2020 Christmas trip to Wodonga – Days 19 and 20

Day 19 was relatively quiet on the radio front. I undertook several family tasks and managed to chase several Park activators from the car after a short drive to the car park at the local athletics track.

Day 20

Monday 4 January 2021

I packed the car and headed down the Hume Highway towards Melbourne. I had no firm plans other than I wished to make a small detour to a retail outlet in Bayswater – no folks, NOT the store commonly referred to as “The Toy Shop” by many amateurs in Melbourne; that outlet was closed until 18 January, so I avoided spending money on amateur radio gear. But I definitely wanted to reach Bayswater well before 1630 local time to pick up a couple of small items which would cost an extra $20 in P&P charges if I ordered them online or over the ‘phone.

After passing Glenrowan and thinking about the numerous options, I finally decided to head to Mount Wombat. I exited the Highway before Euroa and cut the corner via Balmattum to head onto Euro-Strathbogie Road and then to drive up to the summit of Mount Wombat.

Mount Wombat VK3/VU-002 802 m 4 points
Mount Wombat Garden Range Flora and Fauna Reserve VKFF-2403

I stopped to enjoy the view at the summit before I drove a short distance down the access road and pulled over into a space on the side of the road about 15 m vertical below the summit. The photo shows that the summit has plenty of RF gear, with several towers present. I tossed a line over a tree branch to haul up the doublet and was soon set up with the camp chair and a folding table for a comfortable operating position.

Panorama from the summit of Mt Wombat: S thru W to N, E and back to S

As I was setting up, a Parks spot came through. I soon had Adam VK2YK/5 in VKFF-1707 in the log on 40 m SSB. I moved down to 40 m CW and spotted myself. I worked six stations in about 10 minutes. I moved to the SOTA focus frequency for 40 m SSB and worked 10 stations in 11 minutes. I then moved to 20 m CW and worked a ZL regular. I was considering packing up after several minutes of calling without responses when another Parks Spot arrived. After checking the Spot, I decided to wait for the station to set up and come on air. I worked Peter VK3TKK/p in VKFF-2097 on 80 m SSB and again about 120 minutes later on 40 m SSB. I then packed up and headed back towards Euroa.

Once down the hill I headed south and onto the Euroa – Mansfield Road to Merton and then towards Yea, then south to Yarra Glen and then in towards the suburbs and to the outlet in Bayswater. Along the way I managed to work Peter VK3TKK again, this time in VKFF-2039. Just as I arrived at destination, the rain started. I quickly made my purchase and then managed to work Allen VK3ARH on VK3/VS-008.

I then worked my way south and then east to head back home.

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