Trip of 2013.05.29
- Succeeded: Yes
- First-activation: No
See my trip planning guide at: SOTA Guide: W4G/NG-035, Bell Knob
Commentary: I activated Eagle Mountain (W4G/NG-008) and Bell Knob on May 29, 2013. Eagle is a long walk for me, at 4.7 miles. (4WD owners can do it in 4.4.) Much of the route is used as a horse trail; it is a little chewed up and muddy, even on a dry day. I was fortunate to be able to follow a GPX trace I got from the Atlanta Outdoor Club. There were some turns I might have missed otherwise.
I used a 31’ vertical with an EARCHI 6-40 matchbox, and a single 28’ counterpoise. I had success on 20m but couldn’t raise anyone on 40. The propagation forecast was good for 80-20 when I left home, and good for 40-20 when I got home.
Since the hike went faster than I expected, I hustled back to the car and drove over to Bell Knob. The road to the Bell Knob trailhead is loose dirt and gravel, and it becomes too steep for 2WD in dry weather. I drove as far as I could, and parked in some grass when the tires couldn’t get traction to go any farther.
I hiked up the road to the T, where a deeply rutted ATV trail heads off to the left. I followed the trail to the summit. There are twin points on top, and they look to be about the same height. They also look to be tall enough that the saddle between is not in the activation zone. I picked the second (slightly farther along the trail). Fortunately, this was the right one, as evidenced by the benchmark up top. I started to climb the rock face, but someone coming down showed me the ‘easy’ trail on the lake side. (It is a pretty aggressive trail, but much better than climbing the rubble on the front.)
I used an AlexLoop on Bell. Again, I had success on 20m but not 40. I did manage to work a weak contact into Germany. He was very patient when I asked him to repeat his call sign for about the 5th time.
There’s no scenic view from Eagle. Bell Knob has really nice views.
I shoulda stopped after Eagle. My feet were only tired then. On Bell Knob, I picked up some nasty blisters.
Thank you chasers!