Camp Creek Bald 2023
Camp Creek Bald 2023

On another great SOTA day, members of the Kingsport Amateur Radio Club met at Cafe 93 on Saturday, August 26th, for breakfast before heading off to an activation of Camp Creek Bald. We had a nice crowd for the meal, including Dennis, N4DD, David, KI4AAU, Anita, KI4MKM, Sabrina (a future licensee), Larry, KD4FTN, Rick, W4BXL, Justin, KO4DCD, and Ron, NR3E. After a good breakfast and better friendship, we left for the summit at about 10:00.

The drive to Camp Creek Bald took a little over an hour and was on mostly good roads. The last quarter mile had some dicey spots, but all four of our vehicles made it without issue. On the way up, we heard Matt, KQ4CCP, calling CQ SOTA on two meter FM. He had turned a drive-up summit into a hike by parking at Allen Gap and walking to the summit, a distance of 6.5 miles with an elevation gain of over 2500 feet. All of us that were driving worked him and he quickly got his activation. Way to go, Matt, you deserved an easy activation after that kind of hike!

When we arrived at the summit we were greeted by Bryan from the Greeneville club. He gave us a tour of their repeater setup in the main lookout tower and let us operate two meter FM from the tower, which several of us took advantage of.

We then began putting our stations together. David and Anita set up a Yaesu FT-2900 and a J-pole for some FM work. Justin walked up towards the peak and set up along the road with his Icom 705 and an end fed antenna. Larry set up a KX3 and an end fed antenna. Dennis had his Yaesu FT-857 and an end fed antenna which he set up back down the main road a piece. Rick used his handheld and a Slim Jim antenna for a while then moved to the tower on the summit and made contacts with the antenna on the handheld. Ron set up his KX2 and an end fed in a flat area that he and Rick shared. As you can see, end fed antennas are very popular with this group.

Radio was good and everyone got enough contacts for their activation. Two meter FM worked great from the summit and the HF bands were open too. SSB, CW, and FM modes were all used. The weather was very nice with clear skies and warm temperatures but the bugs also liked the weather as the gnats were flying in everyone's faces.

The next club SOTA trip will be on September 16 to Sugar Run Mountain in Virginia. More information will follow about that trip.

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