The US Forest Service finally reopened May 24 the Strawberry Peak area almost 5 years after the Station Fire of August 2009. I had called the USFS office twice to confirm this. The information was also on their web site. So Strawberry Peak, Mt. Lawlor and Josephine Peak are once again open to the general public.
No luck finding chasers on 20m or 30m. My 20m RBN spots didn’t make it to the SOTA spot page, I don’t know why. RBN did not pick me up at all on 30m. Maybe the CQ WPX contest was saturating the systems. So I worked contest stations on 20m, including my old friend Mats KQ7W, once LU9AUY/LU9AY
2m was interesting. I worked Frank KK6EHQ, and then Mike N6MKW who had stopped in a turn out on the Angeles Crest Highway to call me. I noticed a high S9 noise level on the HT. Towards the end of the operation I thought to move north below the lip of the ridge to shield me from Mt Wilson and the noise went away! I was able to work Ken KN6CCW and Jeff K6QCB. I guess junk from the TV transmitters was interfering even though they were several miles away. Maybe a filter on the HT would help.
2m FM: KK6EHQ N6MKW KN6CCW K6QCB
20m CW, all contest stations: VE7WO WG0M JA7ZFN NE5LL KE2VB AD7JP KQ7W N7RO NQ2F NK7U
During the descent, I made a route finding error! At some point I headed down a spur trending left, I guess following a deer trail or something. I finally noticed that I needed to be back on the ridge to the north! I traversed through thick and nasty chaparral to get back there, getting pretty scraped up in the process. This was very annoying! I called my self a dumass when I reached the correct path!
Had a Mountain Dew back at the car. The Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center at Red Box. I recommend a visit.
Stopped in at Clear Creek Ranger Station to get a new Adveture Pass. The ranger there (Angela) said that even though the Strawberry area was now open, some of the trails were still not up to par yet.
Three miles each way, 1300 feet elevation gain. One and three quarters hours up. Took 4 pints of water and drank 2. Temp about 60 degrees, very mild.
Another activation here: