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13 summits in 7 days

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  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

Sunday afternoon

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Last Sunday was a perfect Spring day here in Arkansas, so I headed out to the woods. I went to one of my new favorites, Slattington Benchmark W5A/CS-001, in the Caddo Mountains about 90 miles west of Little Rock. This is a typical Arkansas Summit. You get there by following a Forest Service road up a pass over a range in the Ouachitas. At the pass an old Jeep trail heads up the ridge to an abandoned fire lookout tower site. The Jeep road has devolved into a brushy hiking trail, but I could see that a few other souls had made the hike this spring. It is about a 1 mile hike with 700 foot elevation gain. The first 1/2 mile is all uphill, but once you hit the ridge you are rewarded with great views. At the end of the trail is a clearing, the concrete footings of the fire tower and great views. As a bonus on the drive home I cut through the back roads and the Dogwoods were in full bloom. Another great day in the woods. Looking west from Slatington Benchmark Dogwoods in bloo

Big trip coming

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I have a trip planned the week of April 36 to the Blue Ridge Mountains. I hope to activate 12 summits in 4 days along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I will post reports as I make progress. Day 1 and 2 Day 3 Day 3

Restarting the blog -- SOTA update

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 It's been nearly two years since the last blog post, so time to get busy again.  I did have some posts up on the Wordpress version of this blog, but since it has disappeared I'm back to the blogger version.  It's been an exciting two years.  I ramped up my SOTA activity in 2019 and had big plans to be very active in 2020 the the world turned upside down in March with the pandemic.  After a couple of months of sheltering in place, I got back out in the field again later in the year and have done many summits here in Arkansas since then.  Today I have 842 points working toward my goal of reaching Mountain Goat status at 1,000 points sometime this summer.   I'll use this blog to track the progress. My last activations was a set of four 10 pointers in western Arkansas that I did over two days.  Two were simple drive-ups and two were  hikes -- one a 1/2 mile bushwhack and one a 5 mile roundtrip hike on the Ozark Highland Trail. You can see here's I've had a busy 202

Lots of activations, few posts

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Well, so much for me getting active on the blog again.  Every week or so I think, "I should put something on the blog," yet don't do it. Now its June, and my last post was in February.  So I've got some catching up to do. I have been busy and have quite a few new activations in, so it's been a productive spring.  I'll try to summarize.  In February I had about 240 activator points after a year and a half of activating. In Nune I have 350 points, so it's bee a productive spring.  I give a few of the high points, pardon the pun. During the month of March I mainly activated some of the local (Arkansas) summits I had done the year before.  Under the rules of SOTA, you can activate a summit for points once a year.  So with the new year you have a clean slate.  So I went back to some nearby summits and had a good time doing it.  In late April I took another trip to the Ouachita Mountains on the Oklahoma/Arkansas border.  There are a lot of summits in a sho

ARRL DX contest a success

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Last weekend was the ARRL DX Contest.  As I'm not a big gun with a tower and a beam, I don't get real competitive on the DX contests. But I had some free time this weekend and operated mostly early morning (around sunrise) and late afternoon/early evening (around sunset.)  While 15 meters never really opened up here, I made a lot of contacts on 20 and da good number on 40 and 80.  I even managed to snag a couple of new countries, and several new ones on 80 meters. I quit when I hit 300 contacts.  I had fun.  That's what counts.

Activating Petit Jean Mountain

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On Monday we were having another 70-degree day so I hopped in the pickup to do another Summits On The Air activation in Arkansas.  My destination was Petit Jean Mountain, which is about 10 miles south of Mount Magazine and on the south side of the Petit Jean Valley.  This is not Petit Jean State Park, which is actually on Mud Mountain, which creates some confusion. I had read the notes on the summit.  It sounded like there was good National Forest Road right to the summit, although the last mile might require hiking.  That's a common scenario here in Arkansas.  Many of the summits had fire towers on the top in the past, which have long been abandoned. But the roads often remain, either as trails or as rough roads that are probably above the capabilities of my Ford Ranger. I left home around 8:30 with plans to do Petit Jean Montain, then may swing over to Mount Magazine for a two-summit day.  The National Forest Roads were good -- much better than they are down in the Oak Mounta