Friday 8th November 2019 - Knock Hill GM/ES-073
Gig: 60s Gold - The Mindbenders & Steve Ellis
Venue: Aberdeen Music Hall
From Huntly, it was a relatively short drive to the parking spot for Knock Hill. This was at a right-angle bend in the road, from which a very steep grassy, muddy, eroded and slippery path strikes directly for the summit! Going up was not too problematic, albeit it certainly got the lungs pumping. Care would be needed on the descent though.
Upon arrival on summit, the weather was perfect - sunshine and blue sky. I reported this to Barry GM4TOE, who was my first contact, a very easy 2m FM copy with my handheld. Even during that contact though, I reported to Barry about an advancing cloud that appeared to be full of menace! Barry invited me to call in after descending, and I readily accepted, preferring that option to trying to squeeze in a second summit before driving to the gig in Aberdeen.
The menacing cloud duly arrived and produced a heavy but short-lived snow shower. I couldn't raise any more callers on 2m FM, so this coincided with me setting up for HF. Again, the CW was not cooperating - well it couldn't really - I'd gone and left the paddle in the car! So the microphone got a second consecutive rare outing, and five 20m SSB contacts were added to the log. Descending the hill was as tricky as feared and several slips were suffered - including two that landed me on my backside - despite me walking with a pair of trekking poles!
It was great to catch up with Barry at his new home in Banff, and enjoy a bowl of delicious homemade broth and mug of coffee with him. Then back on the road again to Aberdeen for that night's concert - and then back on the road yet again, to drive to the accommodation in Dundee. I was in bed and fast asleep by 10pm - lovely! The following day we were scheduled to play two shows - matinee and evening - in Musselburgh, just east of Edinburgh, and so I hoped to activate Arthur's Seat GM/SS-272 in the morning.