Recent SOTA Activations

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mount Bielawski (W6/NC-155) SOTA Activation

Date: 8/24/2013    Summit: W6/SC-155 (Mount Bielawski)

Rig: Yaesu FT857d 30 watts into an MP-Superantenna (6 - 1/4 wave counter poises, 12ft MFJ Telescoping Whip), 

Route: From Mountain View 85 South, to Saratoga Ave, State Route 9, Turn Left on CA-35. Park at the Castle Rock state park. Follow the Road down and take Bielawski Rd. This follows the hill around and is in the Activation area.

This SOTA Activation is another close one that I had not done yet. I still like these as I can get up there and back home by lunch and then spend the rest of the day with the family. It is hard to do a lot of big summits as they are about 3 hours drive away and end up taking a whole day to accomplish. It is not all about the points but just getting out there and having fun. I like how quiet the radio is when I am out away from the city and all the noise that comes with that. It is amazing to me that I can hear a station that does not even move the meter on my FT857d and we can have a intelligible conversation. I walked the Bielawski Rd around and then found a good place to start heading up the Mountain. As I started to head up through the brush for the last 50 ft or so there was a dog that started to bark from the house that was over the hill. I could tell that he was barking at me and I decided that I had ascended enough as I was definitely in the activation zone. I thought even though I am on public property I am sure that the dog does not care where I am and he sounded a bit uninviting.  It was clear that I was in his territory even if it is public. Not to many pictures from this one as there was not anything to see as the trees where pretty thick. 

I was happy to see these signs as I turned off of Highway 35. There is a gate that someone has made a great attempt at looking like a private driveway but when you walk about 50 ft down the road you encounter these signs that clearly make it a road in Castle Rock State Park. California seems dog friendly when you are in the city but most trails dogs are not allowed. 

This is a view of the summit from Bielawski Road. I made my way up into the trees just below the towers that you can see at the summit and set up there. The dog discourage me from approaching the summit. The other side of the summit was private property but I was not about to see if the dog knew his boundaries!

Here is my log: 

QSO: 14228 SS 2013-08-24 1749 KF7PXT        59         KH6J          59          
QSO: 14270 SS 2013-08-24 1746 KF7PXT        59         KH6LC         59          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1731 KF7PXT        22         K3XD          22          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1727 KF7PXT        22         K1JD          22          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1726 KF7PXT        44         KE5AKL        33          
QSO: 72850 SS 2013-08-24 1644 KF7PXT        33         NS7P          33          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1639 KF7PXT        59         N6FBA         59          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1639 KF7PXT        58         K7JFD         44          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1638 KF7PXT        55         W7RV          53          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1636 KF7PXT        59         N7AMA         59          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1634 KF7PXT        56         KI6EAB        59          
QSO: 14347 SS 2013-08-24 1631 KF7PXT        55         N5XL          33          
QSO: 14340 SS 2013-08-24 1623 KF7PXT        22         W7DDM         55          

The upcoming weeks have a few unactivated summits planned. I have four that are to the south of me but I am waiting for a little better weather. These are in an area with limited shade and outside of San Francisco Bay where the temperature gets into the 90's regularly. I am currently collecting all the bonus points with easy summits so that I can earn them later on the harder ones when it is a little cooler! One of the summits is about 18 miles round trip and I need cooler weather for that. Also, on 7 October I am scheduled for back surgery which will likely take me out of SOTA activations for a month or two. I guess that I will be a better chaser during this time. 

Again, Thanks for all the chasers and fellow activators that make this so much fun!

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