This was my first summit of the day in a series of three. The day before I activated Butterbredt Peak to the south and camped at what might be my new favorite spot. Unfortunately the overnight wind was relentless and I got cold, so I didn’t get a good nights sleep. For the activation, I parked the truck near Dove Springs Canyon Road, and followed a moto trail to the top, where a several pinyon pines and some nice rocks lay. I found a summit register overflowing and signed mostly by moto riders upset about loosing land to ride dirt bikes on. I did notice several fences cut in the area so perhaps they are not allowed up there. There was also a benchmark which someone tried to pry off; I’m glad it’s still there. Worked all bands, then headed back to the truck to visit another summit.
Second summit of the day, an easy hike from the truck trail I was traveling down. I parked near an old mining operation, crossed the PCT and followed a wide moto trail to the summit. No more than 1/2 mile round trip. Rocky, plenty of space to stretch out an antenna. Had good luck on all three bands, several S2S.
This was my 3rd summit of the day. I parked my truck near the PCT and cooked some ground beef patties on my small gas grill in the shade before hiking up to the summit. Beautiful short hike along the PCT among stands of Joshua trees. I got as close as I could to the summit on the PCT before heading up through a small canyon. This probably wasn’t the best way as this route required hiking along a rocky ridge. At the top I setup my equipment and get to work on the bands. Worked 20, 30, 40M CW, no QSOs on 30M. Called out on 2M FM, and got one station out in Phelan, AC – that’s pretty far away! I found a summit register placed by Bob Burd which was mostly empty, I signed with my call and placed the register back. I hiked down a different, easier way. Back at the PCT temperatures dropped so many through hikers were back on the trail. Back at the truck, I packed everything up and headed back to Los Angeles. What a great weekend out in the desert!
This summit is in Joshua Tree National Park, so it qualifies for POTA in addition to SOTA if you’re into that kinda thing. I woke up early in the morning and headed out to JTNP to try and beat the heat of summer. While this hike isn’t very long, the wet winter was kind to various plants which were eager to seed. Of course, these seeds are scratchy and pokey, and moving through this knee high stuff was enough to cover my shoes and socks. Writing this blog post out two months later, I think those socks still have seeds stuck in them from this trip. Anyways, at the top was a nice flat area to setup an antenna and relax while operating. Worked 40M, 30M, and 20M CW before heading down. An easy, fun summit to bag, in an interesting area of JTNP.
This was a fun one for me. After hitting up a few easy summits with summer bonus points in the Crestline area, I kinda wanted to camp before heading home to Los Angeles. Saddleback Butte caught my eye because there are camping facilities right by the trailhead – the idea was to head up to the summit just after dusk and activate, come back to camp, sleep, then head home in the morning. The hike up was easy, sandy in some parts and calm with a slight breeze. It took about an hour to get to the top, where I was greeted with extremely high winds, so high my antenna mast broke at the fattest, bottom piece. It was impossible to get any kind wire up in the air. I ended up with my 20M wire segment blowing like a flag over a ledge. After calling for about 20 minutes on CW, which I knew wouldn’t work at this hour – I gave up, packed my battered equipment down and went back to camp. I didn’t sleep well because the campground is situated near a busy road; trucks and motorcycles kept me awake. At first light, I headed back up to the summit where is was much calmer than the night before. I worked 20, 30, 40M CW. After I exhausted all the chasers I headed back to camp before the summer desert heat took hold. I’d do this one again, but I’m not sure I’d camp there again.