Friday, May 9, 2014

Townsend Peak W6/SC-161

I have been looking forward to this activation for a while.  I have driven past Townsend Peak many times over the years.  A few miles north of here is Camp Verdugo Oaks, a local cub scout camp.  I had taken my sons to the camp when they were young cub scouts.  A couple miles past the camp is Piru Creek with an awesome stretch of a catch and release trout fishing stream.

It was about a 45 minute drive from the Crescenta Valley this morning.  From the N/B 5 freeway, exit Templin Highway and turn west, under the freeway.  At the "T" strop sign, turn left, following the arrow of the "one way" sign.  Turning right will take you to the scout camp and Piru Creek.  Follow the road as it turns into a dirt road, up to the gate.

The dirt road is accessible via a two wheel drive vehicle.  There is ample parking at a turnout just before the gate.  Walk past the gate and follow the dirt road, just over a mile to an easily visible cutoff to the peak.  The road quickly rises about 200 feet in less than a quarter mile and slightly levels off for a nice hike to the peak.  It took me just under 30 minutes to get to the top, stopping along the way to take a few pictures.

At about the one mile mark, cut back north on this old fire break for the final hike to the peak.  The fire break is not maintained, but easy to follow.

Plenty of space and locations for various lengths of antennas.  I had my antenna running from north to south.

 Roxy found some shade and settled in for a nap.  

The peak offers a good view of Castaic Lake.  I have caught some nice trout in the lake as well as the lagoon.

Whitaker Peak, W6/SC-076 is in the center of this photo.  I plan on activating Whitaker in the next couple of weeks if the weather cooperates and doesn't get too hot, as it is just over a 4.5 mile hike each way.

The 5 freeway is down below from Townsend Peak.  During my activation and looking to the west, I forgot about the freeway and how close I was to it.

Looking to the west, there are views of the mountains as far as you can see.

Looking east, there are more mountain views.

There are some deep, wilderness canyons in this area of the mountains.

I am always keeping watch for snakes when I am hiking around the local mountains.  On the hike out, I came across this snake.  I think it is a garter snake.  It looked like he had just slithered across the road.  I am glad it was not a rattlesnake.

I arrived in the area early, so I went to check a few geocache sites.  I am surprised at how accurate my GPS is in locating the geocache locations.

One of the geocahces had a "Travel Bug" in it.  I don't know much about geocaching, but it is my understanding that the "Travel Bugs" are moved from location to location.  This one started in Texas in 2013.  I was going to leave it, but then remembered that I am riding my motorcycle out to Yucca Valley tomorrow and I will stash it in a cache somewhere along the 10 freeway or up towards Yucca Valley.

Another awesome SOTA Adventure.  Temperature was in the upper 60's when I started the hike with a slight breeze.  Thank you to all chasers and spotters!

20m - W0MNA, W0ERI, NS7P, N6AKI


12m - KW6C, KJ6EO

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