After the White Mountain Hamfest wraps up on Saturday in Show Low, Arizona, I plan on making a long drive around northern Arizona before returning home on Sunday afternoon or evening. I have some of the trip planned out, and had asked for some suggestions or comments from those who follow my @WD9EWK Twitter feed. Looking for more suggestions/comments, I'm also posting here.
In the early afternoon, I am planning to drive from Show Low to Petrified Forest National Park, along the I-40 freeway in eastern Arizona. This is in grid DM55. I hope to make contacts from here with at least 10 different stations to have this visit considered an official activation for the ARRL's National Parks on the Air activity. Depending on how long I spend at Petrified Forest, I might drive through the park to the south end of the park in grid DM54, or possibly try to park on the DM54/DM55 grid boundary inside the park.
After Petrified Forest, if there is still daylight, I hope to make a stop at a different point on the DM54/DM55 grid boundary, a few miles/km west of Petrified Forest along I-40 and old US-66. Then to Flagstaff for the night. Again, depending on the time and available satellite passes, I may try to get on from Flagstaff, which is in grid DM45.
Sunday morning and early afternoon is, so far, open. I have a few options for that time...
1. Drive west of Flagstaff approximately 25 miles/40km to the DM35/DM45 grid boundary. This would be along old US-66, north of I-40 in the Kaibab National Forest. Keep in mind that national forests are not part of the National Parks on the Air activity, but this could be a chance for these two grids to be put on the air.
2. Work from various NPOTA sites around Flagstaff. These sites are in grid DM45, and include the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and Wupatki National Monument north of Flagstaff, and the Walnut Canyon National Monument east of Flagstaff. The two sites north of Flagstaff are close enough where I could operate from both of them, and possibly make enough QSOs to have two official NPOTA activations.
3. Work from Grand Canyon National Park, about 90 minutes northwest of Flagstaff. The main park entrance from the south straddles the DM35/DM36 grid boundary, but is not a good place to park and operate. I could park at different locations to put DM36 and DM46 on the air, but probably not from the DM36/DM46 grid boundary which starts just inside the canyon - not a safe place to go at that point. Between locations in DM36 and DM46, I think I would be able to make enough QSOs with different stations to make this an official NPOTA activation, as well as hand out QSOs with each of these two grids. I have not operated from the Grand Canyon in many years, but I know KL7R operated from the Grand Canyon earlier this year.
Depending on the time spent in northern Arizona on Sunday, I could also stop at the Montezuma Castle National Monument, along the I-17 freeway between Phoenix and Flagstaff. This site is in grid DM44, the same grid I will operate from during the White Mountain Hamfest in Show Low on Saturday morning, except I will be on the western edge of DM44 compared to Show Low being on the eastern edge of the same grid.
Since I will be at a hamfest in Prescott AZ on 11 June, located in grid DM34, I'm not worrying about trying to operate from that grid this weekend. I will have a whole day for that coming up. I'll post more about that hamfest next week.
Comments? I suppose this can be discussed here on the AMSAT-BB, or feel free to e-mail me directly with any thoughts on these plans for Sunday. You could also tweet at my @WD9EWK Twitter handle, if you use Twitter.
I will use Twitter to post updates on Saturday afternoon and Sunday while I am on the road. If you don't use Twitter, you can follow my postings at:
I will also use my TH-D72A on APRS as I drive around, with the call sign WD9EWK-9. This should be visible at (among other sites):
Other than possibly parts of I-40 between Flagstaff and Petrified Forest National Park on the high desert of northern Arizona, APRS coverage is generally pretty good. In the absence of APRS coverage, I may periodically tweet photos of a GPS receiver's display to show my location.
Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK http://www.wd9ewk.net/ Twitter: @WD9EWK