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For some time now I have been interested in going for a longer drive with my car to just see how it performs on longer trips. I have also wanted to activate the Porteau Cove park in the Parks program. Ralph also wanted to activate the park so when I suggested we drive there on Monday he was all for it.
To prepare for the adventure I confirmed all my gear Sunday evening as for my last adventure – the annual field day event - I had rearranged many of the pieces of my equipment. Also, I upped the charge range on my car to provide a 100% charge rather than the normal 90%. Come Monday morning the day looked fine and Ralph arrived on schedule at 9am. We quickly loaded his gear into the car and set out. Our first stop was coffee and then the open road. The navigation computer had us taking an hour fifteen for the drive.
We made good time on the roads as traffic was light and the lights green. The only slow down was at the Cassiar tunnel which was still moving but slowly. I really don’t understand why that spot always seems to be a problem. Once past the tunnel we made great time to Horseshoe Bay. We did see a long delay in the opposite direction due to construction and we were concerned how it would affect us when we returned.
As predicted by the computer, we arrived on schedule at the cove and I pulled into a nice parking spot, it was less than half full. We then loaded up the cart for the trip to the grassy area right next to the actual cove. Ralph didn’t want to stay near the parking area and day use section. He had walked the campsites before and knew of a large grassy area to the south. So we trekked along the roadway past all the campsites until we reached the end. The field was a good size but not as big as Ralph remembered. After a brief walk around, we decided on our locations.
I picked a spot next to a large tree where I could set up under it for shade. Ralph continued to the south end to set up his station. It didn’t take me long to put up my mast and tie off the dipole wires, one end to a tree the other to my portable post. Once set up, I dialed through the 20m band and though the noise floor was down, I heard no stations. I picked a frequency and spotted myself and started calling – no responses. For over an hour I called, switching to the 40m band and back – nothing. I did hear a couple groups on 40m chatting but no people looking for contacts and none looking for me. I even tried to contact other parks but I could hear any of them either.
Being disappointed I wandered over to Ralph to see how he was doing, he also reported he had no contacts and that the CW portion of the band was dead. We were both having a very bad day. After an hour Ralph packed up and came back tome to eat his lunch, I kept calling while I ate but still nothing. Done we lunch I decided to be done with Radio as well. I packed up and we started for the car. I gathered a few photos along the way and once our equipment was stowed in the car we took some time to walk around the pier area and enjoy the sights while I took some pictures.
The spot it lovely but it was getting on in time and we had to head home. The computer showed that all was well on the road and that construction blockage was cleared up. So we zipped home in very good time, no traffic delays for the whole way! That was so very nice.
Well, it was a pleasant drive, I felt that the car did very well. That trip says it used 30 KWH for t-he return trip. I also got to enjoy some scenery for a change. Only the radio portion or our plans had failed to deliver the results we wanted. Still, operating there was a pleasure and now we will be back at some point to have a successful activation.