Click on image to view gallery
In looking for another new park to activate in our weekly radio adventure, I reviewed the parks listed in Port Coquitlam. There were still two not done by me and so I selected one, Elks Park, as our next adventure. It was an odd shaped park as it was mostly a greenway between two rows of condos and housing. The park had a number of cross trails and one along its length. It wasn’t a wide park; one could throw a stone across the width but it seemed to pack in lots of adventure. It is well treed and has numerous benches and paved walkways along with a fancy kid’s area.
Ralph arrived for our 12:30 departure and we made decent time to the park for most of the way, there was one very slow area through Cloverdale. Why it was backed up was not apparent, perhaps the light was just not configured well. We arrived alongside the west side of the park on and found ample street parking right next to the park. I guess it is mainly used by locals walking to it. The opposite end houses a community garden and it is well fenced off. We parked the car and went for a walk.
Elks Park has lots of shade trees and offered many locations in the shade where one could set up. Ralph decided on a place close to the car. That meant I needed to go to the far end. We continued along the trail passing the kids area. It had a number of interesting structures that I had not seen in a park before and they were being well used by kids. The trail continues paved to the mid-park cross pathway and then became a well-trodden dirt path. At the far end was the community garden but just before it was a nice location for me to set up in. We returned to the car and loaded the cart.
Ralph didn’t need the cart today he was close enough to make two short trips to carry his gear in. Once loaded, I wandered along the trail to the far end and then set up my table and studied the trees for the best place for the tripod. Once selected I secured it and then raised the mast. As I was as stretching out the antenna wires I managed to miss seeing a dog deposit, so that took a bit of unwanted activity cleaning up. Once in the air and with me cleaned up, I set up the radio and dialed across the 20m band. I could hear a few parks and tried one but he didn’t acknowledge me so I moved on and decided to just head to the 15m band and start calling. Though there was only one other activator on 15m the band conditions looked favourable.
I selected a frequency on 15m just above the other park activator and started calling. After a short delay I had a steady stream of responders giving me the needed 10 contacts in 15 minutes. Things slowed down a bit after the initial group and then Ralph called to say he had sufficient as well. I said I would like to try 17m for a few minutes and so we extended out time to allow me to work 17m. I spotted myself on 17 and after a longer delay during which I was wondering if I was being heard, I had a stream of three contacts come by. These three were in the south-western states whereas on 15m the contacts were more east coast and mid-western. So, it was a different region that could hear me.
By the half hour point I had 15 logged contacts, as Ralph also had enough contacts we decided to close down and head home. Packing up went quickly and as I walked up to Ralph’s area he was just finished packing up. We loaded the car and made for the closest Starbucks, it happened to be in a Safeway. Not ideal but it worked well enough. For the drive home the navcom had us use the Golden Ears Bridge this trip. That was a surprise but I guess the other route was packed with long-week-end traffic. The drive was 10 minutes longer going home.
Upon reviewing my log and loading it into the program files, I noticed that we were the first activators for that park. That surprised me as all the others around it had numerous activations. I guess the other activators only want the easy stuff. This park did have a high S5 noise floor but it as not as bad as some locations. Ralph ended up getting the first activator award as he just beet me by a few minutes. So that is park number 99, next one gets me the 100-level certificate.