QRP QRP QRP
As I write this, we are now just 2 weeks away from our much anticipated
QRP weekend. Starting on Friday, July 20, those of us who want a taste
of self sufficiency, a chance to get away for a short time and an
opportunity to go up to an elevation of over 4,000 feet and operate flea
power Amateur Radio stations from batteries are going to have that
Figueroa Campground at Figueroa Mountain in the Los Padres National
Forest is beckoning you. This will be your opportunity to get out of
town and climb up to where the air is rarified and pure, where the smell
of pine needles on the tall conifers wafts through the air and into your
nostrils and where the smell of bacon sizzling as you climb out of the
sack in the morning makes you glad you are alive.
In addition to all the fun you are going to have working all those
stations from that prime elevation location, think of all those other
campers who will be totally blown away by all the antennas that they see.
These other campers will be bringing their kids, who, for the first time
in their lives, will be exposed to Amateur Radio. You just might be the
one who got them hooked into the world's best hobby!
You will need to bring with you everything that will sustain you for the
weekend -- your shelter (car, van, tent, tarp), sleeping bag or blankets,
air mattress, your food, eating utensils, cooking apparatus, first aid,
all your radio gear (radio, key, microphone, earphones, coax, coax
switch, antenna tuner, antenna, batteries, SWR indicator, misc. coax
adapters, laptop, scratch paper, pen/pencil, license -- you know the
Oh, and one more thing -- Don't forget to bring your Adventure Pass. We
will be in the National Forest and they require the Pass. The cost of
the Pass is $5.00 per vehicle per day. So if you came up on Friday
afternoon and left on Sunday afternoon, it would technically cost $15.00.
However, if we talk to Park Ranger Helen Tarbit there, she might let us
stay for just $10.00. If you enjoy these outings, you can purchase an
Annual Pass for $30.00. You show your Pass as you enter the campground
or when a Park Ranger comes around.
You don't have an Adventure Pass? This is where you can pick one up:
Big 5 Sporting Goods in the 5 Points Shopping Center
Dodge City on Calle Real
Far West Gun Supply on State Street
Pacific Travel on Anapamu
Mountain Air Sports on State Street
S.B. Maritime Museum on Harbor Way
Certain of the above locations will cut you a deal on the Annual Pass.
In other words, you can buy an Annual Pass for $30.00 and a second one
for just $5.00. Then two of you can split the $35.00 and have use of the
forest for a year for only $17.50 apiece. Such a deal! I suggest you
call ahead to see if they make that deal. That will eliminate the
concern over our weekend.
In case you have forgotten how to get to Figueroa Mountain, take Highway
154 (San Marcos Pass) to the little town of Los Olivos. Take the road to
Figueroa Mountain from there. Remember, the campground takes no
reservations -- it is on a First Come, First Served basis. I would
suggest that you leave as early as possible on Friday and stake out the
best site for us. Keep in mind, some of us will be putting up dipoles,
some will be guying up verticals -- in other words, we will need space.
I hope I have whet your appetite for this great time. We have been
talking about it on the QRP Net and now the time has finally come. What
a wonderful experience it will be -- in the outdoors in the summertime
playing radio. WOW!
Please verify that you will be there. Write me at my e-mail address and
say: Count me in!
73 et gud QRP,
Darryl Widman, KF6DI