Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bunches Bald Activation

Fall is fast approaching and Kendall and I took the weekend to go camping.  We had initially decided to camp in the Smokey Mountains but because of the government shutdown we were forced to make other arrangements.  "I bet I will never see my 20 dollar reservation fee."  We decided on a private campground along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Mile High Campground was an excellent choice.  It is an extremely beautiful area, its cheap, and it sits right next to Bunches bald W4C/WM-013.  
So of course I brought along my radio to make an activation.

Kendall and I arrived and setup our campsite late Saturday morning.  I brought an old Eureka tent that belonged to my Grandpa Doogan.  I love this tent but it has been at least 10 years since I pitched it last.  After a few minutes I finally remembered how to set it up and our campsite was ready.

During the planning phase of this trip many of my fellow SOTA operators were curious as to the access to Bunches Bald.  When we checked into the campground I asked the campground guy to see if there was access to the summit and he said it was easy to get to and pointed out the directions.  The summit is very close to the campground and the hike took less than 10 minutes.

To reach the trail head you go to the extreme west end of the campground near campsite T4.
there you will find a path with a metal gate.



Continue past the gate for less that 100 yards and then turn right and bushwack up the mountain to the summit.  The summit is not very bald as you can see from the picture below
 But there are a few spots that open up and you can see the view

It was a great activation and I made contacts with many operators.  I was not able to employ my antenna directly on the summit but I found an open area a few feet away where I was able to creatively deploy it. A big thanks to all of the activators below for your help in activating this peak.

Date:05/Oct/2013 Summit:W4C/WM-013 (Bunches Bald) Call Used:KK4NQQ Points: 10
TimeCallBandMode
17:28zTO4FM18MHzSSB
17:31zK4KPK14MHzSSB
17:37zAD5A14MHzSSB
17:38zW7RV14MHzSSB
17:40zND0C14MHzSSB
17:40zVE2JCW14MHzSSB
17:41zAJ5C14MHzSSB
17:42zW6UB14MHzSSB
17:43zK5WI14MHzSSB
17:44zN7SP14MHzSSB
17:45zKV4FD14MHzSSB
17:47zK2JB14MHzSSB
17:48zKD5ZZK14MHzSSB
17:55zKI4SVM7MHzSSB
17:57zN4EX7MHzSSB
17:58zW4WWQ7MHzSSB
17:58zWA2USA7MHzSSB
17:59zNE4TN7MHzSSB
18:00zK4PIC7MHzSSB
18:01zW6UB7MHzSSB
18:03zKK4SMV7MHzSSB
18:05zW4FHJ7MHzSSB
18:06zK2JB7MHzSSB
18:09zWB8CTC7MHzSSB
18:20zND0C18MHzSSB



I headed back to camp and spent the rest of the weekend relaxing with Kendall.  Here are a few of our pics.






What an Awesome view!







Setup the radio in camp to play a bit





Nothing better than campfire bacon and eggs!





Gus is ready for bed already!





Campfire pineapple upside down cake.  1 cake doughnut, 2 slices pineapple, brown sugar and butter.  wrap in foil and place in the coals for 5 to 10 minutes.  mmmm mmmmm good!

 We had a great weekend! 

73's and keep climbing!
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