Santiago Trip – April 18th, 2009

dsc05059 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.

dsc05069That 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.