[amsat-bb] WD9EWK's road trip - Tuesday (21 July) report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Tue Jul 21 23:32:08 PDT 2009


Another day on the road... worked from 4 grids, drove almost 
400 miles/640km, and still having fun.  Only one more day 
on the road, before I'm back home and back to the "real world".

I started the day at Nephi, a small city at the south end of 
the Salt Lake City metropolitan area in DM49bq.  I woke up early,
and saw that I had an overhead AO-51 pass around 1347 UTC.  I 
decided to try that, before hitting the road.  I drove a 
couple of miles/km from my motel, and proceeded to work 10
stations.  A nice start to a busy day.

Before the next AO-51 pass came by around 1529 UTC, I drove 
south to the town of Redmond in central Utah.  I was in grids
DM48bx and DM49ba at this location, where I worked 4 passes
from here - one on AO-51, then two SO-50 passes, and finally
a shallow AO-27 pass.  The AO-51 pass and one of the SO-50 
passes (the one tha went down the Pacific coast) didn't have
a lot of stations on it, where the other SO-50 pass and that
shallow AO-27 pass were busier.  I worked a total of 22 QSOs
from here, and took time between a couple of passes to survey 
my next operating location...

I drove about 15 minutes south from Redmond to another small
town, Sigurd.  This town straddles the DM38/DM48 grid boundary,
and I stopped at DM38xu/DM48au near an electrical substation
on Substation Road.  Looking at a map with either Maidenhead
grids or latitude/longitude showed me I was around the spot
where 4 grids came together (DM38, DM39, DM48, DM49), but I 
would not be able to get to that spot.  There has been some 
recent activity from DM39 (I've worked AC7SU in DM39 a couple
of times in the past 5 or 6 months), so I decided to skip that
grid and focus on the others in that area.  

>From the DM38/DM39 boundary, I worked a pair of AO-27 passes.  
Eight QSOs were made on the first (eastern) pass, and 4 more
on the western pass.  These passes were not as busy as the
passes I worked yesterday from DM58/DM59 in eastern Utah, but
at least I worked everyone on these passes that wanted to make
a QSO with me.  

After the last AO-27 pass, I went from avoiding the freeways 
to actively seeking out the I-70 and I-15 freeways.  I used them
to move toward southern Utah, and a spot on a frontage road 
along I-15 on the DM37px/DM38pa boundary.  Just like I had on my
first AO-51 pass this morning, there was an overhead pass around
0100 UTC this evening that I worked from this spot.  Thirteen 
QSOs were made from DM37/DM38, as cars and trucks were zooming 
by on the I-15 freeway next to my operating location.  

I had planned to travel as far south as St. George in southwest
Utah and stopping there for the night.  When I got back on the
I-15 freeway after the last AO-51 pass, I thought about what I
might be doing tomorrow, and decided not to stop at St. George. 
I drove about 40 miles/64km more, reaching the town of Mesquite
just into Nevada.  

For tomorrow (Wednesday), I am only planning to attempt a couple
of passes.  There is an SO-50 pass around 1448 UTC that I will 
try to work from somewhere in DM36 a few miles/km up the road from
where I am staying, across the border from Mesquite in northwestern
Arizona.  I was in DM36 a few weeks back, when I worked from the 
South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  This time, I might be able to park 
on the DM26/DM36 boundary for this pass.  With mountains to the 
north and east of that area, I may only have a few minutes near the 
middle of the pass (midpoint of this pass for me is approximately 
1454 UTC) to work stations.  

After lunch, I will be on the 2029 UTC AO-27 pass from somewhere
in grid DM26.  Possibly the DM25/DM26 boundary on the south end of
Las Vegas, the spot where I worked from last year on that road 
trip.  Once this pass is done, I will hit the highway and get home.  

As of tonight, I have driven almost 1500 miles/2500km, and have
a few hundred miles/km more to go tomorrow.  I worked from 4 
grids (DM37, DM38, DM48, DM49) today, to go with the 4 other 
Utah grids I've worked from already (DM47, DM57, DM58, DM59)
and the two Arizona grids around Williams AZ last week (DM35
and DM45).  I've worked lots of QSOs, and I know that some of
the calls are in my log a few times for several of these grids.
This trip alone won't make those 8 Utah grids significantly 
less "rare", but at least there will soon be QSL cards in the 
hands of some satellite operators for them.  

Good night, and 73!

Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - Mesquite, Nevada

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