Well, I was up at 6:00am to meet Chris and Brian in Lake Forest at 7am. We started up via Maple Springs Road at 8am, and it was a nice drive. The road was in good condition, and I always forget how long the road goes until the pavement ends. I also forget the smell of being outdoors. I’m not sure if it’s all the sagebrush, but it just makes me breathe easier. It’s hard to believe that I am still in Southern California when I’m traveling these mountains.
Here I am on top of the tower after lowering an antenna down. We switched it out for a different antenna and redid the receive system. It seems that the repeater is working better. I know the transmit power has less reflected (50W forward, 1/2W reflected), and the receive is a little more sensitive — it works better with a handheld.
The next picture is a pullback of the building and shows the layout. The tower is a couple of stories tall, and this day it was bug free up there.
That was not the case on the ground. I thought that it would be too cold, but I was wrong. It was the busiest I have ever seen on Santiago, both with the bugs and people. I don’t know how many hikers, bikers, and joyriders there were. When I was up on the tower, a motorcycle rider came up, got off his bike, and asked for Dan. “What? Was that ITD?” Yup, it sure was. I have not seen Eric Robitaille for about 10 years! And now were talking on the top of Santiago. Weird. There was also a rescue going on to the north about 6 miles away on Skyline Road of a body in a car over the side. While that was going on, a guy rolls up in a pickup to the emergency crew saying he just got bit by a rattlesnake. There was a lot of coordination trying to figure out if they could helicopter the guy out. I never found out how things ended. When stuff happens, it happens.