Friday 31st August 2018 - The Cheviot G/SB-001 & Ros Castle G/SB-009
No gig - day off!
The next target after The Cheviot G/SB-001 was this very easy hill. I let the satnav lead the way. It told me I had arrived, but I could see the road ascending much higher, so I continued up to itís highest point, from where I could see the distinctive little hill rising to my left. I turned the car around to face the direction to be heading off later, and pulled it onto a spacious verge.
Fatigue was setting in after a long hot day on The Cheviot, and I hobbled slowly up the short and well-defined path, spiralling up to the summit. Unfortunately on this hill, I couldnít buy a contact on 2m FM - well not with just the handie and helical antenna anyway. I was on a time limit to make the youth hostel for an evening meal, but made the decision that it would be faster overall to set up for HF. It seemed conditions were pretty rubbish, and it took me 26 minutes to record five QSOs on 20m CW. I had guessed that CW would be faster and easier than FT8, but I think I was wrong! Anyway, three of my five QSOs were into the west / mid-west of the USA, while another was special event station LZ1146SPS, so it wasnít all bad news!
I hurriedly packed away and got down to the car. I had the thick end of 100 miles to drive to get to the YHA at Osmotherley. I telephoned and asked if I could order a meal for my arrival at 8.30pm BST. This was agreed - I just had to get there. Fortunately, I did arrive at Cote Ghyll bang on 8.30pm, and got stuck straight into the locally made steak pie, double-cooked chips, mushy peas and gravy, accompanied by a bottle of local ale. Absolutely delicious! As if things couldnít get any better, apart from two couples in private rooms, I was the only hosteller booked in - so I had a whole dormitory to myself - and it was en suite too!
I had a shower, change and put my gadgets on charge. It seems the YHAs all now have a light, plug socket and two USB charging points at every bedside - a very welcome development. I went back downstairs for another bottle of ale, before having a very comfortable and restful nightís sleep. The following day I had a gig in Leeds, and I was hoping to activate the three summits in the Cleveland Hills, starting with Gisborough Moor G/TW-003.