Nightingale Trip

The view from my hilltop.

My friend emailed early yesterday (Saturday) indicating they were headed out to Nightingale to ride the desert race trail and spend some time outdoors. He invited us along.

The Girl and I had a recheck appointment at her vet about 1100h, so I knew I would be late getting out there. On the way down to the vet, I decided it would be a good day to get out and get away from the house. I figured I could stop at the Maverick on the way back towards Carson City, pick up a snack, and then head out towards Lovelock and the Nightingale exit.

The Girl was more interested in hunting for critters. It was windy.
The vet check went well — Sera’s toe is healing well and the infection is under control. Her nail is growing out and the new tissue is healthy.

That out of the way, we headed north from the vet. I stopped at the Minden Maverick, picked up a wrap and some chips, and we headed north. On the way, I called for my friend on the SNARS Mount Rose repeater. After a couple of calls, another friend answered and we chatted a couple minutes. They were tied up with chores and could not join us. That was too bad as they are both fun.

I made one wrong turn on the way north on the trail from the Nightingale exit but that was quickly rectified and I arrived at camp. I had a nice visit with the female half of my friends and soon the male half arrived. We chatted and shared a meal and then headed northwest from the staging area to a site they wanted to show me.

One of my friends riding to the next hilltop to check the view.

It was not a long trail drive and the trails are in excellent shape. We arrived at the hill top and my friend asked if I was going to run the radio. The wind was already up and I was cold, even with the moderate temperature (70F). I hunted around from a windbreak, but the shape of the hilltop was such that there was not break.

I decided to get out the triple mag-mount and try a hamstick. They headed off to ride and said “We’ll meet you at camp in a bit.” That was good enough for me.

Is this Indian Paintbrush? I don’t know, but they were very pretty on the hillside.
After setting up the antenna, I got the Elecraft KX2 out of its bag and also one of my American Morse Equipment keys. There were a few Parks on the Air (POTA) activators working 20m so I thought I might be able to work them. I could hear a couple of them, but they were not very strong. I checked the solar weather conditions, but there was not a lot of geomagnetic activity and the sun was not producing a lot of X-rays. The base noise level was a little elevated, but that did not explain why the stations were weak.

I was probably in the wrong location for skip to be working for me. So, after calling a few minutes, I decided to just enjoy the day, get out with The Girl, and move around a little.

I put away the radio and antenna (that did not take long), then started my tracker and we walked around the hilltop. She bounced from bush to bush, looking for critters. (It was too cold for them.) The wind was blowing pretty strongly. NOAA Weather Radio reported sustained winds of 20–25mph with gusts to 30mph in Carson City. Along the ridge I suspect it was greater. (That’s why my hat is blown back in the selfie above.)

We still had a good walk around the hill. I had worked my way downhill a ways so I would have a climb back to the rig. That was good for me. We clambered back into the rig and headed back down the trail to camp.

When we arrived, they were just about ready to go. We headed out and stopped in the Red’s Grill in Fernley for a bite of supper. The Girl and I then blasted on home, tired by satisfied.

It was a good day.

Another Nevada playa lake that might make a good campsite and operating point.