The temps are starting to get cooler, so Lynn and I were really wanting to go camping.
We packed up our big back packs with Mountain House meals (Sodium in a bag as my friend Cris Hayes calls them), tent, sleeping bags, water and radio gear. Oh yeah, we also took our faithful dog, Sparkles Hound (AKA DX Dawg the 59 K9). We headed to Cooper Gap and hit the trail up the mountain. Not a bad trail, but 525′ elevation gain in 3/4 mile. The Summit is at 3,340′. We were a little late in the day getting going, so I set up the tent, gathered firewood and started cooking dinner. I had to look around a good bit for widow makers (dead or partially fallen trees and limbs) as Irma had wreaked havoc on the mountain. Trees were down all around us. I got the antenna up while dinner was going as well. We chowed down on Beef Stroganoff, which was delicious. After dinner I was able to log 13 contacts. Really cool to do after dark near a roaring campfire. I had installed an automatic antenna tuner in the KX3 recently, so I was able to tune my 40 meter antenna to match up on 75 meters, which is a more active band at night. I tried to contact Doug N4HNH, but I just wasn’t strong enough without a resonant antenna. I was able to contact Doug on VHF though. After wrapping up radio contacts, Lynn, Sparkles and me all sat around the campfire. It was fairly cold out, but we stayed warm by the fire. While we were round the fire we heard coyotes very close to us calling to each other. I had to keep Sparkles close so she would not end up as their dinner. I watched after the fire for a while longer while Lynn went to the tent to get some sleep. I secured the packs and food away from the tent high up in a tree. I had bought a Big Agnus Copper Spur tent last year, but had not had a chance to camp in it yet. I was very impressed with the tent. It was a very snug fit for Lynn and I in the tent, but we both agreed it was the most comfortable we had ever been in a tent. I had a new ExPed inflatable sleeping pad that kept me insulated from the ground, very comfy and warm all night. I did not sleep very well, as we had very high winds all night long. I would guess at least 30 mph+. In the morning I was able to resurrect the fire and get breakfast going. We broke camp and headed to the cabin. We didn’t get back in time to make church, but we had a wedding in Cedartown for one of my coworkers to get to. We headed out to the wedding, had lunch and a great time. It was a very good weekend.
Here’s the few photos I took on Sassafras Mountain