[amsat-bb] ND9M Road trip Update #11

claryco@aol.com claryco at aol.com
Wed Feb 17 22:20:00 PST 2010

We spent the last several days camping in DL88 at Big Bend National Park, about a mile from the Rio Grande River. The riverside campsite we'd been assured three times was ours for the taking turned out to have been destroyed by flooding in 2008; so much for keeping current. 

But at least our backup campsite was 2000-plus feet inside the line. Six passes were worked from the campsite, another one from the river's edge itself (couldn't resist the photo op!), and three more from the DL88/DL89 line.

The only downside to the stay was the last pass on Tuesday (AO51, 16/2355Z) when the FT817ND that I use for RX failed to fire up. After basic troubleshooting and with the bird only five minutes from making its appearance, I broke out the back up 817 that had never been used before and configured it for use just in time.

By the way, if my XYL, Cori, hadn't earned her driving stripes after several thousand miles leading up to arriving at Big Bend, she certainly did on the way to the campsite after dealing with what turned out to be a very notorious "Black Gap" roadway. It wasn't until we returned to the park's registration office as we left the park this afternoon that we were told that travelling on that particular roadway was not advisable! Our muffler looks like someone took a baseball bat to it, but at least it's still intact.

Tomorrow (18 Feb), we'll backtrack to DL79 for the AO27 which rises at 2018Z. We may stick around for the next AO27 pass at 18/2200Z, but we're not sure about that one. In any case, we'll shoot for operating from DM80 on both So50 (18/2128Z and AO51 (18/2238Z and 19/0016Z).

On Friday, we'll start heading southeast along the river toward Brownsville.


Jim, ND9M / VQ9JC
Fort Stockton, TX / DM80

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