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It was time for our weekly new park adventure and today we decided to go back to Coquitlam in the same area as our previous adventure. This park would not be as encumbered by high voltage power lines and large water pumps. As such we expected to have fewer issues with making contacts. The drive was similar to the last except today we drove past Hickory Park and continued north-east to Riverside. This park as a nice parking area on the north end and we arrived to find only a single vehicle in it.
Once parked we went for a stroll through the area. The two fields are surrounded by a walking path and higher ground on the north where the parking is and to the west where the slope rises to the crest of the Coquitlam area. We walked around the fields on the walkway looking for our two operating locations. The north-east corner near the parking lot and washrooms looked like a possible location. As we wandered, we passed a kid’s area and then across the field Ralph spotted a place that would be decent for his set up. We then returned to the car.
Back at the car as we loaded our cart, a city worker who had arrived in his truck asked about what we were up to. He was quite interested in the program. We then walked to the closer site which was where I would set up and we unloaded my equipment Ralph then continued on to the far side of the park. I reviewed the area again and after considering a number of orientations I finally picked a place for the tripod and secured it with the stakes. I would need to cross over the walkway which I try to avoid, but even so, it was still more north-south than I prefer.
Having set up the equipment I dialed in the 20m band as usual. There was an S5 noise level here, still much higher than I would like but I was fairly close to the houses that encircle the park and their Wifi would be affecting me. There was also an ongoing warble to the noise likely due to some local issue. At least it was better than Hickey Park though I would likely still not hear the weaker stations. I checked the band for other activators and found a chap in North Dakota, he was doing a double park and we both reported good signal strength, I continued to scan up band and found a second North Dakota activator and got him logged though the signals were weaker.
I had scanned the whole band and no other stations seemed reachable so I picked a frequency and started calling. It took a few minutes but I next got a response from a chap in California, followed by Ontario and another Californian station. I started to hear another operator just up band from me and I had a report form one chap that it was interfering with my signal, so I decided to move down band a bit. It seemed to be going slowly but contacts were coming in. Once I got past the first half hour, it now being 2:15, and with me on a new frequency the pace of contacts picked up. The noise level in the area was still making it hard to hear stations and I am sure I missed a good number of them. Today I just stayed on the 20m band as we were here for a limited time, when I go out alone I generally try multiple bands taking extra time for it.
Ralph called a couple of times, he started off quite quickly but then things slowed down, the opposite of my experience. We both had more than enough in the log and by the 50-minute point we decided to pack up. I managed one more contact, this with an operator activating another double park. By the time I was done I had 25 contacts which included six parks. It was a decent outing and we both felt it went well. Even the weather cooperated with a cloudy day and not overly hot. The drive home included a stop at the local Starbucks we visited last trip. The main drive went smoothly as we were a bit ahead of the traffic, we made an unusual number of green lights on our way back. It was quite a noticeable situation as we sailed through most of the areas marked as slow by the navcom. If only all our trips could be so!