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Today was the best day weather wise of the whole trip. Yet there still is very little colour down here. So I decided to head to John Pearce Park and play with my KX2 HF radio. I recently built a wire antenna for it with a reflector component and wanted to try it out. It is a triangle and requires 3 trees spaced about a triangle and the park offered many to pick from. So a bit before noon I set out, first to refuel and then to drive straight to the park.
I arrived at the park, and there being no one else there, I walked to the grassy area. There I started laying out the pieces of the antenna, it got quite knotted up while unravelling it so that caused some irritation as did its propensity to snag twigs and leaves from the ground. Eventually I had it stretched out and I was listening to a strong station out of Italy! I worked the band up and down listening to various stations looking for opening but they were far between. I tried calling the Italy station but didn’t really expect anything, especially sense my antenna was not oriented right for that direction. I did manage to be barely heard by one station but they couldn’t make out my words. 8 watts just doesn’t seem to do it. I may just need to settle for a commercial antenna. A station from California was particularly strong as well, but they had a pile-up and I couldn’t get in a call before they closed down.
I packed up and started for the car realizing I was running late for my call with Ralph. I quickly set up the mag-mount antenna and checked my path the repeater, no activity. I needed to move to a higher spot so I quickly drove back out the way I came and when I reached a high spot I tried again, here the signal strength was reasonable. I parked and connected to the Vancouver node and called Ralph. He answered and we had a good chat. Done with radio for the day, I started driving back along the coastal roads again. This time I stopped at a few creek crossing to gather some photos. Though the colour was not as nice as prior years there was still a bit to enjoy and I tried to capture a few bits of it.
So, a day more for radio than photography but I managed to get both in before returning to the room. Later we went for a walk to the spice store to pick up a few spices to bring home. Our outing ended with a coffee at the local café. They do make some nice drinks and desserts there.