It was not an auspicious beginning. The weather forecast for the North Georgia mountains on Sunday, April 8, was for 50% chance of rain and thunderstorms. The thunderstorms that struck overnight were severe enough that the XYL and I found ourselves joined in bed by 80 pounds (36) kg of anxious Alsatian seeking comfort. When we awoke at 0530 local time it was still dark and still raining. Hardly an inspiration for SOTA.
But the XYL was scheduled to lead a local outing club hike that crossed Coosa Bald (W4G/NG-006), and the XYL is 137 cm of red-headed not-to-be-deterred dynamite. Those who have seen the recent “Aquaman” movie will understand that the XYL probably was the model for Meara. So by 0630 we were in the car (the dog, the XYL, and me) and heading north. And as we drove, the rain stopped and the skies – well, they didn’t clear, but things did get a bit lighter and less foggy.
It turned out to be another gorgeous Spring day in the Southern Appalachian Mountains in northern Georgia. The XYL and her group went one way, and Dani the dog and I headed up by another trail. This is prime season for spring wildflowers. So rather than bore you with endless pictures of the Elecraft KX1, the 7-meter fishing pole mast, and my camping cushion, here are some of the best the mountains had to offer yesterday:
Dani leading out on the trail. Note the helpful green and blue blazes on the tree on the distant left, signaling the combined route of the Coosa Bald and Duncan Ridge Trails.
Common blue violets (Viola sororia var. sororia)
Star chickweed (Stellaria pubera)
Halbeardleaf yellow violet (Viola hastata)
Sweet white violet (Viola blanda)
Sweet Betsy trillium ( Trillium cuneatum )
Carolina Spring Beauty ( Claytonia caroliniana)
And the glory of the springtime Southern Appalachians, Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Dani the control operator on the summit of Coosa Bald, W4G/NG-006, looking for a good place to set up the station.
And the activation? It was a quiet day on the bands, with QRN from the residual storm systems especially loud on 40m. Nevertheless we logged 7 QSOs on 20M and another 7 on 40M including an S2S with K2JD, whose alert (like mine) had been provisional pending the weather. Glad we both got up, and thanks to all the chasers!