[amsat-bb] WD9EWK's road trip - Monday (20 July) report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Jul 20 21:58:43 PDT 2009


Another day, another few hundred miles/km and more QSOs for 
the satellite log.  With the special transmission on AO-51
this evening, I worked only SO-50 and AO-27 passes earlier 
today.  Still a good day with more sightseeing and radio 
work, plus I'm setting up for a busy and fun day tomorrow. 

Before I left Monticello in eastern Utah this morning, I worked
one SO-50 pass at 1530 UTC from the DM57/DM58 line where I had 
worked from on Sunday evening via AO-51.  I surprised myself 
with working 10 stations on a weekday morning pass, including 
the VE3MOON special-event station in Ottawa.  

After that pass, I started northward on US-191 toward grid DM59
near the I-70 freeway.  There was a VO-52 pass around 1650 UTC
I had thought about working, but I could not.  I was in Moab,
and that town is in the middle of a small canyon with high 
walls that would have severely limited the time I could work
on that pass.  I kept going north, and got clear of Moab in 
time for SO-50's second pass I worked at 1710 UTC. 

Just before the 1710 UTC SO-50 pass, I made it about 15 miles/25km
north of Moab, back onto a clear spot without hills or rocks 
blocking my view to the west.  A decent pass, even with just 3 
QSOs.  This stop was not on a grid boundary, in grid DM58dr, but
was not terribly far from where I would work AO-27 in the afternoon.

I found a spot near the I-70 freeway on a county road, the old US-6
highway that runs parallel with the Union Pacific railway in that
part of Utah.  This spot was north of the town of Cisco, in grids
DM58ix and DM59ia.  I planned to work two, and possibly 3, AO-27 
passes from here.  I did not have a clear enough view to the west
to work a very shallow pass (maximum 4 degrees elevation) at 2307
UTC, so I worked the earlier passes at 1946 and 2127 UTC. 

The 1946 UTC pass was up only to 17 degrees maximum elevation out
there, but that was high enough to clear some hills east of the 
spot.  I had no problems hearing the full 7 minutes of the pass, 
and worked 13 stations in that time.  The pass was not as chaotic
as the eastern AO-27 pass I worked on Sunday from DM47/DM57.  Not
a bad effort for a weekday pass.  After this pass, I drove east 
on I-70 about 20 miles/32km to the Colorado state line, and then 
went a couple of miles/km into Colorado so I could turn around 
and get back to DM58ix/DM59ia in time for the 2127 UTC pass. 

At 2127 UTC, there were stations spread out through the entire 
7-minute pass.  I logged 12 QSOs with stations up and down western
North America, and as far east as Louisiana and Ohio.  Even though
there were almost as many stations on the 2127 UTC pass as on the 
1946 UTC pass, everyone who was on the later pass who wanted to 
work me had the chance.  

Since I was not going to stick around for the 2307 UTC pass, I 
decided to make a long drive toward the Salt Lake City area for
tonight.  This would set me up well for tomorrow's travels and
sightseeing in central and southern Utah.  I hope to be on from
several grids from the following list: DM37, DM38, DM47, DM48,
and DM49.  I am currently in the north end of grid DM49, but with
tall mountains immediately east of here I will go south before
getting on tomorrow morning.  I should be on SO-50 passes starting
around 1600 UTC, AO-27 in the afternoon, and (if it is returned 
to the normal 145.920/435.300 FM voice repeater as planned) AO-51
in the evening.  Although I strive to operate from grid boundaries
to maximize the number of grids I can give out with my QSOs, that
may not always be possible based on surroundings and/or conditions
on or beside the roads and highways I will travel. 

I hope to be at least as far south as St. George in southwestern 
Utah, or even as far south as Las Vegas, tomorrow night.  I need
to get back home on Wednesday evening, so tomorrow will probably 
be the last full day for my radio activities.  I've driven over
1000 miles/1600km since I left Phoenix last Thursday, and - 
including the 3 days late last week in and around Williams AZ - 
have worked from 7 different grids on this trip.  More will be
heard from tomorrow.  

Good night, and 73!

Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - currently in Nephi, Utah
                        (80 miles/128km south of Salt Lake City)

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