Saturday, September 24, 2005

Mt. Everett, Mass.

Part of my longer term goal is to hike a majority of the "highest locations" on the AT, particularily in the NE. I had been to Mt. Everett about 5 years ago when I was a VHF Rover contester. At that time you were able to drive almost to the top and the Fire Lookout tower was still in place. Mt. Everett is located in the SW corner of Mass on the border with NY. You can drive to within a mile or so and then the access road is gated and you must hike the remaining way. The road is level and smooth so the hike is easy and fast. There's a good campground about a 1/2-mile in with a porta-potty and fire pits. A good future camp site but would have to be in the fall after the mosquitoes have died since there is a lot of standing water. An early spring camp would also be fun.

The drive is about 2-1/2 hrs and is especially beautiful in the fall with the trees turning all colors. This was going to be a day trip for me, so I left early in the morning and arrived mid-morning at the entry sign which dates from the 20's or 30's. I parked at the gate and started the hike into the site. You can see the road in is well maintained. Camping is allowed if you are on the AT. I had my vertical with me since there were no tall trees to hang a dipole. The day was beautiful; clear, sunny, and warm with virtually no wind and view in all directions.

Apparently there have been two fire towers here. One in the early teen's and a second in the 40's. In talking with several local hikers, this last tower was removed about 3 years ago. I set up at the last tower site. You can still see the tower footings. It was a great site and I had a number of great QSO's around the NE on 20m. Nothing into Europe. There were a lot of day hikers so I was
busy talking with those folks which is about as much fun as CW QSO's on the K1. About 3pm the local hiker visitors dropped off and I was able to concentrate on QRP QSO's. It's always fun to tell folks where you are, especially portable on the AT, and get their reactions. Almost all folks wish they could be there! I tell them to get out of the house...go to a park or anyplace and set up on a picnic table and have some fun! Of course CW makes it easier to be portable, but a good location and 10w or so of SSB can be equally stimulating. I packed up around 6pm for the hike out and the longer drive back. It was a great day and fun to get "up north." Now I have to start planning for a Mt. Graylock QRP Dxpedition!

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