Picture this. I’m super excited to get to K-1216 Elderado Canyon State Park and get it activated. I’ve got my gear in the back of the car and done my research by looking at the park info and Google maps. Lots o’ space to setup an antenna in the parking lot away from some power lines. Even if there are a few cars there I should be able to work around them. This is going to be awesome.

Welp, the parking lot was packed! There was a single spot open for me to park in before the overflow was roadside parking. There is also a trail that leads off the parking lot and no picnic tables or spots where you could setup off the immediate trail. So what did I bring to this activation? Well everything to setup a back of the car or really close picnic table activation. Both of which didn’t exist here.

Now I was slightly bummed as it’s fun to get on the air and activate. I looked around for a little to just maybe see if there was somewhere close I could setup but nope. So I decided if I can’t operate it’s time to use the park and hike along the trails and also see where I would be able to activate from the next time I was there. So along the paths I went. Elderado Canyon State Park has two sections and I was at the western one and the trails allow you to get to the other section of the park. The eastern section is more in the actual canyon so was pretty sure activating there would be a little difficult though who knows I may try from there at a later date. So I followed a different trail that took me to a rocky outcrop above the parking lot. Wasn’t a super long hike but I also didn’t come setup for a long hike either. Once up on top is was a great spot. It was out of the way as it was a shorter hike with a bit of incline to get to and because of that I was the only one there and didn’t look to be traveled to much. The views were fantastic and the location looked good as the terrain would allow signals to get out okay. So I hiked back to the car happy I found a spot and got to hike around and headed home.

I didn’t know when I would get back but as luck would have it I ended up with time the next morning! So I coerced KF0GHP to come along, mainly because the grasshopper population on my hike the previous day was astronomical and she loves bugs! So I packed up the second radio, battery and other bits and bobs from the other deployment kit into a backpack and we headed up. After hitting the park the previous day it had rained that night. Getting to the park though it just made it less dusty. The trails were dry to the point there was no damage when walking them and the grasshoppers were everywhere! Even had a few hitch a ride on me for a while.

Getting up to the top I setup on some rocks. lashed the jackite to a large rock next to me to got the antenna in the air and plugged the radio in. I didn’t have a ton of time so I was eager to get going. Either reception was just amazing at my activation spot or POTA was exploding when I was there but for a short activation I went through the band spots once and made P2P (park-to-park) contacts only. Once through the spots list and I had my activation which I’ve never had before. I went through the band once more and made a couple more P2P contacts and looked at my watch. I was actually behind which meant time to pack up quick and take off. KF0GHP had also caught as many grasshoppers she could ever want and released them back into the wild while I packed up.

Now I will be back to the park as I really want to make sure I’m not just doing P2P contacts but that will be the focus the next time I go as I know where to go and how much time I’ll need to do that.

Ultimately I am so glad I decided to go into the park and hike around the first time instead of getting discouraged and leaving as it made activation rather nice when I did. Just need to continue that attitude for POTA as it’s a lot of fun to get out into nature while also getting to play some radio!


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