North Georgia QRP Club - NoGa

Flight of the Bumble Bees - 2003

Rabun Bald - North East Georgia Mountains

Four intrepid NoGaNaughts made their way up the north east slopes of Rabun Bald to prepare for the ARS Flight of the Bumble Bees - 2003.  A nice wide camp site surrounded by tall trees was selected deep in the Chattahoochee National Forest.  This provided more than enough space for the 2 tents and the opulent rolling palace of Scott, KD4MSR.  This event was sponsored by Scott and he really did a great job of researching an esoteric site but also the history of the Bartram Trail that runs over Rabun Bald and through this part of Georgia.

Joining Scott in this adventure were Mike, KO4WX, Sam, AE4GX and Pickett, AD4S.  Our trip extended from early Friday, July 25th through Sunday July 27th.  Pickett and Sam (with Sam driving) went early to secure one of the few good campsites in this part of the Forest.  These are all primitive sites so we had to bring everything we needed for 3 days.

If you have a detailed map of this area, our camp site was on Hale Ridge Road about a mile north of where it intersects with Overload Creek Road.

Click here to read Scott's review of this event.  Click here to see a panoramic view from the top of Rabun Bald that was taken by Mike, KO4WX.  The arrow points to Mike's BB operating position, on the Bartram  Trail as it comes over the top of the mountain.  Click here to see a panoramic view of the campsite taken by Sam, AE4GX. 

Pickett, AD4S

Click here to see Sam's pictures.  Click here to see Mike's Pictures.

Click on the small pictures below to get the "BIG" picture.  Use your return button to return to this page.

Pickett's gear waiting for Sam to arrive.  Pickett was responsible for Saturday night's steak cook out and several of his and Sam's meal.  He also brought the tent that the two of them used and the screen tent used for meal service.

Sam and Pickett trying to figure out how to get all this stuff in Sam's Pathfinder.

Good old Duct Tape.  Sam discovered that the cap had fallen out of his PLPV antenna rod and all the elements were trying to come out.

At the camp site.  Now that we have all this stuff here, we have to put it up.

Left to right early Friday Afternoon.  Sam's screen tent which was the operating tent.  Sam and Pickett's sleeping tent.  Picketts food services screen tent and the NoGa Banner which we hoped would scare away the bears.

Another shot of the same thing.  Didn't mean to put 2 in here but too much trouble to take out.

Closer look at the sleeping tent.  It had 2 gear lockers on either end which was pretty nice.  We actually had 2 camp cots inside.

Maison de la Sikes finally arrived.  This is a Coleman Destiny series and is really something to behold.  Scott's wife, Valerie, had asked that the rest of us refrain from taking a shower...!

Scott's truck is not a 4WD and he spun his wheels in a couple of steep loose gravel areas.  Scott was accompanied by his Cocker Spaniel, Sandy.

Mike finally arrived with Scott and set up his sleeping tent under the NoGa banner.   He was sure that no bears would bother him there.

Sam hanging the first antenna, his Norcal doublet.  The sun was right in his eyes but he made a perfect shot up about 50 feet.

This is the Norcal BLT tuner for the doublet.  Sam made the antenna from Fair Radio life raft wire and popsickle sticks.

Tried to get a picture of the first popsickle spreader.  A little hard to see.   The red is the Velcro strip.

Here is the general operating position.  We did operate some every day we were there.   One of the first contacts that Sam made was with NoGaNaught, Bill Carter, KG4FXG, who was also in his pop up camper.

Here is Sam after getting all of his gear squared away and making a few contacts on Friday afternoon.

I started to make this a separate page but decided to put it here.  Mike had acquired a cold lunch bag for his K1.

What a nice implementation.  A complete 4 band cw rig in a bag including the MP-1 antenna.  Note the strap holding the K1 down.

This separate little zipper bag was intended for a "freeze" bottle.   It made a great case for all the little stuff.

And doggon if the MP-1 didn't fit right in the back of the case.  The case had a nice carrying handle and a shoulder strap.


Pickett tried to add to the intellectual offerings by reciting the "Ravin Radio" but only got through the middle of the 2nd verse. =======>

When Scott does an event, you really shouldn't miss it.  In additional to learning all about William Bartram's treks through Georgia, we studied astronomy and read from a book of poems by Robert Service.  Our favorite was "The Cremation of Sam Magee".

Scott was in charge of  breakfast Saturday morning and what a feast he put on.   Eggs, bacon, pancakes, coffee and juice.  I think there was more but I didn't keep notes.

Scott also let us eat in his rolling palace, "Maison de la Sikes".

Saturday morning we hiked the Holcomb Creek Falls trail.  This trail is about 4 miles long and circles from just below our campsite on the road down to where the road intersects with Overload Creek Road.

Some pretty steep downhills and uphills made us glad we had brought our hiking sticks.  This is Holcomb Creek Falls as is the previous picture.

Holcomb Creek Falls from a distance.

This was an article of clothing of some kind found on the trail.  I hope they scared the bear away before they lost these.

We went in 2 groups to keep someone at the campsite at all times.  Sam wanted to do some early operating anyway.

This was the smaller of the 2 big falls.  It was Ammon Creek Falls.  The U.S. Forest Service had built a nice viewing platform here.

This was literally a field of rhododendron.  The picture does not begin to display how big and incredibly beautiful this display was.

Holcomb Creek Falls.

This was the walk bridge over Holcomb Creek just below the falls.

Another shot of Ammon Creek Falls.

Huge red mushroom just below Holcomb Creek Falls.  This was right where Mike tried to crack some rocks with his head... but you will have to ask him about that.

Click here to see Scott's info on the mushroom.

Scott welcoming back the first hiking party.  He and Sam then took off and did the trail in the opposite direction which Mike and I thought was much more difficult.

Getting ready to break camp on Sunday morning.  We left the operating position in place and hiked over to it in the afternoon to work the Flight of the Bumble Bees.   Mike packed up and drove to a parking area and hiked to the top of Rabun Bald to operate.

This page last updated 09/07/2003