W6/NC-367, 1502 (2nd time)

Activation Date: 7 January 2018
Transport: Hike Distance: 7.5 miles
Elev. gain: 1,225 feet Time: 2.5 hours
Rig(s): LNR Precision MTR-3B, Radioddity GD-77 Band(s): 30, 20, 40m CW, 2m FM
Antenna(s): End-fed half-wave (HF), 12-inch whip (VHF/UHF)
Cell Service: Good (T-Mobile)
Parking: Bear Ranch Parking Lot
Trailhead: Bear Ranch Parking Lot
Fees/Permits: None for this entrance
Route: Willow Springs, Harvey Bear, and Ed Willson trails
Dogs: Yes  Toilet: Yes

My first hike and summit activation of the year! It’s just a little one-point summit, but it’s one of my favorites. It’s easy to get to, and it’s a beautiful hike up to a pretty secluded spot.

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Mount Isabel, W6/NC-035

Activation Date: 31 December 2017
Transport: Hike Distance: 7.8 miles
Elev. gain: 2350 feet Time: 3-3.5 hours
Rig(s): LNR Precision MTR-3B, Radioddity GD-77 Band(s): 20, 40m CW, 2m FM
Antenna(s): End-fed half-wave (HF), 12-inch whip (VHF/UHF)
Cell Service: Marginal/None (T-Mobile)
Parking: Side of the road, near CalFire Smith Creek Fire Station
Trailhead: Joseph D. Grant County Park entrance, to left, behind Fire Station
Fees/Permits: None
Route: Along creek, then old ranch roads
Dogs: Yes (on leash)  Toilet: No

I wanted to get in one final SOTA activation for the year, and planned on doing it the week between Christmas and New Year’s eve, but had come down with a nasty cold. Even though I still had a cold, I decided I’d do it on the very last day of the year.  Having seen that Jeff, AA6XA discovered this hike could be done on public land, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get this one done.  It’s an exceedingly beautiful hike into an isolated part of the Diablo range.

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