Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Day Eight .......

The Keremeos Valley
Last day on the road today, and after all the rain and crappy weather I've had on the way across, today dawned bright and clear.  The final push to the coast was done under brilliant blue skies.

The drive from Grand Forks to the Coast was spectacular.  There was a good number of large hills and the old truck strained at times, but we made it.   I stopped for lunch in Keremeos, and then continued down the highway through Manning Park, Hope and Chilliwack.  Lots of changes to the road since the last time I was through this country.

Once again today I had no response to any of my calls on the local repeaters through the communities along highway 3.  So that means no 2m repeater contacts the whole width of BC.  Pretty sad!!

Plans are in the work to activate Point Atkinson Lighthouse and one of the local islands over the long weekend.  More details to follow.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Day Seven .......

It was a long day today, Fernie to Grand Forks.....with a small detour to Trail to see, Ann, an old family friend of my mother's.  I had not heard from Ann for over 30 years...until today...I found her, and had a great catch-up with her. 

Guess what? ....it rained all day again.  I'm getting use to this "summer weather" I've been driving through.

The worst part of the day was driving the Salmo-Creston Summit.  It's 1781m at the top, and it's a heck of a drive to get up there!  The actual worst part was the drive down.  It's an 8% grade downhill for 15km, and then a further 6% grade for 6 Km.  My brakes sure took a kicking today!

A quiet day radio wise, once again I had no contacts on any of the 8 repeaters I called into, nor did I get a response on .52 simplex. 

My night spot tonight is Grand Forks and tomorrow afternoon I should be at my destination.

Day Six .......

The Cypress Hills
Rained all night in Swift Current and first thing in the morning I continued the journey to Bow Island, AB, and drove the 250 Km in the rain.  No contacts made on any of the three 2m repeaters in Swift Current.

The country between Swift Current and Lethbridge is a combination of cattle and grain.  Everyone seems to drive a pick-up truck and wear a big hat.....but there's some great scenery through the Cypress Hills.

Finally a 2m contact going through Medicine Hat, on the VE6HAT repeater.  I had a quick QSO with John-VE6KEE.  I had just passed the first sign for Bow Island and I had a great contact, Denis-VE6AGE on .52 simplex!!   This was the first simplex contact for the whole trip.  Denis, originally from Hearst, Ontario, "doesn't do repeaters" and hangs out on the simplex frequencies.  Had a great QSO until I was just about out of range, great to make that contact!

Arrived in Fernie, BC, late that afternoon.  First time "home" in BC in ten years.

The best sight of the day was not any of the scenery I drove through, it was in Medicine Hat, and here it is:

$1.08.9 a litre !!!!

By the way, did I mention they are calling for wet snow through Banff and Canmore tonight ???  Hmmm...........

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Day Five.....

Assiniboia River Valley
I hit the road pretty early today.  I wasn't feeling too well and wanted to get to the Clinic in Carlyle, SK, to see what was up.  The clinic was closed so I had to continue to Arcola, SK, and went to the emergency room there.  It turns out I drank some un-potable water....of course there were no signs to tell you this.

Just as I left Redvers another huge lightning storm hit with very heavy rain, and that lasted about until noon.  The rest of the day was nice, blue skies and a bit of heat.

The scenery around Assiniboia is spectacular.  This was the best of the trip so far.  There's a huge green valley just before you get to town and from the ridge line you can see for 30 km.  Just fantastic.

Gas prices have been holding steady at $1.26 for the past two days.

It's been a long day, and bad weather is coming in again, so I have detoured to Swift Current for the night and grabbed a motel.

Once again there were no 2m repeater contacts made, and nothing on 146.520 simplex either.  I hit every repeater along the route, and nothing but silence was heard.  I thought I might have made a contact in Weyburn, but that repeater is dead too.

Tomorrow I hope to make it to Fernie, BC.  Can't wait to see the mountains again.

Day Four......

Started the day trying to get out of Kenora.  There is so much road construction under way it's detour city, at the moment.   Very nice little town, and as usual heard no traffic on the local 2m repeater, nor were my calls answered.

However, I did get a call back from John-VE4OL on the Hadashville repeater, just before Winnipeg.  John told me that he heard my call on his scanner but didn't think it was that repeater, as nobody has heard a call on it for over a year!!!!  Why keep it up then??  A big thanks to John for keeping me company for a while.

Not much to see on he road to Winnipeg except trees and more trees.  About 100 km from Winnipeg it started to get very foggy, and that fog stayed with me until I was about 30 km past Winnipeg on Hwy 2.

Once the fog lifted the scenery was great, wide open prairie, just miles and miles of wheat fields.

The destination today is Redvers, Saskatchewan, a small town of about 100 people who have a neat municipal campground on the edge of town.  This campsite is very clean and very well maintained.  It was very expensive.....$10 for the night.  You can't miss the place, it's by the carved HUGE Mountie sitting on his horse, it's a good 30' tall.

After supper I set up the HF gear with the 31' vertical as the antenna, and managed to work Tim-VA3TIC, Ron-VE3GO, Dave-VE3DZE, and Don-VE3MNE, all the boys from Kingston.  It was great to hear their voices on the air.  Signals were 56 to 58 but there was a bit of QSB.

Later in the evening about 10:00 PM, you could see a huge lightening storm off to the west of us.  I got everything ready for when it hit, and hit it did about 6 hours later.  High winds and tonnes of rain.  I survived and managed to stay fairly dry in the back of the truck.
Off to Gull Lake, SK, tomorrow.