Author Archive | Chris

Hiking Challenge

Great Smoky Mountains National Park joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at FindYourPark.com.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park joins parks, programs and partners across the country to encourage everyone to find their park and share their stories online at FindYourPark.com.

I grew up going camping in the Smoky Mountain National Park every fall. Some years we would camp in Elkmont, some years at Smokemont, and a couple of times we actually got to camp at Cades Cove. You see, Cades Coves seemed like the holy grail of camp sites – we loved their scenic loop and the chance to see wild animals, but the campground was always full in the fall. These annual visits to the park ingrained the Smoky Mountains in me.

In late 2015 I moved to Speedwell, TN. I wanted so badly, when we did finally relocate, to be close to the Smoky Mountains. We’re now approximately 2 hours away. With the National Park Service celebrating it’s 100th anniversary in 2016, and with their Find Your Park campaign, I knew that I would find myself visiting the park on a regular basis.

Hike100 PinIn early 2016, the Smoky Mountain National Park announced the Smokies Centennial Challenge РHike 100, a challenge to hike 100 miles on any trail in the park Рand if successful, I could earn a unique pin commemorating the achievement. Just what I needed, an excuse to get motivated.

I announced my goal to my friends on Facebook and got the family’s commitment to allow me a once-per-month visit to the park to put in some miles.

Stay tuned for updates on this exciting journey.

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Beginning my Amateur Radio Technician Ticket

Realistic RadioWhen I was younger I spent many hours looking through catalogs from Radio Shack and Heathkit at all the cool 2-way radios. My 8th Grade year in Middle School my dad promised to buy me anything of my choice if I would finish with straight A’s in all my classes. I just knew I would get one of those cool radios. Though I did finish with straight A’s, I ended up with a very large electronics bench for building and experimenting – something which is now rewarding more me so than a radio would have.

So, in my ever growing list of hobbies, I’m going for the Technician Class amateur radio license – something I have always wanted to do. Looking forward to my own call sign. My study book is on its way from ARRL, and I’ve already learned the NATO phonetic alphabet.

What will I do with my ticket? I like to listen. I think I would like SOTA-like (Summits on the Air) activities. I’m in love with the Buddipole system. I could see traveling and DXing with the world. So many choices of equipment, it is bewildering.