Another 100 Miles of Heaven and Hell

…or 18 more hours of hanging out with friends playing radio nerd in the mountains.

Clearly I’m terrible at posting on a regular basis, as it’s been over a year since my last post. But once again, I recently had the opportunity to help with communications for the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run.

This year was very similar to last year, but we still had a lot of fun. I also got a chance to flex my ham nerd muscles a bit more, as this year I provided the packet system we’d be using for the event. I had been working on building a packet system of my own just for fun, and with the intent of it being able to serve as a backup for our usual setup. Gary’s basement however, had other plans. A few months ago, Gary experienced a house fire that destroyed a large chunk of his radio gear.

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Suddenly, my little backup station got promoted. It took a few long nights of trying to make things fit into a case, getting frustrated, cursing, hurting myself, and generally melting my brain trying to learn some new things, but eventually I was able to get my system up and running. It was a great learning experience though, and was a lot of fun getting this thing up and running. I’ll be writing up a more detailed post in the future about the rig itself, and my future plans on improving it.

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The team arrives. We’re clearly skilled at parking in an orderly fashion.

Friday night, we arrived at the Pole Line Pass station. We setup camp fairly quickly, and were on the air by 7:30PM, ready to go. As the night went on, my packet system ran like a champ, and we didn’t have any issues with it. Gary had been able to get his station repaired and brought it along as a backup, but luckily, we didn’t need to use it. Still, I was happy he had it, as while I’m confident in my abilities, it’s always nice to have a backup in case something goes wrong.

Compared to last year’s race though, we weren’t very busy, as it was really hot earlier today. That resulted in a lot of runners dropping out of the race due to the heat. We stayed busy, but definitely had some decent stretches of downtime.

Our final runner came through camp around 11AM on Saturday, so once he arrived, we arranged for him to get a ride down to the finish line, as he was unable to finish, then we packed it up, and headed home. We drove back down American Fork Canyon, and said our goodbyes. I got home, took a nap, and then loaded the truck back up, as my weekend was just getting started.

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We had made plans to go up to my uncle’s cabin for the weekend with the family, so while I napped at home, the family was loading the truck. After a few hours of sleep, I got our ATV ready to go, then we headed right back to Tollgate Canyon to spend the night with the rest of the family. It was just a quick overnight trip, but it was a lot of fun. Our time up in Tollgate was spent riding the trails, spotting moose and porcupines, and just relaxing. It was honestly a tiring weekend, but a lot of fun.

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There’s a moose here somewhere…
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