Lake Meredith NRA
18 Jun 2016
Roads Driven: I-35 to Denton, 287 to just before Amarillo, then 136
Notable Cities/ Sights: Lake Meredith National Recreation Area
Critters spotted: Texas Horned Lizard, Cotton-top Quail
Drive Ended: Lake Meredith
Local food eaten: Pulled pork sandwiches
Beer in Cooler: Modelo and Shiner Ruby Redbird
Lake Meredith is pretty. I'm sure by their standards it was "crowded," but by Glacier standards there was hardly anyone there. It was a very quiet and relaxing stop.
We found a nice spot in Fritch Fortress campground. Our neighbors were interesting...pretty sure they lived at the park and scavenged all their gear from previous campers. Oh this night we warmed up some pulled pork sliders, and felt our cares lift away.
So stoked to see my very first Texas Horned Lizard! I saw a guy carrying a critter out of the bathroom, and he put it down and got in his car, and after he left I said to Darin "Let's see what that is," and that's how we found it.
Other critters seen but no pics: ground squirrels (which Auggie loved) and Western Kingbirds. We saw a pair of these birds vigorously defending a nest, from scary us.
The setup: Honda EU2000 genny --> Alinco DM-330MV power supply --> Yaesu 857 transceiver --> MFJ 818 SWR meter --> mag mount on top of metal roof of picnic shelter --> MFJ 20m antenna
It worked...sort of.
A spotter on the National Parks On The Air Facebook page had just posted that someone was transmitting from the Grand Canyon. Went to that frequency, and I *could* hear stuff going on, but the guy was hard to make out. We could hear people talking to him from Ohio and Idaho, though, so obviously the problem was us. We tried shortening the antenna (manually since we don't have an antenna tuner), but it didn't seem to make a difference. The needles on the SWR meter jumped a little the first time I tried to talk, but after that they never budged again, so I have no idea whether or not the antenna was tuned properly to begin with.
We think the generator was causing some interference, because reception was better after we moved it away from us. We'll try plugging it into an RV electrical port and see if that helps.