Friday, 29 August 2014

Lighthouse Activation.....

Point Atkinson
Plans are underway to activate the Point Atkinson Lighthouse, CAN-400 this coming Monday, September 1st.

Timings will be 1800 UTC till 2200 UTC.

Frequencies will be 7.250 and 14.250 to 14.260 -/+

Callsign in use will be VE3FCT/VE7.

Give a listen and hope the propagation is working.....

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? 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.