Pack Rat Mine Activation – US-CO-ME-PACKRAT

Beautiful morning looking off the back porch as I get ready to leave.

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How D Everyone.  What a great day for a mine activation.  Mostly sunny and mid 80’s up in the mountains. I was really looking forward to this as it was my first chance to do an activation this year.  Back troubles and ATV issues had kept me in the valley from spring through early summer.  I was ready to get out and enjoy my hobbies again.

As you can see from the images it was beautiful out.  On my way up the mountain I noticed a dark bump in the tall grass.  I had an idea what it was an sure enough, a Brown (black) bear was enjoying himself just lying and rolling in the tall grass of a small field.  I stopped a couple of times as I passed for some quick pictures from the iPhone.  He wasn’t bothering me and I was good with that.  Then just before I pulled off I saw a small cub skirting the edge of the brush.  He, became a She and I knew it was time to move on.

The Pack Rat Mine is pretty easy to get to on an ATV.  A few wash outs to make your way around and you can pull right up to one of the entrances.  The mine has two North facing horizontal shafts. You can reach it by ATV or hiking.  In a car you would have to park about 3/4 of a mile out. Documentation shows the site was opened in 1951. The last production date I could find was 1971 but it might have been open a little longer. The site has a beautiful view off to the East across the mountains and partially down into the valley below. To the north, across the small valley is the Hubbard Mine and to the west, in the same small valley, is the Lost Dutchman Mine. It is a great location to spend the day. You could easily visit all three mines if you are just there to hike and take pictures.

I got all the gear setup with little issue.  I was looking forward to using my new SWR Analyzer only to find it was still on the bench.  Was not a big deal as I have a basic SWR meter in the IC718 and I had 20 meters tuned in with 1.5:1 or less across the band.  Would have been more fun with the new toys though!  🙂  With my little table and folding chair setup, I pulled out a cool bottle of water and settled in for a nice relaxing day with a great view.

Made 7 contacts, despite the band conditions.  Shout out to Jim, KE9PK in WI.  He was out performing his first SOTA.  So I was his first SOTA and MOTA contact!  Thanks to mark, AC9PR in IL for the contact and QSL Card.  Also a big thanks to Rob, K0HMZ in ND, 100 Watts ID: 396  Rob searched me out and gave me a spot online to pull in a few more contacts.

I spent a few hours scanning the band and calling CQ.  I heard the Boy Scouts in WV from the National Jamboree but I could just not get through to them.  Also made contact with W5I for the Red River Bridge War Special Event in TX.

It turned out to be one of the most relaxing days I have had this year.  I encourage you to do some research, activate a mine and enjoy the outdoors and your hobby.

Plans are under way for more MOTAs in the coming weeks.  Waiting on a good friend to go search out an old copper mine from the early 1900’s.  Hopefully I will get that one before the end of August.  In the mean time I am looking at the Austin mine.  However, the Austin Mine is a hard ride that last mile.  Wash outs, boulders, loose gravel, odd angles to traverse and downed trees.  Made it there last weekend without any gear and got stuck 3 times trying to get out.  Not so sure about a fully loaded ATV making it in and back.  We shall see.

73, let us know about your adventures.  Be smart and safe no matter what you do.

JohnnyF, WJ0NF

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