Sugar Run Mountain
Sugar Run Mountain

On Saturday, September 16, 2023, Dennis, N4DD, Seth, N4XTT, Rick, W4BXL, Matt, KQ4CCP, and myself, Ron, NR3E, met at the Cracker Barrel at the airport exit off of I-81 for breakfast at 9:00 a.m. The restaurant was busy but there were tables available and we were quickly seated. After getting our bellies full, we left at about 10:10 for our trip to Sugar Run Mountain (W4V/FC-003), north of Dublin, Virginia. The drive there was about two and a half hours over good roads. The forest road to the trailhead, although in excellent shape in years past, was a bit rough in spots due to some apparent hard rains in the area. But we drove slowly and made it to the parking spot without issue.

We hiked up the forest service road and in less than a half mile we were in the activation zone. Rick set up his Xiegu with an end fed for HF work and he also used his handheld with a J-pole antenna to get some two meter contacts. Seth and I continued up the road a hundred yards or so and set up my Elecraft KX2 into an end fed that had the far end up in a tree. Dennis continued past us another hundred yards and set up his Yaesu FT-857 into an end fed. Matt walked even further and set up his Xiegu into in end fed off the trail into the forest.

Dennis started on 20 meter CW and got the most contacts of the day at 47 with three DX. Seth and I arranged a contact with Rick, KD4AKW, a fellow club member, and worked him on 40 meter SSB from his home. We also tried to make a contact with our club president, Greg, but was unable to do so as Greg was mobile and probably couldn't hear our QRP signals. In the end we all got our contacts and earned the ten points for activating the summit.

We did have a slight mishap on this trip. Seth was operating on the ground, sitting on a tarp, and felt his foot going to sleep. He stood up to stretch and to get some circulation restored but in doing so twisted his knee. He felt a pop and his knee immediately began swelling; the pain quickly followed. He couldn't even bend over or sit down so we packed his bag and helped him off the summit back to the vehicle. He could only move very slowly and had to stop and rest every few yards. Fortunately, Rick brought a chair that he used in his activation and he let Seth use it for his rest breaks.

We got Seth back to the vehicle where we found some ice in our coolers and told him to keep it on his knee. We also came up with some ibuprofen to give him. On the way home, Seth called his folks to let them know what was going on. He didn't think he could safely drive, so his dad met us in Bristol to pick him up. The plan was for him to see a doctor as soon as possible. As of the writing of this article, Seth planned to see a doctor today so hopefully everything works out well for him.

The next monthly trip will be Saturday, October 21, 2023 to Elk Knob in North Carolina. More information about the trip will be posted at a later time.

2 thoughts on “Sugar Run Mountain

  1. Great story, Ron.
    I had just put up an EFHW antenna at the QTH and was trying it out.
    It was fun making radio contact with you guys.

    For clarification, my call sign is KD4AKW.

    Rick Brooks

    1. Sorry Rick, that goes back to my old touch typing days. I was looking at your callsign on my notes and used the right finger but wrong hand to type it. I have corrected it in the report. Thanks for catching it.

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