Listening to the news on Monday, June 21, I heard the saddened announcements about the raging wildfires all around in the State of Arizona and the unfortunate information that most of the National Forests will be closed to the public starting Wednesday, June 23, 8:00 A.M. local time.
So, I decided to try to make a three-activation day on Tuesday, what I never did before, previous to closures. Since I got COVID-19 twice, last December and February, I was out of the “business” of SOTA activation for half a year. After my illness and lock-downs, I am anxious to be an active activator again. Thus, I entered the three alerts on SotaWatch web site and went to sleep for a couple of hours.
Tuesday, I woke up early in the morning at 4 o’clock and hit the road with my wife and my dog who are with me most of the time. The plan was to activate three drive-ups: Elden Mountain W7A/AE-017, Summit Mountain W7A/CS-026, and Grandview Benchmark W7A/CN-013 if I am lucky enough finishing them in one day.
After activating Elden Mtn. on 20m-cw-ssb drove to Summit Mtn. I mean just close to it because 2 miles and 400 feet away from the top we were stopped by road closure. We could do nothing but just turn around and get to the Grand Canyon. Traffic was good until we got close to the entrance of the Canyon. There were so many cars, RVs, motorcycles at the gate that it took more than one hour to pass through. But anyway, we got next to the lookout tower and the activation was easy on 20m-cw-ssb. Having some time to play, I tried 6m-cw-ssb and 2m-fm without success.
Finishing the activation, we stopped at the South Rim for picture taking and after that started heading back to our home in Phoenix.
At the end, I collected 20 activation points, traveled 530 miles, and drove 10 hours. What a day.
Now, let me share some pictures with you .
73 Attila W7AMR
Summit Mountain lookout tower:
Road blocks at 2 miles from tower:
Back in business at Grandview Benchmark:
Working on my favorite 20m vertical antenna:
XYL with the dog at Grandview Point of South Rim of Grand Canyon:
Puli, the guarding dog: