trip report

Message posted by lone wolf on May 22, 2006 at 23:59:15 PST:

I made a short trip to the ranges last weekend. The weather was not very cooperative. While the rain was minimal (just a few drops on Thursday night), the wind was enough to kick up dust that reduced visibility.

The base aimed their wacky beam at me, but their aim was off and whacked the power supply to my notebook computer. Needless to say, this put a crimp in recording the base and other computer related snooping. The Janet activity was "the usual", using SHOWW as a fix. The only unique thing I heard was a coyote was on the runway, delaying a launch. Friday moring the base launched a flight of 4, presumably fighters. I got two contrails over my head shortly afterwards, but it might be a coincidence. Early Friday morning I heard a noisy whiney kind of prop plane, but never spotted anything.

The only unusual sighting (if you can call it that) is the base turned on some bright lighting Friday evening around 9PM, and kept it on until about 9:45PM. A faint halo could be seen over the base. It was very clear with night vision. I would have photographed it had the wind not been gail force up there at the power lines. I think the lighting was noticable due to the higher than usual water vapor level. This lighting was too late for Janet flights, and not on long enough for a baseball game. Nothing was heard on the VHF/UHV conventional frequencies.

Speaking of the power lines, the area is now a wilderness study area as of 3/2006. As you know, you can't drive or park vehicles in these areas, and unfortunately the sign is right in the middle of the flat area, eliminating about half the parking.

The rock wall from hell (or heaven) was knocked down. [These comments won't make much sense unless you have seen the structure.] I never really could make up my mind if I liked the structure or not. I didn't like the location, as it was where I liked to park. However, I did use it a few times when it was windy and I didn't feel like sitting in the car. The local lizards liked to hang out between the rocks, so now they are homeless. :-( From second hand knowledge, Wilderness Study areas are never returned to the public. It is a scam of sorts to keep people out of areas without public hearings.
It may be that the power lines were always part of the WSA, but never marked. Still, a mere 15ft would have made a world of difference as it would have lined up with the limit of where people park.

Attached link: wsa


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