Big Spruce Hill Activation

Last week, a lone Jerk set off for Florida for a second attempt at a SOTA activation.  Now, you must be thinking, “There are no mountains in Florida.”  Well, you’re wrong.  Florida is actually a town in the good ol’ Commonwealth of Massachusetts just east of North Adams.  Having learned from my mistake of attempting to bushwhack through the wet, rainy woods to the trail, I instead drove to the trailhead and began the roughly 2.5 mile hike to the summit.  The Hoosac Range trail is well-maintained and I had no problem following it.  I did, however, have issues with GPS and cell coverage.  Luckily, my GPS locked on right as I was approaching the summit.  I was able to bushwhack my way the last couple hundred feet to the summit of Big Spruce Hill where I was greeted with the remnants of the alignment tower used in the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel.  In addition, there were abandoned sheds, old tower, guywires, and a whole bunch of junk littering the peak.  Some of it did come in handy, however.  I borrowed a couple of cinder blocks and set up my operating position as in the pictures.  After an hour and 19 contacts, I couldn’t stand the wind and 40 degree weather anymore, so I packed up my gear, tossed the cinder blocks back in the pile, and headed back down the mountain and trail.  On the way back down and almost near my car, I looked up from watching the trail and found myself eye to eye with a Great Dane.  After a few moments, his owner came around the corner and I explained how I was still recovering from the shock of meeting his dog, who actually happened to be quite friendly.  Overall, the activation went well and the Hoosac Range trail is an excellent hike, even for those non-SOTA-minded individuals.

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