Monday, March 18, 2024

Mammoth Cross Country Skiiing Weekend

After getting canceled last year due to excessive snow, we finally got up to Mammoth for a XC skiing weekend.  The drive up was uneventful and we checked into the Tamarack Lodge.  The weather was nice so we did a snowshoe hike up to the top of Panorama Dome which had great views even with the low clouds.  The lodge restaurant was booked so we headed over to the Mammoth Tavern for a nice dinner.
The next day, we had our XC lesson.  The instructor was very patient and had Jyoti up and skiing.  After lunch, we skied around the groomed trails.  For dinner, we had a cheese plate in the fun and cozy lodge bar.  We went to bed early since we were worn out.  The next morning, we go up early and headed out.  We made a stop in Randsburg which was very cool.

Panorama Dome summit

Learning to ski

Hitting the trails

Downtown Randsburg

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Hitler Had Some Good Ideas?

 Hitler in Munich, April 12, 1922:

"thus we were the first to declare that this peace treaty was a crime. Then folk abused us as 'agitators.' We were the first to protest against the failure to present this treaty to the people before it was signed. Again we were called on the masses of the people not to surrender their arms, for the surrender of one's arms would be nothing less than the beginning of enslavement. We were called, no, we were cried down as, 'agitators.' We were the first to say that this meant the loss of Upper Silesia. So it was, and still they called us 'agitators.' We declared at that time that compliance in the question of Upper Silesia must have as its consequence the awakening of a passionate greed which would demand the occupation of the Ruhr. We were cried down ceaselessly, again and again. And because we opposed the mad financial policy which today will lead to our collapse, what was it that we were called repeatedly once more? 'Agitators.' And today?

Of course, he took the guns and enslaved those he didn't like.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Ham Shack

I have been doing a lot of radio stuff lately.  Mostly in the field but doing configuration and testing in my shack.  Thought it would be nice to highlight my home station.
My primary home rig is an Alinco DX-8R. It is a nice, fairly easy to use HF 100W transceiver.  I can use in digital modes as well with some special cables.  I bought it used from a retiring ham and got a nice Alinco power supply with it.  With power poles everywhere, I can power all my stuff very easily.
I have been doing lots of emcomm operations, so have my Yaesu FT-817 and QRLabs QDX going as well.  Also been operating various rugged computers and tablets, like the CF-20 pictured below.
The primary antenna I use at home is a Wolf River vertical coil.  I have various coils and whips to go to 80M.  Living in a condo, I have a small space so the vertical is very handy.  I can get a dipole up sometimes but it will go out into the sidewalk.

Ham shack

Wolf River coil

Monday, March 04, 2024

Weekend Activities

  • Went a nice hike at Torrey Pines and got rained on a bit
  • Drove up to San Juan Capistrano, in the rain, to visit the mission.  Good thing they have umbrellas to lend.  The mission was a great spot and we had lunch with friends afterward.
Old stone church at Mission San Juan Capistrano

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Best Winter Camp

The 2024 HALT winter camp was the best ever!  Tom's Place had snow but like last year, so he headed up to the parking spot at the end of the plowed road.  There were several skiers and snowshoers there but still had plenty of parking.  After getting all our gear ready, we headed out over about 2' of snow with some very light snow falling.  We made camp in East Fork campground about 3/4 mile from the car.  After dinner and melting snow, it was an early night.
The next day was sunny and nice.  There wasn't enough snow for a good quinzhee but we made a small one to demonstrate the technique.  For lunch, we hiked back to the car and drove to Tom's Place Cafe which is highly recommended.  We also did a hike towards the Rock Creek Lodge.
Overnight, it snowed about 4-6 inches.  Our tents looked like igloos due to all the snow.  We got up early to start packing and it was still snowing.  Tree avalanches were dropping all around us.  We finally got to the car and drove out on the snow.  We passed the plows on the way.
It was a great trip!

Home sweet home

Great weather

Got a nice fire going

Tent igloo

Ready to bug out

Car covered in snow

Tom's Place cafe

Up valley in the snow

Sunday, February 04, 2024

Winter Desert Overnight

With an off Friday, I decided to squeeze in an overnighter in the desert between a couple of storms.  I started out by topping off with gas in Ocotillo and then heading into the Dos Cabezas area.  It was drizzling as I explored the Mortero Palms area.  I hiked up to the palm grove which was the densest grove I have see.  The hike had some tough scrambling but worth it.  Since it was too early to setup camp, I headed north to Indian Valley.  It got dark as I drove into the south branch.  I got camp setup and ate a quick dinner.  It was quite windy and cold so I headed into the tent.   Later in the night a couple other folks showed and camped there as well.  They weren't too loud except for some snoring :(  In the morning I checked out the north branch of the valley and then hiked Torote Canyon.  Lots of elephant trees in the canyon!  I then headed north again and decided to take Oriflamme Canyon to exit.  It was a tough but great trail.  I got to the end in Banner just in time as about a dozen rigs were at the gate just about to come up.

Mortero Palm Grove

Mortero Canyon

Camp in Indian Valley

Sunrise in Indian Valley

Elephant Tree in Torote Canyon

Along Oriflamme Canyon trail