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Of the parks in Surrey that are on my Parks-on-the-air list, Price Creek is the last one remaining for me to visit. Lately the organization that manages the POTA program has been removing small parks from the list that should never have been added. This one may be removed at some point but it was still listed for now. So, rather than take a chance of it being removed before I got to it, I decided it would be a good time to visit. Being fairly close it was also quick to get to.
The one benefit of doing the program is the opportunity to see many new parks and visit areas of the community one would not normally visit. This park would likely never have seen me were it not for the program. The park follows the creek and that area is fully treed and offers some walking trails. There is a wide-open area on the west flank that is a big grassy field. It has trees lining the south side so it was ideal for me to operate in and stay in the shade.
I set out for the park around 1pm and was parked by 1:30, after a brief walk around I gathered up my gear and made my way across the open grass. I wanted to get to the far side which would put a bit of distance between me and the residential Wi-Fi from the houses that lined the other side of the street from the park. I spotted a location with some nice shade and I walked over to it and positioned my small table so it would stay shaded as the sun moved. The open field made setting up the antenna easy and I soon had it in the air. I brought some new spikes to anchor the tripod. I felt that the big plastic ones I had been using put big holes in the ground and are harder to stake in some of the really hard ground areas. The nails worked well.
Once setup, I scanned the bands and found a single station I could hear. He was in Saskatchewan and he was very happy to have a park-to-park contact. He said things were going slow for him. I moved a bit up frequency from him and spotted myself on the website and began calling. I soon had a chap from California respond and then from Wisconsin followed by Texas and a chap in Ottawa. A couple more came by and then things just seemed to stop. I had only seven logged so I needed three more to activate the park. I had lots of time but also felt adventurous, so I moved to the 15m band and picked a frequency. It took a few minutes but I eventually had a lady from Virginia call me and then a chap in Louisiana. That seemed to end activity in that band so I moved to the 17m band. After some calling, I eventually had another contact giving me my tenth, several more followed fairly quickly before things went quiet again. I had 15 in the log now and the shade had moved past me so rather than rearrange things I decided to pack it up.
The day had gone quite well, I managed the 15 contacts in under an hour of calling, so though not a great rate of response it was much better than some trips had done. The day was also getting hot out there in the open field so it was definitely time to head back to the airconditioned car for the trip home. Traffic was a bit heavy at a few lights but I made decent time to a nearby Starbucks and then the rest of the way home. A pleasant day at the small park, perhaps I should return and see what the trails are like.