K6SNE's Full Moon
March 6th, 2004
During the rainy season of 1992 a
very large El Nino storm caused a 50ft washout of the Maple Springs
truck trail at around 3 miles from the Silverado Canyon entrance to the
northern Cleveland National Forest. That wash out was not
repaired for about eight years. Once the road was finally repaired the
area was then closed, even to foot traffic, to protect the habitat of
some rare toads (to much toad licking going on I guess). That
closure became seasonal and just recently the gates to Maple Springs
have been opened seasonally. On April 1st they will be locked again
until September 28th, This is so horny toads can do what horny toads
do.....make little toads.
Of course when I found that the
gate had been opened I just had to hide there.......I got some
unexpected results to say the least.
There was a perfectly clear sky, a
slight breeze which kept my camp bug free, and a beautiful full moon to
go mad under....AARrrrroooooo! The nice thing about computerized
mapping is of course the computer....which I was able to watch DVDs
on. I finally got to sit through the wide screen versions of "the
Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" and "Reservoir Dogs" before finally
being found. I also got the crap scared out of me by a family of
deer that came running through my camp.
I picked a spot at about 2,000 ft
Alt that could get a direct signal into the start point. Using
good amateur practice, but bad T-hider form, I used the minimum amount
of power to get heard....330 milliwatts loading a horizontally
polarized yagi (my hunt antenna mounted on the Jeep). This was
controlled by a PicCon programmed with a very annoying tone sequence,
20sec on/30sec off.
I had also hidden two Squawk
Boxes. T-2 was in the weeds about 1/2 mile past the entrance
gate, and T-3 was placed next to a waterfall/creek crossing about 3
miles up the road, before it turned into dirt.
The Maple Springs truck trail is
paved for the first 3.5 miles and has several creek crossings on the
way up the mountain. There were 9 such crossings on the way to
T-1, two small mud holes and some low trees. I took care however
to make sure that the road was navigable by even a carefully driven
passenger car (there was a 730i BMW on the trail as I was hiding T-1).
I became very concerned as I heard
hunter after hunter drop out. Evidently my signal was doing some
very nasty, impossible things. I guess every hunter in the group
went to Elsinore and the Ortega Highway. I heard that there were
reports of a 40 over signal up there :-), odd because my milliwatt
signal would have had to go up and over 3,000ft of mountain.
There used to be a way to get on
the Bedford motorway from Weirwick Rd. Everyone who went up Bedford
Canyon Rd. got turned around by gates and guards. The actual
route to the Bedford Truck Trail is next to the red brick fenced
construction company yard. The Park Ranger assured me that that
gate was open. Sometimes the locals will close it. The
Bedford Canyon rd. is private and does not go to the forest gate.
Other possibilities to get out there would have been from Skyline Drive
in Corona passed Sierra Peak, or Indian Truck Trail to the Divide Road
and down maple Springs. The short mileage route would have
taken teams out Silverado Canyon to the transmitters. Line of
sight mileage was approx 26 miles, or about 32 road miles.
Finally, after going everywhere
the transmitter wasn't, Dave and Melanie showed up at T-1.....125 miles
KG6GWV Melanie and N6IDF David are