West of Pittsburgh in the direction of Chicago, the SOTA summits are few and far between, and what summits there are subtle, more like slowly graded hills than mountains. However, the Summit County HP, while not a eagle’s nest view, was my favorite summit from this trip.
I felt like I knew this town before I got there from looking at aerial photos and even “driving” some of it using Google Street View. The summit area is wide and flat, so there were a lot of options about where to pitch the antenna: the actual county high point, which is marked along the main road? In the trees behind the cemetery near a commercial antenna? In the parking lot of the Sikh Temple? Or in a park.
I went with the park, which was in full summer camp mode, with lots of kids and counselors running around. There is a picturesque catch-and-release pond and picnic pavilions, but I didn’t think any of the trees around the pond were idea antenna supports. Instead, I picked a nearby picnic area, where tall pine trees surround a few shaded picnic tables.
This is a very comfortable operating spot and I could have spent the day (or battery) here. My daughter settled down with a book on her kindle, and the radio gods could sense that I was in no hurry. Consequently, the contacts came in quickly on 20m and 40m. Were I pressed for time or if thunderclouds threatened, I’m sure the contacts would have been much more elusive.
I should mention that after activating the “summit”, I came across a nice cafe with a greek flavor: coffee and scones, but also hummus, grape leaves, and baklava. If you’re activating this site, consider dropping by the Richfield Gourmet Café before or after.