Tuesday, October 1, 2013


What a great day for an activation!  It has been a while since I hit the trail and I have been itching to get out and activate.  I had planned on hiking to Thunderhead Mountain in the Smokey Mountains today, but At midnight the Federal Government shut down.  The shut down also shut me down.  So, Plan B.  I decided to give Big Bald a go.  Big Bald W4T/SU-010 is located along the Appalachian Trail between the Great Smoky Mountains and Roan High Knob.  It is the 29th highest in Tennessee at 5516 feet. 

The peak can be accessed by Sams Gap and hike the AT for 6.5 miles.  Or thru the gated community of Wolf Laurel.  I called the guard station and asked if they allowed hikers to traverse the community in order to gain access to the summit and I was emphatically told NO.  I was able however to talk to a very nice lady that runs a bed and breakfast in the community and she was more than happy to put my name on the visitors list.  Her bed and breakfast is called THE BALD MOUNTAIN HOUSE.  If anyone is looking for a nice bed and breakfast I would suggest it.

Once inside I drove toward the summit.  The roadway will get you within a mile of the summit.  Stopped by the gate below you will need to hike the remaining mile to the summit.

 Continue along the gravel road until it intersects the AT here

The short trail is very pretty and there are some great views.

Once on the summit I found the marker.  I love it when I find these!

I set up my new antenna.  It is a 88ft inverted V running to my KX3 with 300ohm twin line.  The antenna is supported by my Jackite fiberglass pole.  I had not tested this antenna yet but I was in for a great day with it. 

The set up was straight forward and in no time I was on the air.


It was an AWESOME day.  I totaled 45 QSO's my most to date for a summit.  I also scored 3 Summit to Summits with KI4SVM, KU6J, and N6KZ. 
17 M was rocking today and I made contacts with EJ0M in Ireland, UT1AN in the Ukraine, G6TUH in England, PA2LO in the Netherlands, MM0USU in Scotland, T43BJ in Cuba, and IK6BGJ in Italy.

I also contacted W4JAR.  He lives in the gated community I accessed to get on site.  I was surprised when he said he was located less than 2 miles from me!

My 10 watts was really getting out there today!  And also a huge thanks to all of the other activators out there.  As a new ham I am still meeting many of you and I would like to than all of the activators that I have worked several times over the past year.  It is you guys that make all this possible.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help us make more contacts!

In closing I will include a few pics from my journey, as well as a little friend I ran into on the trail!

73's and KEEP CLIMBING!!!

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