I have been wanting to hit this summit for some time. This is an FAA Vortac site. Wikipedia’s definition is: A VORTAC is a navigational aid for aircraft pilots consisting of a co-located VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) beacon and a tactical air navigation system (TACAN) beacon. … Most VOR installations in the United States are VORTACs
This site is very close to the town of Young Harris. You have to hit a few gravel roads to get there, but its not too bad. It is almost a drive up. Seeing how this site is not a tree top type of site I was looking forward to activating using my Alpha Loop magnetic loop antenna. I took my fiberglass mast and set up my dipole as well. The Alpha loop is a really neat antenna. The matching network’s air capacitor mounts to a tri-pod. This is a fairly portable antenna. I had tested this one at home. It even works really well indoors. Alpha makes antennas for the military and is a great American company. These guys are all about customer service. I ordered this antenna in hopes of using it on my Hawaii trip. I ended up not using it on the summits, but did from my hotel. The owner of the company sent me a thank you email for ordering the antenna. The antenna came in, they followed up to tell me about their production and see how I liked the product. I had tested it out and was pleased. Upon packing it back up I didn’t break the thing completely back down thinking I could bend the coax into fitting the bag. When I did one of the pressed fittings broke at the Tee. I emailed them late at night. They immediately responded. The owner was about to be off for a few days and had his production manager contact me. They knew I had a trip planned, so the over-nighted a new Tee with a couple of spares for no charge. These guys are great. Anyway, I used the loop at Ravencliff on 20 meters. I had a contact to Quebec with 15 watts! Several other stations as well. My dipole did a great job as usual. Lynn, Sparkles and I headed down the mountain. We had seen a sign for Crane Creek Vineyard at one of our turns close to the summit road. Lynn and I had been there several years ago and we decided to drop in on our way back. We picked up a bottle of Hellbender wine, some sausage, cheese and crackers. We consumed it outside with an incredible view of the vineyards and the mountains. We had Sparkles in the Jeep, but we knew the place was dog friendly. We asked the owners if it was ok to get the dog out. They said absolutely, but to keep her on a leash so it didn’t run off on their 40 acres. We looked around and several dogs were off their leashes. It was cool outside, so we left Sparkles in the Jeep. Some patrons sitting near us explained all of this. We had these two dogs begging for food. We thought it belonged to them, but they explained all the dogs running around were rescue dogs the owners of the vineyard had rescued. The vineyard owner is also a veterinarian. They told us about a Friday evening Tapas menu. We made note of this and said we would need to try this out. We were full after the cheese, sausage crackers and wine, so that covered our supper. We stayed at the cabin that night. Another great weekend in the mountains.
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