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Our adventure for the day was changed last minute due to weather. The rain seems to keep getting in the way of being outside, at least for Ralph and me. We enjoy going out to a park and operating our radios but in the rain? Forget it. So, for today our hopes had been to go to Cultus Lake Park to operate there but the clearing weather kept being pushed out and it looked like it would be wet if we went there today. Further west, the day cleared sooner, so that direction became our new plan.
Coquitlam looked like it was clearing up early enough for us, so I reviewed some parks there and selected Mundy Park as being a large area we could separate in and one easy to park at and access. We set out from my house at 11:30 and reached the park a bit after noon. We drove through each of the three parking areas on the west side eventually parking near the outdoor pool. We walked over the area around the pool and found a couple of spots that would do. Ralph saw a nice bench north of the pool and I selected one in a clearing south of the parking lot in the middle of the Disc golf course. There were a number of kids playing in the area, likely on lunch break from the nearby school.
As it was drizzling a bit and also lunch time we decided we would go to a coffee shop to eat lunch and come back in an hour to operate. We hoped that the extra hour would finish clearing up the weather. So, searching the nav com for Starbucks we were presented with a dozen choices! The closest being less than a mile away at a mall on Como Lake Road. To there we went, the mall was busy but there were still a number of parking stalls near the shop we could use. The store itself was busy with only a single table open which we immediately grabbed. We ordered coffee and ate our lunch while enjoying the busyness of the place.
Done with lunch we returned to the parking lot and got our gear loaded into the cart and Ralph’s back pack. Ralph went his way and I to our selected benches. As I approached my spot, I noticed that there was a foursome playing Disc Golf when I arrived. I continued past them and began to set up my antenna using a tree for one end of the line. I soon had my radio on and was ready to operate. That was when I discovered that the size adapter cable for my headphones was missing. I had taken it out for last week-end’s club event and forgotten to include it when I moved the head phones into my POTA kit. So, I would be operating with the built in speaker on the radio – workable but not ideal. About this time the foursome had made its way along the course and were back near me. I chatted with them a bit asking if they had played the south Langley course where I had operated. They didn’t know about it.
Turning on the radio I noted 3 activations on the 15m band and one was very strong so I decided to work that station in Rhode Island. It would be my first park there. Alas it took quite a number of calls to get through but I did finally make it. Then it was on to my own frequency and calling. It took a few minutes but then the stations starting responding. It was now around 1:35 and Ralph called to say he had enough and to see what was up. I had only six in my log so we decided to keep going for another 15. Soon I had the needed 10 contacts and then 5 more. Though it seemed harder. I still managed 15 contacts in under a half hour. Far better than some days. It just seemed slow due to the lack of headphones which make hearing the stations easier. Not as many exotic stations today but they did range from Rhone Island to California, a good breadth across the continent.
Well, I had more than enough in the log so I called Ralph on the handheld and we agreed to pack up and head home. Ralph had over 30 contacts today. My fifteen paled in comparison but considering the delay in getting started by chatting with the disc players and pursuing the one park, it really was a decent time out. Once back to the car we drove around the north side of the park and then down the east side next to another park – the Riverside Forest. It has never been operated in so we hope to return and get it lit up soon. No open spaces in it just lots of trails through the trees.
A pleasant day out though damp and cool. I wouldn’t want to be out there much longer but for the time we were operating it went well and delaying ourselves the hour for lunch worked out really well. Perhaps next week we can do one of the parks that keep eluding us for various reasons.