It's been way too long since I've been "officially" on the air for a special event. Yesterday I spent a rainy day in an old lodge in the Kanawha State Forest. The lodge is about a 40 minute drive from home. I've hiked in this forest for many years. I'm still a member of the local hiking group. Membership in the hiking club gives me access to the lodge.
I had planned this outing to avoid a rainy Tuesday the day before. The weather forecast this day was supposed to be cool (50 degrees Fahrenheit) but dry. It didn't turn out that way... I got wet setting up the antenna but was able to move inside the lodge to operate.
Sending out an advanced notice to the NAQCC group is a sure way to work a lot of club stations. Of the 15 stations I worked yesterday, 13 were club members.
I've made changes to my operating mode in the last few months. I purchased a YouKit HB1B because it's so very small, it has a great receiver, and a good variable filter. For those of us with bad backs, it's a great portable radio.
I bought the paddles from a NAQCC member using our monthly "swap and shop" list. (hint) Lifetime membership in the NAQCC Club is free so why haven't you joined yet?
My first contact yesterday was with NAQCC West Virginia member Steve Ashcraft KC4URI. He had a 599 signal into WV. The Reverse Beacon Network showed that I was heard by stations in Arizona and California.
My actual contacts were pretty much up and down the east coast from New Hampshire to Florida.I worked two stations in Texas and Kansas. Both had good signals into West Virginia. I'm amazed at how well a radio signal can jump into the sky from this location.
This weekend the forecast is a good one for WV with temperature predicted to be near 70 degrees on Saturday. (21 degrees C). I assume this is a fluke and we still have some very cold weather coming again in February.
I hope to get a fire going and bring some music on my next trip to the lodge. Access is only by a small footbridge, over a creek, which is slippery when wet. (be forewarned)