Escudilla Mountain (W7A/AE-006 - Escudilla Mountain) in Arizona has been on the top of my summit list since the day I got into SOTA. It’s Arizona’s third highest and I’ve hiked the trail to the top a few times in the past. In the summer, I drive up to Terry Flat there multiple times looking for the herds of Elk and deer that roam the area. It’s funny how we become emotionally attached to a place on the planet and for me Escudilla holds is the most powerful attachment. I grew up in a house on the back side of the mountain and saw it almost every day from a distance as we drove home from the neighboring town about 10 miles northwest from the mountain. Escudilla has a very distinctive shape and can be seen from a long ways off. To me, Escudilla is home.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
On 11/24/2017 I submitted Hill 1190 (http://www.sota.org.uk/Summit/W6/SC-456). This is another one of these small hills around my house in San Diego that is up at about 1000’ that has no name, hence “Hill 1190”. Jeanette wanted to hike this morning so we took off for this one that I hadn’t checked off the list. It was a super clear day and it had a nice view off the top. There is a large flag pole at the top flying the stars and stripes. It was a short walk but steep at times.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
The expedition to summit W6/SC-453 - Twin Peaks was a funky one. The trail starts at a park and heads up to a big rock pile. The mountains are ugly but it’s a designated SOTA mountain so I need to check it off the list.
Sulu and I set off late in the day on the trail. I looked at the map and knew that we needed to eventually take a fork to the left. The good news is that we made it to the top. The bad news is that we missed the turn and took a false trail that turned out to be a natural runoff scar. I saw other tracks that made it look like a trail as well but we weren’t the only ones that mistook it for a trail. When we got to the end of the trail, we had already done some bouldering and were about 100 yards from the top. Rather than go all the way back, we bushwhacked the rest of the way. The chaparral here is vicious, a bear to get through, and much harder than anticipated with a pack on my back and my pole sticking up. (I’m talking about my mast people, geez)
Sunday, November 5, 2017
I went up to Black Mtn. a few more times to test various configurations and equipment, and to get some exercise but my next SOTA log would be Mt. Woodsen, another local mountain. My friend Dave wanted to bike up using our ebikes. I loaded up my pack and we were off.
After reaching the summit, we hiked past potato chip cliff and started setting up. I was surprised at how much people were interested in what we were doing and although I think it’s a bit geeky, people do think it’s cool. After setup, I realized we would get nothing..... If you can’t hear anything then you have a real problem. We were setup in front of a ton of RF gear on the mountain. Although we were a bit of a distance, we were down range of a lot of it. Lesson learned, don’t setup down-range of microwave, VHF, UHF...