I do the same. When 38 becomes so congested that it's a wall of voices, I usually go up to 39/40 or down to 36/37. I'll then check the even channels (27.390, 27.400, etc.) Otherwise it's go above 40, because the local SSBers can't communicate between each other in the same town, so they move to 415, 425, and occasionally higher. The noise level is a lot lower and it's cool to listen to a couple 2 or 3 talking amongst themselves.Depending on what is on 38, I'll kick dow to 35-37 or I'll jump up to 42. I've heard some pretty good conversations on 42. Nice peaceful, respectful chat. I like it there.
I normally hang close to the band. I'm scanning 27.415, 425, 435, etc.It is, I've known that for years. I also know that there are a lot of people I know who can't get there... So I'll play where they can until I get tired of the crap. Then back to the freeband I go.