Woodson via FK MTB

We have been having winter weather here with cold temps and rain. Today things were warning up with some Santa Ana winds blowing forecast to gust to about 30 mph on many of the local summits short and tall. I thought the FK trail on Woodson (W6/SC-187) would be dry enough to ride today. (And better to ride while 70 F vs 107 F in the summer time. Yes, Santa Ana winds bring warm air!)

@N6MTB has great riding info here Mount Woodson and Trailforks is handy. I’ve used the east side service road, but that’s steep and paved. Have never done the west side from Poway. The FK trail is one to MTB with some good hiking boots, as it does have a fair amount of hike a bike for the price of admission. More hike a bike for 'DA, less for 'MTB. :slight_smile: Found out once that some boots weren’t broken in yet. Ouch!

No mud or cakeflour today. Fun to ride on DG (decomposed granite), rock, dirt, fresh oak leaf litter. The leaf litter sounded like water spray on the fast flowy sections in the oak. I’m not very skilled, but I think I must have gotten a bit better at riding over rocky texture recently. Today was a bit more progression as I rode a good amount of stuff here I hadn’t before. Lots of waterbars, some chunky staircase, and some stuff that I didn’t try. There is one big rock roll that appears to have some cheater rocks, but I’ll leave that to others.

Near the trailhead, the trail is a bit of a chute and plenty of wooden waterbars.


Saw some amazing color. Recent moisture has caused much fungal fruiting right now.

colorful fungi contrasting moss and lichen

Despite our desert rainfall, the hills capture extra moisture from the wet marine layer. FK trail is on the shaded north side. (South side bakes dry in the sun!) Always fun to see lots of ferns here in SD.


Still a bit early, but still many different flowers out. Here’s just one.

one flower

Some bits of the trail. No photos while riding the most fun portions. :slight_smile:

The top features the world famous Potato Chip Rock. Is the line longer than it was before the internet?
Did not setup on top of the ‘chip’ to work stations. Weather this good this early in the year and on the weekend, so many out enjoying the weather today.

the chip

I tried a couple of new battery options. One didn’t fly, but the other seems to do quite nicely. Had the big old battery along just in case, but looking forward to the mass and volume reduction of the new battery for more SOTA activations.

Forgotten stuff list:

  • sweatband (hard to see with salt in the eyes)
  • microphone for HF (well, ok, I don’t often, but 10m challenge…)
  • mast

Strung up a 10m 1/2 wave ethernet wire dipole from some low bushes. Takeoff angle was great, and I was happy for gain as good or better than a 2 el Yagi. (And way easier to setup.) I thought I had gone around to slope east, but turns out I was maybe 330 degrees. Worked 3 JA stations including an S2S. RX noise floor (KX3, preamp on) was about S2 to S3, so my reports were much better than I was handing out. Heard another. Didn’t linger on HF, because I worked plenty on 2m FM including two S2S.

Still really liking the FLE inspired log entry. (Paper logging is the way for me in the field.)

my_call n7da
my_reference W6/SC-187
146.58 fm
wz6d 153p
n1clc 155p
w6ted 202p
kb8uip s2s W6/SC-352 204p
wb6tfc 209p
kn6tmt s2s W6/CT-017
28.064 cw
ja1vvh 339 519 221p
jr8mha/7 339 559 s2s JA/FS-165
jf1ova 559 559 227p
kn6fny 146.58 fm 240p

Super thanks to all of the chasers as always. And thanks to @KB8UIP on W6/SC-352, @KN6TMT on W6/CT-017, and @JR8MHA/7 on JA/FS-165.

Wrapped it up, snapped one for The Bike Vault, and hit the trail.


Fun stuff.



Thank you for the s2s to Mt Helix


I’ve been up there when that line for the “chip” was over a 1/2 mile long! Parking on the east side was horrendous as well…Been a while since I last did that summit. Maybe next time I’m down that way…

73, Todd KH2TJ

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Definately do it on a cool day, I like parking on the road and walking up the service road, steeper but shorter.

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Yea it’s been a while since I last did that hike. I’ve heard now that part of the “chip” has broken off ?? That’ll be an excuse I need to get back up there to check it out :wink:


Always a fun time visiting family down in the SD area!

73, Todd KH2TJ