My final SOTA stop on the way back to Washington, DC from Indiana was at Mount Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania. Arriving towards the end of the day, I did not take advantage of any of the hiking trails from around the mountain, but followed signs directly to the parking area. A path leads around to a metal observation tower and a path continues past the tower to a sort of rock garden with some informational plaques. Not far from the tower’s base, there are some large boulders, where I set up the radio.
I thought about operating from the top of the tower and tossing the end-fed antenna downward, but even as dusk approached, there were intermittent visitors to the tower, and I thought it better to set up from the ground. Also, I thought it would be better to have the far (low impedance/high current) end of the antenna elevated rather than the feed point. Consequently, I climbed the tower and draped a support rope over the upper railing and used the rope to haul up the antenna.
Ironically, considering the height, I did not have good cell phone coverage on T-mobile, even at the top of the tower. It took a while to get my four contacts, mostly by responding to their CQs rather than sending my own. The park closes at sunset, so I was eager to finish the activation while there was still light. In retrospect, I should have gone up the tower and tried for some FM contacts. There may not be a huge number of hams in the area, but given the height, there would be a good chance to picking someone up on simplex.
I had visited Sugarloaf Knob East earlier in the day, but ran out of time to visit the other peaks that I had plotted along the return route to Washington, DC: WE-001 and WE-002 — those will have to await my next trip through the area.