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I have been going to Campbell Valley Park repeatedly over the past number of weeks. I have not written a report for most of them as I would think it would be a bit repetitive. Today however was the fifteenth visit so I thought it deserved a bit of recognition. When I reach 20, I will achieve the first level of the repeat offender award, the second is at 40, I’ll do a follow-up report then. When I operate at the park, I like to use the Old Orchard area with its covered picnic tables, it is also a bit hidden so visitor traffic tends to be quite light.
Today, I arrived at the park earlier than normal as I planned to help Nick mow the lawn when I got back home. I arrived at 11:30 and noticed that the parking lots were almost full. That reminded me that many had the day off from work and hence were out enjoying some fresh air in the sun. I did find an open stall near my regular spot and then I loaded the cart and walked to the tables. They were unoccupied as usual. I set up on my regular table at the far end of the line of tables and went about setting up my mast. While there a young family walked by and asked about the activity, they were quite surprised that one did that sort of thing but thought it was quite neat.
Once operational, I scanned the 10m band for other park activators. I could hear 4 quite well and managed to work them all. The 10m band was doing quite well but I prefer the 15m band right now so I moved to it and found a single activator on it. I was also able to work him. I then moved up the band and started calling on my own frequency. Very quickly I started having many hunters come by. After only a few minutes I reached the 10-contact point. Fellow club member Jim called me from his home. His signal was so strong I had to turn the volume down a long way in order to hear him without distortion! After a brief chat he went on his way and I continued making calls.
After a half hour of calling, I was up to 24 contacts. Jim came back on and we arranged making a contact on the 40m band. One of the achievements that one can work towards is making contacts on 10 different bands from a park. I was currently at 7, working Jim on 40m gave me 8. His signal on 40m was even stronger than on 15m. We also tried 80m but my antenna wouldn’t tune on it. I suggested 6m but Jim’s radio couldn’t do 6m. I will need to try for two more bands another day. Done with Jim, I started calling again and my next hunter was Raymond an active hunter from Queensland, Australia. He had a decent signal coming in here.
I continued calling for about an hour and in the end, I completed 41 contacts. These ranged from Australia to New York with a number of Canadian Prairie and Ontario stations. Quite a wide range of locations today. Even a local from just down the street! While operating, a family group came by and settled around one of the tables just down from me. They were enjoying a pleasant lunch in the sun. It was the first time a group shared the facility with me. They didn’t seem interested in my activity though. I guess they were concentrating on good family time.
Done with radio I packed things away and returned to the car. There I heard two guys yelling at each other. One seemed to be taking offence that the other was using his electric scooter on some of the trails. The scooter guy replying that the trails allowed bikes so he was allowed to use it there. After lots of foul words the complaining chap left and we had peace. I finished packing away the gear and then went for a short walk around the area gathering a few photos. It was a pleasant end to my day at the park, and now the lawn at home was waiting patiently for its cut. Mostly though, it was to clean up all the fallen leaves. We will need another go at it to finish with the leaves as many still remain on the trees.