On February 11, I returned to Kennedy Grove Park for my first hike for the East Bay Trails Challenge to get to know the regional parks a bit better. Of course, the radio came along so my group could make a SOTA excursion to Abrott Benchmark (here’s the first time I went with KJ6GLR’s company).
After one week of solid rain, this Saturday was a beautiful day with clear skies and a great time to return to this peak! Overflow from the reservoir was pouring down a spillway and the trail was quite muddy in places. The hills were a beautiful green this time around.
Our East Bay Trails Challenge started on the Laurel Loop Trail. We then went up the eastern Lower Sea Foam Trail to the Upper Sea Foam Trail to the Black Oak Loop Trail. We then came back down on the Kennedy Creek Trail to finish the loop.
In order to get to Abrott Benchmark, we had to do a little bit of backtracking. This time we took the north leg of the Lower Sea Foam Trail and turned onto Upper Sea Foam Trail, but once we reached the high point on Upper Sea Foam Trail, we broke towards a fire trail on the east edge of the park that heads toward the peak. There’s a green swing near the entrance to the fire trail. You have to cross a fence to get to the trail, walking along a bit of grass in between. Take the fire trail to your left and you’ll make your way to the meandering fire trail that eventually takes you to the benchmark.
I also experimented with APRS location reporting. Nearly all the packets that I sent while on the Black Oak Loop were lost to the ether, but I managed to get a halfway decent track towards the peak. I was able to spot myself with the APRS2SOTA service, so everything was done on RF this trip.
The contacts went by quickly, and I got a number of summit-to-summits this time. Of particular note was KE6MT who was just across the bay on Richardson East Benchmark, which I had activated a few months ago. It must have been a wonderful view that day! Thanks to all the chasers!
On June 12, 2016, I joined Chris KJ6GLR on a hike to Abrott Benchmark (W6/NC-417, 308m, 1 pt) in Kennedy Grove regional park. We started at the Patra Drive entrance and took the Lower Seafoam trail to the Upper Seafoam. Near the edge of Kennedy Grove, there is a short fence to cross over to continue on to the summit. My photos from the hike did not survive an untimely SD card crash, but if they did, you would have seen some scenery from this part of the trail, which wound down through a beautiful saddle before a short and steep ascent to the peak.
We had a good time on the peak working some of the ARRL VHF contest. I dropped to HF after a bit since, despite our best efforts, we were interfering with each other. This proved to be an auspicious choice, since I was able to log two summit-to-summit contacts (WS0TA on Clara Peak in NM and KC7DM on 4182 in OR)!