Fall ARCI 2008

Sunday, Oct 19, 2008

It's a perfect fall day, and I'm hiking up a range
road near David Swain's farm in Sanbornton. The
sun is brilliant, and the trees are alive with
radiant gold and orange.

The woods are aflame with light and color

I turn right into an upper field and walk through lush pasture
heading uphill. There is a line of color along both the North and
East sides of the field so remarkable it takes my breath away.
Brilliant reds, yellows and oranges contrast with a deep blue sky.

I put up a 44 foot dipole between the branches of two flaming
maple trees. I'm feeding the antenna with 300 ohm ribbon. The
trees are magnificent.

My antenna tree radiates all by itself

I've brought the ATS-2 and a ZM-2 tuner. Right away I hear
Bob N4BP calling CQ on 20 meters. We say hello and complete
the contest exchange. Within the next half hour I work W4SEC
in Florida, W0RSP in South Dakota and a couple of stations
in the Illinois QSO party. I look up between overs to catch a
glimpse of the view of the Belknap range to the South.

The view from my operating position

During the contest I worked nearly 20 stations. But only five of them are from
this site. Most of the activity seemed to be later in the evening on Sunday just
before the event ended. I made 10 of the contacts on 80 meters.

Already the evenings are getting cold... into the mid-20's. Within the next week
the leaves will disappear. The winter is long in New Hampshire. These brilliant
days soften the blow.

Knox Mountain

Monday, October 20, 2008

This afternoon I hiked again to Knox Mountain. Everything here is different.
The leaves have mostly fallen leaving a rich pathway of vibrant color. Only
the beech tree leaves are left. They range from bright yellow to ochre and
ochre and red. They are seemingly self-luminous and brighten the forest.

I cross the brook. It's filled with ribbons of gold and clear, see-through to
the bottom, pools. It was here that I encountered a bear only three weeks ago.
I was hiking back from the cabin. He was 30 yards ahead of me. I was uncertain
of what to do. I thought if he heard me, he would run away, so I said, "Hello Bear!"
in a loud voice. He stood on his hind legs and stretched his arms toward me.
He was huge... considerably taller than I. So I turned and walked away. I looked
back when I heard him crashing through the woods. He was running away from me...
going much faster than a dog could ever run.

At the cabin today I put up a 30 foot vertical wire and tuned it with the ZM-2.
I had brought the ATS-2. First I worked Jan, EA8/DL5JAN. He was a 599 and gave me
a 579. "UR 4W FB S7," he sent.  We QSOed for five minutes.

Then I worked K0ARS/m in MO followed by W5JBV in Florida. DJ2QV, Mike in Munich,
gave me a 449. Finally I worked Jurek, EA6UN in the Balaeric Islands. He gave me a 579
and sent, "FB 4W QRP Jim FB JOB."  With that I packed up. The cabin is a wonderful
place. Warm on the porch... even on cold days. Rich with nature and color. Today
I saw  moose tracks on the trail going home.