Hello friends today presenting a SOTA activation report for W6/NC-407 aka Richardson East Benchmark. Can’t say anything specific about this hump except it is a SOTA summit nearest to the Golden Gate bridge and it hosts a huge antenna farm.
Also - while I do believe losing some of your property in a smash-and-grab theft incident is a centerpiece of an authentic San Francisco experience, maybe you don’t feel like supporting someone’s drug addiction. Who knows?
Anyway if you are interested in how to enjoy the Golden Gate bridge responsibly - read on.
A wee bit of history
At the time of its opening in 1937, it was both the longest and the tallest suspension bridge in the world with a main span of 4,200 feet (1,280 m) and a total height of 746 feet (227 m). One of Art Deco architecture icons, it still looks impressive in 2022 except the moments when destroyed by some random wandering kaiju, or in some other (un)natural disaster.
John Fremont wrote about the strait connecting San Francisco Bay with Pacific ocean in his memoir:
“To this Gate I gave the name of ‘Chrysopylae’, or ‘Golden Gate’; for the same reasons that the harbor of Byzantium was called Chrysoceras, or Golden Horn.” - John C. Fremont
The strait in his vision was “a golden gate to trade with the Orient.”
The bridge is named “Golden Gate Bridge” after the stait but painted International Orange to pop out in the fog - allowing tourists to exercise their unorthodox and above-the-average wit commenting on this discrepancy.
I do not recommend parking anywhere near the bridge, especially if you rent a car - there are a ton of thieves who target tourists and can spot specific rental car stickers a mile away. Cops don’t give a damn because jails in California are already at full capacity and this is pretty much all corporate penitentiary overlords care about. On top of that in order to reach very limited parking space near vista points you have to pass Baker-Barry Tunnel - or as I like to call it - “The Longest Five Minute Red Light Experience in the World”. To be honest if you are lucky you’ll get through in no time. You got to ask youself one question: “Do I feel lucky?”. Well do you, punk?
My recommendation is to take bus 101, 114, 132 or 150 to Spencer ave instead or park here or here. If you are taking a bus you may as well disembark at the Golden Gate bridge plaza and hike the bridge itself.
On the map above is the hike I recommend. Point 1 is Richardson East Benchmark - in case you are planning to activate, if not feel free to skip and head straight to the vista points 2, 3 and 4.
Do note - the bridge and the vicinity is a no-fly drone zone - Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Have a windbreaker and layers - winds and chill may surprise you any season but more so in summer.
Richardson East Benchmark aka W6/NC-407 SOTA activation
Ample space to deploy an antenna and some cozy concrete blocks to sit on - anything a SOTA activator can wish for.
Stations worked from the summit
Glad to hear folks again. Made three summit-to-summit contacts - line of sight with K6EL on Mount Davidson in San Francisco proper, AC1Z was heard from Blue Mountain in Colorado and KT0A from Boulder Hill in South Dakota. Thanks to all the chasers!
|Time UTC||Call sign||RST sent||RST received||Frequency||Mode||Maidenhead grid|
This is it for now. See you soon 73, K0SSK out.