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I was looking for an interesting new park to visit where I could complete my fiftieth park activation. By visiting 50 different parks I earn the diamond activator award. So, I wanted a more interesting park for the milestone. In pursuing the list, I saw this park in Maple Ridge. It was a popular one for a few activators in POTA so I figured it was a good one to visit. I reviewed the maps and discovered that it is a very large park that follows the creek from the Fraser river far up towards it origin. It offered everything from casual walks along the estuary lagoons to waterfalls in a small gorge area. I selected the lower area by the Fraser for today’s trip but plan to return to see more of the upper regions.
Upon arrival at the park the parking area was mostly open and I picked a spot near to where I thought I would operate. I then got out to explore the site somewhat. The area I thought I could use was actually an unkept ditch and so would not work. I walked a path to the west alongside the highway to the creek. It was a scenic area and the creek offered some lovely scenes. I then returned to the car and then continued along the main trail leading to the Fraser River. Here it passes by a nice lazy section of the creek where there were geese swimming and a Blue Heron studying the water. I decided to return to the car and get my cart loaded and then come back to find a spot.
Once loaded up I returned along the main trail and continued past the creek to the Fraser. Here there were a few benches placed facing the river and I selected one for my station for the day. I strung up the antenna wire. Its orientation was not the normal one I prefer as I didn’t want to cross the walkway since it was fairly busy. Today it ran from the NW to SE parallel to the path and river. A number of people stopped by once the antenna was up and while I was still setting up the rest of the radio. They all seemed quite interested in the activity.
Once ready, I scanned across the 20m band and instantly heard a very loud station. It was VA7DBJ (Dave) a local POTA activator and the one who had done many activations at Kanaka Creek Park. He was just up the river in Pitt Meadows! He said he knew the area I was at well. After working him and his friend, I tried a few more parks without success so I moved to the 15m band and started calling. Over the next 40 minutes I completed 12 more contacts across the mid-west and California. It was a good run and signal reports were a bit weak but generally OK. There were a couple of stations I couldn’t quite make out so they slipped away.
Done will calling I decided to return to the 20m band and try an activator that I heard earlier but couldn’t work. I still was not able to get him in the log but I heard another local activator which I was able to work and that gave me a second park-to-park for the day. Done with operating I packed away the gear and wandered back to the car. I stopped in a few places for some photos. At the car I quickly loaded up and asked the navcom for the way home. It picked a different route from the one I came in on. This was likely due to heavy traffic. The new route took me along some roads I had never driven so that was a fun end to the day.
I finished my 50th park and gained my achievement. Next will be the Sapphire award at 75 parks. Kanaka park does offer some lovely views and lots of places to visit so I will be coming back just to walk the upper areas and gather some photos.