up Tall Peak on Friday afternoon.  Tall Peak is the home to an old fire tower that makes a great operating position.  It can be reached via a 3.5 mile trail from the campground or a 2.5 mile walk up a gated access road.  As I was short on time I hiked up the road which is a steady climb of about 600 feet.  You can see lake from the fire tower, and I even managed a contact on 2 meters with my wife, K9GAL at the campground from the top. 

13 summits in 7 days

  I finished my epic road trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway with successful  activations of 13 summits in 7 days. This is by far my most ambitious SOTA trip to date. When you do that many summits in a few days, the details start to blur. So I'll try to document them here with the memories I have one week later.   Day 1 Wine Spring Bald -- W4C/WM-018 This was a summit I had driven by on multiple Mini rallies in North Carolina and made a good stop on my second day of driving to the BRP. It is nearly a drive up, with a half-mile hike up a road to get to the top. This is right next to the Appalachian Trail which goes over the Wayah Bald a mile away. While hiking down the road I could hear people talking on the AT, which parallels the road. Photo is view from Wayah Bald.   Day 2 Waterrock Knob -- W4C/WM-010 After a cold night at a National Forest campground at 5,000 feet I got on the BRP and did this popular spot on the parkway. There is a well-maintained trail to the top w