Perhaps the Last Hike to Knox Mountain
September 2015

Judy and I took a quick hike to the cabin at Knox Mountain. It was a glorious afternoon,
and I worked Ukraine, Brazil and Italy. But there were clear signs that the property will soon
be logged, so there were also some anxious thoughts during today's outing.

There are few places in the world I enjoy as much as the cabin at Knox Mountain. I have
been hiking here for more than 20 years. The path to the pond and the cabin crisscrosses
a pristine mountain brook and meanders through full-growth forest. It's really beautiful.

Today as we got out of the car at the trail head, we were met by a large bulldozed section
of woods. The huge trees were flagged with blue ribbon and it's clear the area will soon be
logged. Over the years this has been a favorite place for nature walks, solitude and radio.
That may all change in the coming weeks. Today we hiked it as if it would be our last.

We walked about a mile and a half. The sight of the hidden pond is always exciting as we
come out of the woods. There were asters and gentian flowers along the edge of the water.
It was so quiet.

Judy went to a sunny place to read a book. I tossed a line over a wild cherry tree near the cabin
and pulled up a 20 meter dipole as a vertical. I used the KD1JV Mountain Topper powered by
8 AA cells. The band was in pretty good shape and although my signal was weak, I was able to
work Europe. EN90IARU in the Ukraine was calling CQ. Serge gave me a quick 599 and we
moved on. PV8ADI in Brazil was also working lots of stations. Again we exchanged quick 599s.
Then I found IZ4DLR, Ivano in Italy just finishing up a QSO and called him. He gave me a 549
and we chatted for a minute. He was able to copy all of my comments.

The little MTR rig balances easily between my legs while the battery pack lay on the
ground. The entire setup fits in a plastic box barely 3 X 5 inches. With three DX QSOs
under my belt, I pack up for the return hike. As we enter the woods, I take one last snap
shot of the pond. I dread the sound of chain saws and falling trees here.