Today was the day before England’s second Covid-19 lockdown starts. I was lucky in being able to visit and activate G/SC-007 Long Knoll, Wiltshire on 20m and 40m. I erected my linked dipole and set up my KX3 transceiver on top of the trig point. The weather was very good, calm winds and warm sun, even though only about 8°c ambient temp.
After the first few inital QSOs I noticed that my hand was crawling with tiny spiders. I felt them on my neck and face as well. I then noticed that the KX3 had several on too. I can only summise that there must be a small nest nearby, maybe under the trig point or in a crack at the top of it. If these were baby spiders, I didn’t get to meet the parents, thankfully!
In my 30 mins or so at the summit, I worked the stations below on 20m and 40m CW, brushing off mini spiders all the while . Many thanks to my chasers.
This is a pleasent, relatively easy summit to activate. There is no nearby car park though. I read that other activaters suggest parking on the side of the road where the footpath to the summit starts. I do not think this is safe and cannot recommend it. It is too close to the brow of a hill on the road with very fast on-coming traffic. Pulling out from that spot would be very dangerous, IMO. Instead, I parked at the alternative spot that others suggested. It is just a little further on, at the entrance to Rodmead Farm. Parking here does however necessitate a 250m walk along the busy road to the start of the footpath at 51.1391°,-2.2284°. You have to be ready to step to the side for traffic.
‘Safe’ parking spot at 51.1417°, -2.2817°
Start of footpath (on the right) and ‘not-so-safe’ parking spot:
The initial part of the approximate 25 minute hike to the summit is quite steep and then it levels off for the most part, all the way to the summit, with great views of the surrounding countryside if the weather is fair.
Along the route is an ‘art installation’ of CDs set up as a giant, stretching ribbon along the length of the knoll. Apparantly it can be seen from miles away when the sun shines on it.