13 NOVEMBER 2020 FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH W6/CT-032
I can see Oat Mountain from the window of my radio shack window here in Topanga. It’s easy for me work repeaters on Oat with 500 mW and a rubber duck. My last hike up there was 24 years ago back when it was all private property. Now there is a route up Brown’s Canyon through the Joughin Ranch at Antonovich Park that is on Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) land. This is at the north end of DeSoto in the San Fernanado Valley. The actual summit is privately owned but there are accessible spots in the activation zone.
The hike is 3.13 miles and has an elevation gain of about 1,860′.
Once again I left before it was light under a “fingernail” crescent Moon. I saw two coyotes and 5 deer on the paved road to the summit. It is unremittingly steep. The road passes through some longhorn cattle range. There are steer, bulls, cows and calves wandering around in this range. They are easily shooed off the road with a few “Yah, giddyups!”
I made 26 contacts all on 2m FM – from San Diego to Santa Barbara including one summit-to-summit with David KM3A on Mount Russell (W6/CT-188) in Riverside County.
Perhaps coolest of all was my contact with WD8CIK Steve in Porter Ranch. Porter Ranch is right at the base of Oat Mountain, so, you might ask, what’s the great whoop? Well Steve works for the CBS affiliate KCAL 9. Steve had given me a tour of the television studio in Hollywood when I was a new ham and helped me by adjusting my brand new radio’s internal mic gain. Great guy and solid elmer. Anyway, we are talking on the radio and he says oh, by the way, I am headed up there now. 30 minutes later he pulls up in his blue truck festooned with the KCAL graphics and we have our first eyeball QSO (with Covid masks) that we have had in at least 10 years!