W4G/NG-085 (Sawnee Mountain) 06/10/2017

No hiking involved here. This was a drive up and not a hike. I made one contact to Ryan KK4OSG on 2 meters. He was about 100 miles away doing the VHF contest.and we were both operating at 5 watts. Ryan had a small beam and was able to zero in on me.

I put up my trusty SOTA Beam linked dipole and was able to get 4 HF contacts.
On this hike I got the stink-eye from a neighbor driving by. I have since had the opportunity to activate a few more neighborhood drive up activations, but have decided this not to be a challenge and risks giving the hobby a bad name. I probably will not do this kind of activation in the future. No judgement against those who do, it’s just not for me.

W4G/NG-005 (Tray Mountain) 06/03/2017 and W4G/NG-011 (Rocky Mountain) 06/03/2017

Today we put in a double hiking to and activating two 10 point high elevation summits.

Tray Mountain was the first. We parked at a parking area off the Forestry Service road and hopped on the AT. The hike up Tray is fairly steep to an elevation of 4,430′ 1.4 mile round trip. The rhododendron was blooming up top and the views were spectacular. I made a summit to summit contact on VHF with 5 watts to a station in Taledega, Al. I also made a Summit to Summit with Ryan KK4OSG who was in North Carolina. I contacted Doug N4HNH in Suwanee, GA and another station as well to make the required 4 contacts to activate the summit. Since we had plans to hike Rocky Mountain the same day I chose not to set up the HF Gear. Doug N4HNH and Ryan KK4OSG are friends local to my home QTH. We talk on simplex quite often. Lynn and Izzy accompanied me on today’s hikes. No dogs this time. We missed having them along for sure.

We raced down the mountain, drove a few miles back the way we came on the FS road and then picked up another FS road to another parking area where the AT crossed. We jumped on the trail and headed to the summit of Rocky Mountain. (As I mentioned in a previous post, there are several Rocky mountain’s in GA) This was a steep climb. 3.2 miles round trip to an elevation of 4,014′. ¬†(1000′ elevation gain in 1.6 miles!)
On this trip I had downloaded the GPS tracks from some SOTA guides on the site from the double Goat Pat KI4SVM. These are very helpful for keeping up with your progress and more closely match reality on the trail than a topo map. Many times the switchbacks don’t show up on the topo’s. I am going to try and post all of my pics through Flickr so I can caption them and save storage space on the web hosting site.

Click here to see pics

Tipton Mountain W4G/HC-011 05/27/2017

Ticks on Tipton

This was a really fun hike. We had some spotty clues as to where to catch the trail. Hiking certain trails in North GA during the summer can be tricky with all of the ground cover and foliage. We missed the trail entrance and had continued up a FS road. Part of the way up the road we saw an old abandoned outdoor theater? (See pics) There was a large cliff/hill behind it on the side of Tipton Mountain and a group was there getting ready to rappel. They invited us up to see the great view. It was worth the hike up the hill. See pics below. They informed us we could catch the BMT (Benton MacKaye Trail just a few yard past the cliff at the end of a grown up old grass parking area. Sure enough there was the trail, a connector trail actually. We began the ascent of the mountain. At the top there were no real views from the summit. We (me, Lynn and Izzy) set up and I made 19 QSO’s (radio contacts) On the hike back we bushwhacked from the trail back to the FS road down closer to where we had started. We really paid for it though. I pulled 13 ticks off the dogs. Lynn pulled a few off of her. All in all a great trip. The summit was around 3,147′ asl.

W4G/HC-008 (Rocky Mountain) 04/29/2017

Summit with Sparkles Hound (AKA DX-Dawg the 5-9 K9)

This was my second SOTA activation. My wife Lynn & Daughter Izzy tagged along. This was a great hike on the spur of the moment. There are several Rocky Mountain Summits in GA. This one is very close to our Blue Ridge Cabin. The hike is on the Stanley Gap trail and joins in with the Benton Mackaye Trail, with a short trail to the summit. Just getting my trail legs at this point, so the climb got me quite winded. A typical GA hardwood Summit. The Stanley Gap Trail, formerly known as the old Rich Mountain Trail and is now part of the Aska Trail system. The summit is at 3,460′

As I mentioned, I will be posting some of the Facebook posts to move things along:

About to get real nerdy on you guys.
Yesterday I activated SOTA Summit W-4/HC-008, Rocky Mountain at 3460′ elevation. This was a steep 2.3 mile hike up, then 2.3 back down. I made 5 contacts on the 40 meter band. Got the antenna re-configured for 20 meters, heard lots of DX, but had to quickly pack up and head back down to beat a fast approaching thunderstorm. It was an awesome day. Lynn Shannon, Elizabeth, Sparkles and Annie went as well. A perfect day.
(I am an Extra Class amateur radio operator KC4WZB. SOTA is Summits On The Air. If you are interested in more info see http://SOTA.org.uk/ )

This Hike 4.6 miles

Total SOTA Miles = 6.5 Miles

Springer Mountain 01/28/2017

Windy and cold activation of Springer Mountain W4G/HC-005

I had a lot of fun this day, though it was very cold. Much of the trail had ice over the rocks. This was my first SOTA summit activation. Did I mention it was cold?

I am catching the blog up to current times, so for efficiency I will be copying some of the info from Facebook postings. Here was my Facebook post:

Had an amazing day with my Sweetheart Lynn Shannon. Hike to the top of Springer Mountain and hauled ham radios and antennas to the top. Set everything up and made close to 50 contacts in an hour. Quebec, Arizona, Vermont, Minnesota, Tennessee, Georgia, New York and many more. This was a SOTA (Summits on the air) activation. Contacts made on single side band 20 & 40 meters an 2 meter FM. Great day!
Thank you Lord for a wonderful day.


Nice Hike!

This Hike: 1.9 Miles round trip from parking area

Why I am keeping a Blog

A little housekeeping

Hello to all. I have been looking for a way to save pictures, thoughts, notes and general information about activities and adventures I have with my family and on my own. I have struggled with placing a lot of content on Facebook, because not all of my friends are interested in all the details of things I do and am interested in.

Trips I have taken, hikes I have been on, songs I have played, vacations and the like all have elements that I wish to journal post and keep notes for recall at a later time. I have found after some activities I don’t remember all the details of a trip and wish that I had kept some notes. The blog format seems for now the best way for me to do that. I hope friends and family will enjoy reading content and viewing pictures in my posts. Please know that I do not wish to brag, gloat, name drop or parade around anything I am doing. ¬†This is mainly so I can keep notes about things that interest me. I am not a writer and have no formal education in writing. My grammar and use of punctuation may not be perfect, but that’s OK. I am also not versed in html editing or web page publishing. I am not very good with graphics and artsy type of stuff, so bear with me. I do hope to learn more about publishing as I make more blogs and pages. All content of my blogs and pages remain my property. Use or republication of all content, data and pictures is prohibited without express written permission of Joel T. Shannon, KC4WZB.

Enough of that! Thanks for taking time to read the why. Now onto the adventures of KC4WZB!