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7QP 2017

Yaknow, I can’t say too much about 7QP this year.  It went splendidly, save a few whoopsies from Murphy.  My van decided to throw an O2 sensor error and stutter a bit on the way down.  The mason line got tangled around my arm while launching a 2oz lead shot up over the 100ft pondy, leaving me with a nice manly rope burn.  And it snowed on us Friday night.  But, everyone had fun, we didn’t beat our score from last year, but we had some great pileups, and worked almost all states save Nebraska and South Dakota (which have always been hard for me).  On behalf of myself, KU7F, WN7K, W7JHR and W7SCY, a shout out to all that participated!  Here’s my 3830 post:

For the 4th year, AE7EU (ex AE7IK) activated the county line at Lake/Kalamath at
my special little spot. Up on a ridge, this place boasts easy driving access
and 100ft ponderosas. This years activation was a bit of a comedy of errors
and Murphy. Driving down, my van decided to throw a check engine light. For
the entire weekend, I was afraid the transmission had gone out (Code check
later said O2 sensor) and I was going to have to worry about how to get back
home. Arriving Friday, we got started setting up antennas, and my first
attempt at launching a length of mason line snagged around my arm, giving me a
nice little bit of rope burn. We got the haul lines up and over the trees
though, and our 80/40 dipole hit 75-80ft, the TA33jr was up and securely
pointed east, despite the winds that were picking up trying to blow the line
off the trees. Which later turned to snow.

Antennas up, we went to set up the radio, and I’d forgotten a power cable for
my power supply. No matter, Jim had brought his. But we were getting RF in
the audio, which wasn’t diagnosed until Saturday morning after the first few
contacts. So we switched from my kx3 + Jim’s KXPA100 + My SB200 to Brain’s
TS440 + My SB200. Things worked well after that, though we didn’t really get
cooking on the bands until 20m really opened up later on in the morning.

Lunchtime found I’d forgotten the avocados and cucumbers…. How are you
supposed to have a good salad with just spinach, carrots and onions? Ohwell,
worse things to have forgotten.

Once we got a pile started though, they just kept on rolling. None of us are
iron-butt operators. There were times where I could keep 150Q/hr rolling no
problem though, and it’s really hard to give up the reigns at that point. Our
score wasn’t as good as last year, and we missed South Dakota and Nebraska, but
all things considered I’m quite happy with how things turned out. A big shout
to all those who were patient in the pile, and we look forward to doing it
again next year! (Minus, of course, Car issues, wind, snow, rope burns, food
issues, RFI and forgotten cables 🙂

 

Snow on ground with antenna up in the air
Snow on the ground at Lake/Kalamath County Line, 7QP 2017

Wilderness Stewardship

I’ve been helping out in the Three sisters wilderness doing volunteer work for the forest service.  Here’s my notes for Doris/Blow/Senoj lakes this last Saturday…

20160702_123232

 

2432222121122 = 26 unique individuals contacted.  Might have missed a few in there, so I’m saying ~30.
Left hiking boots at home.  Left home at 8:15a.  Stopped by Green lakes for 30 second and said hi.  Can’t remember when I got to the trailhead.  Made some 10-ish visitor contacts in the parking lot before starting (one very sweet aussie dog that suddenly curled up in my lap when I knelt down to pet it).
Went first to Blow lake.  Cleaned up some fire rings but they were away from the water.  Shrunk one in size a slight bit and continued on.  Did not circumnavigate blow lake.  Stop was short, use was not too high from what I could tell.
4 people (2 groups) without proper permits at Doris lake upon arrival.  One group kept their bubble form and put the other half in the slot.  This group was also camped right on the shoreline at the area right near (but not in) the main well-marked day-use area.  Other group didn’t know and had a very amicable conversation (and their dogs were very cute too, and on leash/well-behaved).
Cleaned up a campsite that is downhill of an established fire ring.  Contact a solo young lady who may have camped there, but didn’t utilize the fire ring there.  Educated.  Found the site, it was well established, about 20ft from the water.  Tent pad was swept clean of litter down to mineral soil.  Fire ring contained ~30lbs of charcoal and ash.  Pictures retained. Used two of the fire ring rocks (they were pretty healthy) plus one of the seating logs to iceberg the tent pad.  Did my best to duff the area before moving on.  Pictures retained.  Had lunch at noon after completion on the lakeshore.
Proceeded clockwise around Doris lake and found all the camping spots.  Most looked unused, except for the one when I got close to the main throughfare.  Looked for signs of TP/Poop, didn’t find any.  Found a package of brats in the fire ring along with other typical debris.
After circumnavigating, hit the main trail to Senoj.  Got lost.  I don’t know this area very well.  I could see a couple with what looked like a dog on the other side of the lake, but I found the terrain difficult to follow.  Follow up:  Contact a wilderness ranger familiar with Senoj to get scoop on campsites in that area and problem spots.  With the bugs, not many people were going to Senoj.  The one couple I talked to going to Senoj (didn’t have a dog) said they had ‘their spot’ that was well off the beaten path, but they might go to Zowie if the bugs were bad (they were).  I did not re-encounter them on the trail after I saw them at Doris lake.
The trail from Doris to Senoj has a fair number of trees down.  User trails are being created around some of them.  MOst are <12in diameter, with one 15″ perhaps.  Details vague.
I was bushwhacking at Senoj because I didn’t know the area.  Ran into a lady who thought she was at Doris lake, and glad to learn she had gone further than she had expected.  Helped her back to the main trail (She was like 10 feet from it).  After failing to find any issues at Senoj (other than trees), I diverted to the PCT just for shits and grins.  No major trash found.   There are maybe a few trees down, but nothing too major.  Worst (included in last two pictures) is a tree that fell down across a curve in the trail.
I suddenly, probably 1/4 mile from the PCB, found I’d dropped my mosquito net, and turned around promptly.  Found it about a half mile back.  Decided it was time to head back home.  Encountered one group of two that was going to Goose lake.  Former USGS spotted frog researcher, planned to just cover his poop with a rock, no shovel.  Gave him tips on using a stick to at least dig a hole, rocks aren’t good, etc.  His asian partner said she planned on just holding it in until tomorrow morning (ooooohkay).  Proceeded back to Doris.
Contacted one individual at Doris on the left side of day use area who had just pitched his tent right on the shoreline. Valid permit, receptive, showed him on the permit where it said 100ft from water, gave him my 3 talking points, and moved on.  Buried an older pile of toilet paper with turds still attached.  Thinking back, I thought I had heard someone while I was rehabbing the camp/fire ring at lunch earlier in the day… and ran into where someone had been pooping right on the shoreline not far from where I had been working (srsly folks?).  It had been marked with a stick.  I reburied it away from shore with the other pile of older turds/toilet paper.  Proceeded back to trailhead, contacted dispatch to extend ETR due to the PCT detour, and then got back to Bend ~6:15.
Bugs:  Nasty at Doris and blow.  Okay at Senoj, but present.  Mostly non-existent on Six Lakes Trail to PCT.  They found the part of the sleeve/cuff that is open and doesn’t have a button.  They also found the hole in my glove.  When I took my backpack off, they were swarming around it.  I will remedy these situations (except the fact that they like me so much, natch).