W4G/NG-010 (Blue Mountain) & W4G/NG-001 (Brasstown Bald) 06/14/2017

Back in GA from Asheville and man is it ever hot. We were spoiled with the cooler temps and lower humidity in NC. We arrived at Unicoi Gap, threw on the gear and hit the AT. Immediately we could feel the heat and knew this was not going to be a walk in the park. The climb was very rocky with several switch backs. We also saw quite a few hiker and none of them were day hikers. We arrived at the top, which is a GA typical hardwood summit. The trees on this summit were plentiful and large, just like the bugs. First toss with the throw bag and I had the antenna suspension line high and ready to go. The elevation of this 10 pointer is 4,020′. I quickly made six 40 meter contacts. I had checked to see if the frequency was in use, but evidently there was a net somewhere on the frequency. Rather than re-spot or go to 20 meters the wife and I looked at the dark clouds and decided to pack it in. A decision we would not regret.
Lynn had eaten her lunch while I was operating and I ate my sandwich while hiking down the trail. After years of hiking and camping with Lynn’s dad, AKA “The SlogMaster”, who guarantees you will get wet  and after a week of soggy hiking down summits with his daughter, I surmised he had passed the torch to her. I said as much to her half way down the trail, to which she replied “At least it’s not lightning” and as if on cue out of no where 3 lightning bolts in a minute strike within 100 yards of our location. She then says “At least it’s not raining” and again on cue as if from the old testament we are in a flash flood. This was not an easy trail to remain surefooted on down hill in the pouring rain. We made it back to the truck and started literally wringing out our clothes. A hard earned 10 points indeed!

Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in GA and an easy 10 pointer was very close by. We drove a short distance there and when we arrived the bottom fell out again. We sat in the truck until the rain had passed. Lynn’s shoes were soaked and she had a pair of flats made out of a very cheap rope material. I had changed from my soaked boots into my Chaco sandals. Mine were suitable for the .6 m hike up from the parking area, but hers were not. We took the easy road and rode the last shuttle of the day up the mountain. In 5 minutes the last shuttle down would leave. Lynn rode the shuttle down without me and I set up my rig quickly to get the activation. She has been responsible for many of the pics of me operating and I did not want to leave her hanging out below too long, so I only have a picture from below at the parking area while we were waiting out the storm. I was able to get nine contacts on 20 meters. Several stragglers up top stopped to see what I was doing. Unfortunately all of my SOTA leaflets has been ruined by the rain all week. It was a great day to break the 100 total point mark, but I was ready to get back to our cabin in Blue Ridge.

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