Activation Report: W7O/CE-223 – Juniper Butte

Juniper Butte from the South

This is a pretty easy hike, with some elevation gain. My watch clocked 1070 ft of gain in 2.6 miles from where we parked the truck. The primary access road is pretty good dirt that turns into a pretty ok jeep track. It would be possible to drive up the ok-ish jeep track to a point where there is a barbed wire fence gate and the road turns into a true jeep road. 

End of the drive up, time to walk

The barbed wire gate

This would save about 1.25 miles of walking but be prepared to back out if you were to run into another vehicle as there aren’t many options for pulling to the side. The hike was quite pleasant, with signs of deer and cow detritus. Views on a clear day of the entire Central Cascade Range from Mt Hood south to Mt Bachelor. There are 2 sections of steep, loose rock the didn’t appear to have had 4 wheels on it in a long time. There was evidence that a motorcycle made it at least half way to the summit. 

Getting a little tougher
Steep and Rocky

KK7HJL taking a breather

At about 2 miles, the trail tops out on the western high point, but this is not the AZ. The track splits and you’ll have to stay to the right and follow an old fence line for about 1/4 mile before the track pitches up a bit for another 1/4 mile to the summit and activation zone. There are lots of juniper trees to attach a mast to, some may be tall enough to pitch a line into. 
Track Captured on Garmin watch

We worked several Summit to Summits on 2M with some activators up in the Mt. Hood area, then turned on KK7HJL’s new AnyTone 6666, 10 M rig. Its a bit of an awkward rig to work in the field as its primarily designed as a mobile unit. The controls took a minute to figure out (I didn’t know what the “Clarifier” did but figured it to be some kind of band pass filter). Once I got the rig going and tweaked the “Clarifier” after my first QSO alerted me that I sounded off frequency, I turned it over to Randi [KK7HJL] to make her first HF contacts. We worked 5 stations in the middle of the country, Kentucky, Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma and Kansas, before the band started to deteriorate and we decided it was time for some food and beverage. 

KK7HJL working HF for the first time

On the way down we stopped to check out an interesting remembrance to someone called Erik McDaniel. Googling his name revealed that he died in a nasty car crash in 2021 at the age of 31. He was from Culver, the small berg just to the north of Juniper Butte.

Shrine to Erik McDaniel

The trip down took about the same 1:15 that the trip up took. We arrived at the truck and headed to Wild Ride Brewing in Redmond for some food and a beverage to toast a beautiful and interesting afternoon exploring an area of Central Oregon we probably would never have bother with thanks to our new ham radio hobby. 

GPX File for download: Juniper Butte GPX

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