First Outing to Knox Mountain

April 2011
Photos by Hanz Busch, W1JSB

Today Hanz, W1JSB and I headed up to Knox Mountain
for the first time this spring. The walk was fantastic,
and we managed to work ON4UN in Belgium.

The road up was muddy and we passed the town
road grader spreading some gravel. As Hanz
dodged the ruts, he worked Norway on 15M SSB
during the short drive.

There was bare ground all the way to the first bridge,
and it was grand to walk in the woods again. The
brook was dazzling.

On the way we spotted bear scats and coyote skats.
Rivulets from melting snow criss-crossed the trail.
It's glorious to walk along the brook and see the
woods awakening.

We hadn't been here since our ski trip last winter. There
was three feet of snow then. Some of it still remained.
Several times in the deep woods we found sections
of the trail covered with 5 or 6 inches.

It's always exciting to catch the first sight of the dam
and the cabin on the other side. I was surprised to find
some ice covering the pond.

The porch of the cabin was nice and warm. We quickly
threw about 30 feet of wire into the nearby tree. Our
plan was to work 15 and 20 meters. I brought the ATS-4
and the Elecraft T-1 tuner. Right away I heard ON4UN
calling CQ. Hanz caught the QSO on video. Here's a
You-Tube link:

Hanz brought his SW-20. He connected the antenna
and tuned up. Just as he was tuning, the propagation took
a turn for the worse and the DX disappeared. W9ZN was
booming in, but we didn't wait around to work him. We
packed up and headed down the trail.

The trail, the brook, the woods and the cabin at Knox
Mountain are favorite places in all the world.  Not
spectacular, perhaps, by some measure, but rife
with nature and solitude. I always look forward to