I repeated this walk again on Thursday 15th June 2017 - only this time, didn’t take a radio. I wasn’t walking across any SOTA summits, but The Roaches is G/HSP-026 in HEMA. However, despite being one of the first bunch of activators and chasers in that programme following its launch, all my requests for access to its new logging database have been ignored - and now I see that all my previous activation and chaser logs have been deleted from the database, without explanation.
So this time I didn’t even take a handheld with me. What I did do, was make it to the Ship Inn at Wincle actually for lunchtime, so much quicker (about two hours!) that the bar staff asked me if it was an earlier bus I’d caught! No, it was the same two busses from Macclesfield to Burbage (Buxton), and then to the Winking Man on the A53 Leek-Buxton road.
Lunch, which was actually a Spanish seafood paella, at the pub, meant that there was another item missing from my rucksack - my flask! I’m not sure if the lesser pack weight was helping me move more quickly, but the improving fitness certainly did. I am currently walking up and down The Cloud G/SP-015 every day if possible, and trying to fit in one longer walk per week as well. It is certainly helping.
After lunch is the toughest part of this walk with the steep ascent onto Wincle Minn, and then the long high ridge walk over that and then Sutton Common / Croker Hill. This time, I was still two hours ahead of the last time I attempted this walk, and I was not so ruined after Croker Hill that I was calling my wife to pick me up from the next pub, a mile or so down the canal!
No, this time I was determined to fulfill the objective of actually walking home from The Winking Man, so after getting on the canal at Fools Nook, I continued a short way until turning left off it and crossing the beautiful Danes Moss Nature Reserve where I was fortunate enough to spot a lizard crossing the boardwalk - but not quick enough to capture a photo though.
I was now getting pretty tired, so once on the A536 Congleton to Macclesfield walk, I accidentally veered into the Rising Sun pub for a pint of ale. Contact with home advised that they had eaten all my tea, so I should get something myself en route. I teased Marianne by saying that my route would take me right past the Weston Balti, but she replied “Go for it” - so I did.
I made it to the curry house for about 8.30pm - I was slowing down big time now - but enjoyed my mulligatawny soup and prawn biryani, with a Bangla beer. After my evening meal, my legs really didn’t want to move, but at least all that was left was a quarter mile of urban walking on my estate, and I was home before 10pm!
So that was the best walking of the week, even though it was non-SOTA and firmly here in the “Off Topic” category! Mind you, If it wasn’t for SOTA, I probably wouldn’t have developed the same love for walking as I have now. I think as a fat shack-based unfit middle-aged radio amateur, SOTA was invented with me in mind…
Anyway, onto the SOTA, and the last two days have both seen a further activation of The Cloud G/SP-015 by me. Yesterday I had another go on 5MHz, and made 8 QSOs - half on CW and half on SSB, and all G/GM. Four more were added on 2m FM.
Today, and the first job was to pick Jimmy M0HGY up from town then visit my Nanna who is 102 years old today. That was a very pleasant hour or so with all the family, after which I wanted to continue my daily walk ritual. Jimmy joined me as we did a handheld-only activation in the 30 degree sunshine - and absolutely stunning day!
I think Jimmy reported 7 QSOs on 2m FM, while I managed just 5 on 70cm FM. It was the daily walk that mattered most though!
And now it’s time to go to work. At least it’s a relatively short drive to a hall in Northwich for a gig with the band “Motown Gold”. (Since my activation I’ve been sat here and learning the basslines for “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “ABC”…).
Thanks to all the chasers that called in, especially Paul M0CQE, Pete 2E0LKC and Ann 2E0LMD who seem to be there for me every time I call “CQ2” - or indeed “CQ70” as it was today, at the minute.