Despite very poor band conditions, I still manage to make short range contacts on 40 meters. With a few exceptions, they're in the neighboring states around WV. I've worked two "special event stations" since the beginning of the month. WP3 (you have to dig a little to find this call) was operated by WB3AAI. I've worked him twice. K4F was also a special event station in Tennessee, who was transmitting from a music festival. I happily recognized one station ( KA3WEL) as a ham I'd previously worked a few days ago.
It's always a joy to work a new ham (KJ4WRE) and especially so when the station is a female. She was struggling with the code. These contacts always bring back memories of my beginning days on the radio. In a follow up e-mail, she thanked me for slowing down to match her speed. For me, that's always standard operating procedure.
The thing I like so much about 40 meters is that it's usually easy to find a "long conversation" here, even under pitiful band conditions. The last few weeks should have a new category added to the "propagation" sites. Currently they're listed as excellent, fair, poor, and very poor. They should add an "almost non-existent" category.
I'm pretty "low tech" here, but I know for sure when I can't hear the GMT time signal anywhere, or a shortwave transmission on 11775 MHz, that things are going to be "tuff" for radio. Thank goodness for 40 meters, it's been a life saver for me. Working these few stations have been good for the soul.
Thank goodness also, for better weather conditions now. Believe it or not, there's still isolated places in this state without electricity.