Almost a fellwalk
It has been yet another fabulous summer day here in Cumbria. I’m in good spirits and physically feeling fitter by the day. I think the balance issues and “jelly legs” are more an effect of the brain operation than a lack of fitness. Perhaps the same reason my hands often shake badly and cause frustration when trying to attempt soldering.
We decided to go for a walk over the fields to the north of Cockermouth and have a picnic lunch. I took the Taiwanese twins in the hope of making a few radio contacts whilst we were out.
The walk involved some gentle climbing up from the valley. On the way I heard Alan M1EYO/P call on 2m to activate the SOTA summit of Watch Hill G/LD-054 which is almost literally in my back yard. You can see it on the far left of the picture behind me. When I was fit I could walk to Watch Hill though I never did as there was not much attraction in walking for an hour and a half to reach the summit when I could park the car within 15 minutes walk of the top. With no car unfortunately even Watch Hill is out of bounds.
After I worked Alan we carried on walking until we almost reached the Carlisle road, where we found a grassy south facing slope to have lunch. This is probably the only portable site that I can reach on foot from here, though it isn’t a very good site as it is still within the Derwent valley or “Cockermouth black hole” as I call it.
Checking 2m from time to time with a 5/8 telescopic whip on the 2m radio I heard Richard G1JTD/P activating Illgill Head G/LD-029. With a bit of help from Tony G1OAE Richard heard me and we made a contact. I had to use the monitor button to disable the fixed squelch on the H112PLUS which is set far too high. The receiver on the 5/8 telescopic seemed quite poor possibly due to intermodulation or overload. These really are terrible radios!
Alan was going to activate Binsey G/LD-041 a favourite of mine which was in fact the last summit I activated so we waited until he called on 2m and I had another contact. Alan told me he had discovered Rob G4RQJ on the other side of Binsey summit working 40m and setting up to try 4m. I pricked up my ears at the mention of four metres and about a minute later I heard Rob calling on the other H112PLUS so I was able to make my second-ever contact on 70MHz. Binsey is also line of sight from where I was so it was not a DX contact but it was still nice to make a contact on the 4m band.
After that we packed up and walked home. It was a pretty tiring day’s outing for me, definitely the furthest I have walked and the highest I have climbed since my operation. But it was quite a morale booster to get out on such a nice day and do some portable operation. There are even some trees there I could try to get some wire over for some HF operation with the FT-817 in the future, so that’s something to look forward to.
Julian, it looks like your “out and about” is really OUT AND ABOUT!!! Great to see your rapid improvement…congratulations and keep it up!!!!