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I was the first to activate the Bog in the Parks on the Air program but that was over a year ago! My friend Ralph wanted to visit the bog and get it completed on his list. I offered to go with him and do a second activation there. Originally, we planned on going to a Ladner area park for the day but there was a Geomagnetic storm happening and the bands were in rough shape. Since I also had company coming for dinner, I felt that doing the closer bog and removing the pressure to get a first activation meant returning to Burns would be the better place to go. As planned, Ralph came by at 12:30 and we made the quick drive to the park.
We parked next to the trail leading down the slope to the bog. The first segment drops around 15 feet and is quite steep. With the two of us we maneuvered the cart down the slope and then with Ralph’s help crossing the train tracks was easy as we just carried the cart across. Once across the tracks the trail connects to a wide walking trail the follows alongside the tracks for some distance. There are numerous side trails that lead into the ruins from that trail. We took the first one and were soon walking across the large paved area.
The pavement in the ruins has become quite lumpy with tree roots pushing up on the asphalt. Clumps of trees littered the area and broke the wide-open expanse into smaller secluded hideaways. The area is really quite lovely with the concrete peering out from the clumps of trees. Once we got in the area, we left the cart and explored the region looking for a nice spot for each of us to operate. Ralph found a pleasant area to the south I went north through some trails and settled on an area with a wide spot for the antenna but enough shade to keep cool.
Once we had our places picked, we gathered up our gear and set up our stations. I was soon scanning the band for a park. I found a chap at a park in Alabama and was able to work him. That gave both of us a park-to-park contact, as there was a second operator, I now had two contacts in the log. It took 10 minutes to get the next contacts and a further 5 to be contacted by a chap doing a double park. It was very slow going and I was only at 10 contacts after a half hour of calling. That is when Ralph called to see how things were. He had only reached 4 contacts by that point.
We decided to keep going for another 15 minutes. I only managed 2 more contacts in that period fortunately Ralph had a better run and managed to get 6 more in his log giving him the needed 10. We both had enough so we decided to pack up and get home. I needed to get back as early as possible so leaving with only 12 wasn’t too bad especially considering the shape of the band. The storm was definitely working against us today. The drive went quickly and we were soon pulling into my yard. It was a lovely warm sunny day to be in the bog but the radio conditions were not good. One of the chaps I talked to who was at a park, said he was having a very difficult time but I was his tenth so he also packed up early. The band conditions play a huge role in the success of the adventure and lately we have been fortunate to get enough on some of the harder days.