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IIn our on-going pursuit of activating summits and parks, it is not to often that you come across one that hasn’t been activated before. While Ralph was looking over the map of parks, he came across this small park sandwiched between several larger ones that had never been activated. He missed out on the first contact last time and so he really wanted to get his name on tis one. We didn’t want to wait too long lest someone else notice its status. So, we planned to visit it on the next decent day.
The next decent day was Wednesday and the weather was to clear the fog by noon and offer some sun shine for the afternoon. That seemed ideal and so we finished our morning chores and then around 12:30 Ralph came by and we set out for the park. We arrived at 1pm and set out to scout the park for a good place to set up. We found a very tiny park. It was only the size of a house lot. At least it had a grassy area on it south side with a few trees nearby. We picked a side each and then set out our gear. We were really too close for good separation but Ralph planned to try the 17m band first so I could use 20m.
I got my gear in the air and ready but Ralph had not yet finished his setup so I just roamed around and waited for him to get the first contact. Once he had a couple in his log, I found a frequency and put out a call and then spotted myself on the website. Soon I was responding to calls from Arkansas, Wisconsin, Alaska, Arizona and more. It was a good set up but Ralph and I were interfering which each other to some degree. Next time we will need to find better separation.
In 20 minutes, I had 13 contacts logged and so I stopped for a bit of a break. During that time a neighbour from across the street came by to ask about our activity. At first, he seemed a bit irritated by our presence wondering why we had to come to his park rather than just do it from our backyards. I explained the parks on the air program to him and shared the locations of some of my contacts from there. That seemed to pique his interest in what we were doing and we went on to have a pleasant chat about radio and the various activities that hams participate in. Meanwhile Ralph moved to 20m but my interreference was too much and so he went back to 17 for a few last contacts.
By now the sun had still not come out and the day was still quite cold and damp. It did look like the sun was breaking through at one point but then it went back into hiding. The dampness was taking it toll and so we decided to pack up since we both had sufficient contacts in our logs. Packing went quickly and soon we were on the road, as it was still quite early, we opted to get a warm drink at the nearest Starbucks before heading home. Ralph managed to get first activation for a park and we both added a new one to our list. It was a good event even though the park was very tiny. I am not sure how it made it to the list while many much larger parks are missing.