K-1299 My First Solo Activation Weekend

Amateur Radio, POTA



N4MQU at K-1299

This is a recap of my first solo activation weekend at K-1299 First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, VA. This park happens to be near my hometown of Norfolk, VA. The trip was first planned as a camping POTA (amateur radio) weekend but turned out to be a family, camping, POTA weekend.  See The article   It was planned with a record two week lead time.  

First chance I had to operate came on Saturday.  I set up my Vertical antenna.  My first goal is to make 1 contact. My second goal is to make 10 contacts and activate the park.

Saturday 4/30

Sunday contacts 

After the family left I started a fire. Just a little hint if there is a build up of ashes clear it out.

I started operating at 7:00 PM ET  thinking  the late shift started. I found out it didn’t start until 8:00 PM. So I was able to get the Saturday, Sunday and Monday activated because in UTC time changes to the next day at 8:00 PM. Does anyone else get confused about UTC? 
Some of my amateur friends get over a 100 contacts. I was satisfied to just activating a park.

Sunday 5/1/

Monday at this time it started getting dark and I should have had my lantern with me.  I was able to hold my frequency and tell me fans to excuse me while I retrieved my lantern.

A new neighbor from the campground came by and asked to borrow a can opener. I was able to provide him one. He said he was from Virginia Beach and was there just for the night. I explained what I was doing but didn’t get any reaction. Sometimes I have a nice conversation with visitors and sometimes I don’t.  It seems funny the campground was crowded Saturday but by Sunday it had cleared out. Really nice and quiet. I guess one of the benefits of being retired I can camp during the week. 

Monday 5/2

I completed my activation and reflected my weekend around the campfire.

The next morning after a nice sleep I packed up the gear and attempted to get into K-8203 Cape Henry National Memorial. It is just down the street and it is inside a military base.  The officer told me the memorial was not open and I would have to come back at 10. I had about 30 minutes and hadn’t had breakfast and stopped at McDonald’s. I went back to the base and was told the memorial was not opened until 11. I asked is the schedule posted and he said the base is in a fluid situation and in order to get in I would need an escort.  Maybe next time I can get someone with the proper credentials and get in. The park had only been activated 10 times. I see why.  When I was growing up my father worked at the shipyard and he could get into any base with his credentials.  The good ole days.

After that I decided to go to K-0560 Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This was my old site my astronomy club had used for our night time observing. By this time it had gotten hot and I was not prepared with water and still had a 3 hour drive home. I did enjoy seeing my old hang out. I chose to come at another time. Thanks for reading.