QRP and the trail 2004

On 1182  resting in the cool.

May 2004.  This was to be a fun quick trip.  To see how the trails have fared this winter.  I suspected the erosion would be a
be concern.  I was correct,  the trails were almost all but gone.  Debris seemed to be the biggest problem.  The down fall was
every where, sometimes the trees were many in a row on the side of the hill down across the trail.  I had to saw my way through.
I threw them off the trail and over the cliffs.  I had to dig under, slither like a snake and pull my pack through.  I stomped them
down, and kicked them.  When I got to the place I could move my legs then the rock debris was every bit the challenge.  Square
and angular, about the size of soft balls and melons they littered the trail continuously.  It was very difficult,  tiring and took twice
as long as it should have.  This brings on other problems to deal with.  Time with the pack on your back, twisting and turning,
struggling with almost every step takes its toll.  14.5 miles in as many hours did it worst.  Legs and knees took the worst of it.
Blisters and sore feet.  But this was fun.  I had a sked for 7:00 pm on 80 meters and was not going to make camp.  So I stopped
and took out the QRP rig and antenna.  Full size 80 meter dipole.  Threw the end over a bush about 6 feet high and reeled out the
antenna.  I got to mid point and ran out of room on the side of the hill so I just left the other side rolled up. Peeled off the coax hook
it up, plugged the battery in and dialed up the frequency.  Made the call.  In one breath I said "WA6OWE this is WA6OTP I am
not in camp and will call when I get there."  WA6OWE said "roger roger wa6owe clear."  That is QRP 3.5 watts on a real near
vertical radiator.  I rolled it up and struggled toward camp.  About two miles to go and the legs just did not want to do much of
anything.  70lbs plus on a bad trail did not help.  Got water at a creek for camp.  Only 100 feet of so to go to get this pack off my
back, stepped into a meadow.  I can see where I will camp and set this pack down.  Between my legs a buzz that made me go
vertical and kick my legs out like a Russian dancer,  followed by many curses.  A rattle snake about 3 foot long struck at me.
I could see him slap at my right calf and miss.  I carried this cannon for Bears.  I forgot that I had magnums and not a shot shell up.
So with much noise I sent his soul to the other side and buried him all in one gaboom.  I proceeded to camp and dropped my pack.
Very tired.  And Happy to sit down and know I did not have to move any more that day.

The night was ridden with groans of discomfort.  Each attempt to find the posistion that lessoned pain found only a new out burst,
vocalizing  the knees distress.  Morning brought much complaining but subsided with oatmeal and coffee and anitinflamitory drugs.
Camp was broke and the next task was to see how 1182 had done with the winters rain.   The grasses and plants have grown up
with the lack of overstory.  The trails where not covered with debris had all but dissapeared in the grasses and wild floweres.  The
abundance of color was delightful.  I did have to stopped several times to ask "so where is the trail?"   I know this way well and it
looked quit different.  The brush will be worse next year I fear. Things are growing.  Some of the Chinquopin is now sprouting from
all of the crouches in the tree not just at the bases but all up and down the trees.  The Madrone sprouts are everywhere and little
trees one inch tall cover the ground.   The Oregon grape and Salal cover many hills sides full of berries.  The ferns this trip were in
the right stage of development.  I have eaten a few frawns but never had the chance to eat so many.   They were every where and
were just at the right stage.  They tasted great and I was very happy to be there at that time.

more to come  6/4/04