Hike to Dearborn Pond

October, 2009

This afternoon I hiked to Dearborn Pond and
worked Poland, Spain and Florida. In a few days
the fall colors will be at their peak.

I drove up Mountain Road in Sanbornton and parked
the car at the end of the maintained portion. The
range road begins here and heads north to New
Hampton through some wild country and foothills.
I walked along a rocky section covered with a carpet
of gold and orange.

After hiking about a mile there is an unmarked path
to the West. There is no hint of a trail, but I remember
the way from previous trips. I walk along the stream
that leads from Dearborn Pond.

I spot the dam ahead and know that I am on the right
path. Soon I am standing at the edge of Dearborn Pond.
The color on the hill beyond is brilliant.

The tiny cabin is on the East side of the pond under the
trees. I cross the dam and head for the porch.

I throw my antenna wire over a maple branch in front
of the porch. The tree is decorated with bright vermilion

The antenna is a 33 foot wire with the Par Electronics
matchbox. This is a wonderful, simple and small antenna
that always yields good contacts. As I finish putting up
the wire, a baby chipmunk scampers along in front of
the porch while a blue-jay scolds from the nearby pine

I tune up from the bottom end of 20 meters with the
little ATS-3A. There aren't many stations on the band,
but I hear 3Z40KP calling CQ. This is a Polish special
event station and we quickly exchange 599s.

A few minutes later I hear W4MNF calling. Reg is in
Crystal River, Florida and has a great signal into the
New Hampshire woods. "UR QRP DOING A BANG-UP
JOB X VY SOLID CPY," he sends. I comment on his 80F
temperature and tell him it's a chilly 40F on the pond.

Soon I hear my old friend Jurek, EA6UN, in the Balaeric
Islands, finishing up a QSO and I call him. He is booming
in... by far the strongest station I hear. Jurek gives me
a 579 and says "JIM, UR 4W FB JOB."

With that I call it quits on HF and call my friend Hanz,
W1JSB on the local 2 meter repeater with a handie talkie.
He's not around, but I get a call from Mike, N1VE who
lived nearby for many years, but has moved to Kentucky.
He is connected by Echolink. "What neat technology," he
says. "It's amazing that I can talk from Kentucky all the way
to you up there in the woods."

I finish packing up and head back across the dam. The colors
on the hill are close to peak.

My neighbor, Okie Howe, first brought me here. We
hiked in summer and cross-country skied in winter. She
was in her late 80s when I was last here with her.  She
lay down on the ground near the cabin that spring saying
she loved the smell of the earth.