Up the Moto Trail to Burn Benchmark (W6 CT-136) 4541 ft, 4 March 2017

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Decided to make the drive up to Bouquet Reservoir, and hike Burn Benchmark. It is usually possible to drive almost all the way up, using the Leona Divide Truck Trail from Green Valley. However I wanted to hike, and also the rains may have made the road impassible for a 2WD vehicle.

I started at the top of Spunky Canyon Road, which is also the trail head for Jupiter Mountain. Hiked up the deeply rutted Spunky Edison Road for a quarter mile. You would need a really good 4WD to do this road until someone grades it, some of the ruts were 2 feet deep. Then left up the moto trail to ridge

View of Bouquet Reservoir and Spunky Canyon Road. The moto trail up Jupiter Mountain is to the right.

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You roll up and down along the ridge. Mainly up. I am sure if I tried it on a motorcycle I would be unsuccessful, some places are very steep.

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After just over an hour reached the Leona Truck Trail, summit beyond. Total time to the summit was about an hour and a quarter, 1300 feet gain, just over 2 miles

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Set up behind a bush to shelter from the wind – it was windy and chilly

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There were several benchmarks on the top, “Burn” being the oldest one

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First worked Aaron KG6OVR on 2m, he was mobile, he told me had done one activation. Then worked Dan NA6MG on 2m FM, he was just down from his first summit in the Mojave Desert

When I got on 20m the band was quiet so called CQ. Started “working”stations but realized there must be another activator on…when I got home I found on the spots that WA7JTM and I had come up at exactly the same time on exactly the same frequency! But he was too close in Arizona for us to be able to hear each other on 20m! I should have QSYed, after some minutes the spots show that he QSyed up 2 kHz. So the chasers were probably confused for a while. I know I was! This is the first time this has happened to me. Things settled down a little and I went to 30m, then 40m where I worked N7CW summit to summit but I was getting cold in the wind so I shut down, packed up and headed down.

2m FM: KG6OVR NA6MG

20m CW: N5ZC W0MNA VE7HI W0ERI KC5BG N1GB KB4BKR K4MF W4HBK WC9G

30m CW: W9MRH N5ZC W4HBK K7NEW NS7P WB5USB K6MW NU7A

40m CW: N7CW

I also have KI0G in the 20m log, but now I am almost certain he was working WA7JTM.

Jupiter Mountain W6 CT-140 across the way

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Tule Ridge W6 CT-145. I can see a very steep firebreak to the top, the usual route is by a Jeep road on the far side

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When I got down there were at least a half dozen cars and trucks at the trail head. The weather was warm, no wind down here. Looking up Spunky Edison Road.

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The drive home started OK, but eventually slowed on the 405 freeway. In the San Fernando Valley there was an accident in the number three and car pool lanes which slowed us down. Then an accident in the northbound lanes but of course the traffic in the southbound lanes (i.e. me) had all slowed down to have a look. I really hate the 405 freeway!

73 Hal N6JZT

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