Monday, May 27, 2013

Holiday weekend Expedition Saturday

For many years the locals in NTMS have activated a site near Mena, AR on the microwave bands. As it was a holiday weekend I thought I would drive up there and take a look

Leaving Plano at 0900 the route took me north through Texas to Eastern OK and to Mena, which is only just into AR. I was surprised at the number of Tortoises ambling across the road in OK (22!) I arrived in Mena at 1330, having stopped to admire Satis Dam. There is a ridge that runs E/W near the town so I headed up there  along Skyline drive to the Queen Wilhelmena State park (where the NTMS expeditions camp)

First surprise was the full size steam engine at the park gates, the nearest railway is 12 miles away! There is also a miniature train that takes people round the park, but this was not operational. A short walk produced the following view. The path to Dallas is over the ridge on the right of the horizon


Next I went a walk down the lovers leap trail which was pretty and the downhill / uphill gave my daily exercise. The lodge at the park was being rebuilt so no refreshments, good job I had the emergency rice pudding

I then travelled back towards Mena and visited the fire tower. It was possible to climb up the metal structure to the top and admire the view


Exhausted after all this exercise, and having remembered I had the KX3 and a length of wire with me I decided to activate AR. I found another parking area with a good southerly takeoff and WW2R/5 proceeded to work 17 stations on CW , including 10 on 10m (it was CQWWWPX contest)  The long wire can be seen leaving the right of the car into the bushes! Grid is EM24TQ.





  I also had WA5YWC flex1500 with 2m transverter so I hooked it up to my 902 Transverter and could hear the W5HN beacon on 902.380MHz with a cloverleaf antenna on the roof of the car. Seems to be working

I then drove 50 miles south and stayed in Texarkana, not many hotels around Mena.. Texarkana as its name suggests is a split state city, the hotel was in AR, the restuarants were 100 yards away in TX!


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