On Saturday, July 4, 2020, at about 1330 UTC, the AB3G SOTA and DX Association activated Morton Peak - W6/CT-128.
Although this summit isn’t technical or particularly challenging, what makes this activation special is that this activation immediately followed the wedding ceremony of @KM3A David, and Lizzette, K6LZT, on the same summit. Our original wedding plans were canceled (supposed to be on June 7) because of government COVID restrictions and closures of our religious sites. As a result, we thought of something unique, memorable, and fun that would go beyond the typical courthouse/clerk-recorder wedding, and a mini SOTA expedition seemed to fit the bill nicely. We really like Morton Peak because of the views into San Gorgonio wilderness area, and thankfully Scott - @N0OI was willing to get ordained and put a minierature service together.
The SOTA expedition to W6/CT-128 Morton Peak was a huge success. At about 0030 UTC, me Liz, K6LZT (the bride), Liz’s mom (Rosie), my sister (Crystal), Scott, @N0OI, and Corrine, N2ZIP (Scott’s wife) arrived at the base of Morton and consolidated vehicles. After driving up to the locked gate, we all hiked a short 1.5 miles to the summit. Crystal created a bouquet using wildflowers, and we went live with the ceremony Scott put together. The views were stunning, as the sun crested over the San Gorgonio valley it created elegant shadows not only through the valley but on the San Bernardino city area below. We used Scott’s SOTA dog Zip as the ring bearer, which also worked out great. After the ceremony (we both said "I DO"), and we popped a bottle of champagne, mixed it with orange juice, and made a few toasts and drank mimosas.
Finally, we activated the summit using our club, callsign AB3G. I worked 20m SSB and CW and made a delightful number of contacts - including DX to Panama! Corrine worked 40m SSB, and Scott worked 40m CW. Most impressively, Liz, K6LZT, activated her first SOTA summit using 2m FM! She picked up the required four contacts and is now officially on the SOTA board with 4 points. In all, we made 49 QSOs, and it was terrific to hear celebratory words of happiness from all over the world. Of note: I had some QSL cards made and will be sending them out as “thank you” / special event cards (no return required or needed).
Walking back to the car, we all agreed it was a perfect wedding and an ideal SOTA. We then ate breakfast at a very relaxed cafe called Heska’s Sugar Shack, which made delicious omelets, and the owner and his wife blessed us by playing and singing the song “Tupelo Honey.” Finally, we headed out to Las Vegas and took advantage of the COVID room rates.