K-6498 Current River Conservation Area

3 October 2021

On my way home from K-6491 Peck Ranch I decided to try for a second activation. Another park that had never been activated before! Current River Conservation Area was about an hour away and on the way home. I had seen on the map that not far into the park was a fire tower. I decided that was probably going to be one of the highest points so I checked that out first.

When I got there I was pleasantly surprised to find that you’re welcome to climb the tower.

Don’t plan on going inside though!

I decided to setup just below the shack at the top. I ended up trying a few different ways to mount the antenna but end the end I decided to use this multi way camera mount then attach the versahub base of the Buddipole to it. I really don’t think that the versahub was designed to be mounted horizontally like this, but it held up just fine.

I used the same shock cord whip and extension poles that I used at the last site and just let the radial hang. I didn’t have a way to directly connect to the tower itself, otherwise I would of clamped onto it directly.

At 1205 feet I was still 100 feet lower than the location I had just come from, but the HAAT was excellent.

Ye old Ranger

It was this moment that I realized that being organized in your pack really pays dividends in not dropping your radio from the top of a fire tower. Everything nested together nicely, and having the clip board with the velcro was indispensable.

I brought the Kestrel 3500 Weather Meter up with me and I’m glad that I did. The weather was fairly mild that day, in the mid 70’s, and had a light breeze. The winds at the top of the tower were 12-15mph and I was out of the sun so it was pretty comfortable.

I worked through the first 4 contacts in just a few minutes then all of a sudden the temperature dropped 10 degrees and I turned around to see a storm quickly rolling my way.

Good enough to get off this tower!

I packed up quick and threw everything into the track just in time. It was raining pretty good, and I decided to try and wait it out so I drove around the park while I waited for it to pass.

The rain passed an hour later and I decided to setup on a park table next to the tower. This time I used my usual 41′ random wire flung into a nearby tree. The tower was already a bit iffy dry, so I didn’t want to risk it wet.

I knocked out the rest of my contacts and called it a day. I had spent all day driving, playing radio in the parks, and dodging storms. It was a blast but I was spent and wanted to get home at a reasonable time.

Thanks for all the contacts it was a great day. I ended up activating two brand new parks, and ended up with a RaDAR award on the POTA site! Now to plan the rest of the un-activated parks!

73 – KK9U

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