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Slow June day on Sassafras Mountain

This was a quick activation (my second activation, still making notes for a checklist) on 20 June 2015 with only one 40m contact; 20m was dead. Drove up with my daughter while we were visiting Table Rock State Park. The summit has been pretty much stripped clean in preparation for a new observation tower on the NC/SC state line that crosses the summit. Some great directions are already listed in earlier reports, so will skip that part.

The day was overcast and pretty windy; clouds were almost down on the mountaintop, racing along at a good clip. Only things at the actual summit are a small fenced area with a small radio tower, the bench seat mentioned in earlier reports, the rock with the Sassafras Mountain plaque, and a few tree stumps. Since there were a few hikers around the summit, I set up my FT-817 and LNR Trail Friendly 10-20-40 antenna just above the parking area in the trees. Really glad I saw the poison ivy before walking through it with short pants.

Strung the antenna up through the trees and fired up the radio. The ONLY station I heard was Rich, N4EX on 40m. Not a thing heard on 20m or 10m, but we did get a successful QSO. Spent about 30 min making calls and listening around, but no other stations heard on either of the three bands. May have been when we were having the funky solar activity. Finally decided to pack up and head down the mountain. It is a long, winding road up and down the hill, but a nice drive.

Even though I didn’t get activation credit, it was still a nice visit. And my daughter now likes to say she’s been to the highest spot in SC. Would post a picture, but something at work is blocking the “Upload” command. This photo is a bit depressing anyway, looks like a bare construction site after all the nice photos of the green wooded area that was there before. Like someone took a week whacker and cut everything all the way to the dirt, leaving odd bits of tree parts lying around. Just remember the earlier green, wooded photos for the best effect.

Aside from that morbid bit, the views just under the clouds were stupendous. A little overlook deck at the end of the parking area also provided nice views. Glad we got to visit after all, and the QSO with Rich made the radio part enjoyable. Overall a nice visit.

Mike, N4VBV

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