Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mt. Emma W6/CT-029

I haven't been out for a SOTA activation in nearly two months, due to a crazy work schedule.  I finally set some time aside for Friday for a hike and SOTA activation.  I had activated Mt. Emma back in 2014, but forgot how steep the trail was.  It took me just over 45 minutes to get to the top, including a short stop at the two geocaches along the way.  It takes me about an hour from my house to get to the parking area on Mt. Emma Road at 34 27.990 N 118 04.830 W.  The trail climbs 1000' in under a mile.  I am not sure if I was breathing hard due to the steep trail or the fact that I have not been on a hike in two months!

Directly across from the parking turnout is the Mt. Emma Trail sign.  This is a nice, new addition since my last hike here.  Previously, it was difficult to find the trail.  When crossing Mt. Emma Road, watch for cars, as numerous commuters drive this road in the morning on their trek to Los Angeles as an alternative to the 14 freeway.   The trail is easy to follow all the way to the summit.

About a third of the way up, there is a pile of rocks on the right at a "T" intersection.  The trail connects with an old fire break at 34 27.868 N 118 04.690 W.  Turn left and follow the trail to the top. Mt. Emma is seen in the background.

I stopped for the two geocaches along the way to the top.  The first one was cool.  It was a piece of wood with the cache hidden inside.  The second was a camouflaged ammo can hidden inside of a bush.

The trail is in decent shape and easy to follow.  Although Roxy and I are both getting older, she still runs ahead of me and waits for me to catch up.  I notice her recovery time after a hike is getting longer.  She still loves to hike, so I will keep taking her with me.

Arriving at the summit, I noticed someone had put up an American flag.  It was nice to see it waving in the breeze.  I also located the summit marker.  

I ran the LNR "Trail Friendly" 10/20/40 antenna north to south.  I like the compact size of the antenna and it fits in the palm of my hand, taking up minimal space in my pack.  It is easy to deploy.

The last time I was here, I had my Yaesu 857 radio.  It was a nice radio, but heavy for hiking.  I really enjoy my KX3, both for the ease of operation as well as the lighter weight.  

I could see the smoke from the "Sherpa Fire" in Santa Barbara County.  This is definitely a cool weather hike, as there is no shade on the trail.  I was on the summit for an hour before it started to heat up to the 90's.  Bring plenty of water and always keep an eye out for the many rattlesnakes in the area.

I had the following contacts.  Thanks to David, N7SMT, from Washington for the spot.  Thank you to all chasers!

15:22zNG6R28MHzSSBSouthern California
15:45zN4EX14MHzSSBNorth Carolina
16:19zKB6CIO7MHzSSBSouthern California
16:20zNA6MG7MHzSSBSouthern California