Hike to Jackson Pond
March 2012

Hanz W1JSB got out of work early today and called me on the 2 meter repeater.
For the last couple of weeks he's been wanting to explore a remote area
of New Hampton near Jackson Pond. Today was a perfect day for the trip... and
of course, we brought a rig. We worked Lithuania, Croatia, the Balaeric Islands,
Italy and Florida from the shores of Jackson Pond.

The pond is remote. There are no buildings around its circumference and only nature
adorns its quiet shores. It wasn't much of a hike from the dirt road, but we enjoyed
bushwhacking our way down the steep hill through the woods to the pond. We couldn't
find a trail.

We picked out a nice maple branch mostly because a stone wall running directly
under the tree offered a few flat rocks to serve as both table and chair. Hanz heaved
the line and made a perfect job of it. In a few minutes we had the HB-1B connected
to a half wave end fed wire for 20 meters, and we were on the air. I took the first turn
at the key.

LY2PX had just finished calling CQ as I started tuning. One call did the job, and Willy
gave me a 559 from Lithuania. It's magic. A little rig... a piece of wire, a stone wall by
the lake and we're talking nearly 4,000 miles to the other side of the world. I tuned up
four kHz and there was Jurek EA6UN in the Balaeric Islands calling CQ. Jurek and I
are old pals. We've had several QSOs a month for the last ten years. Jurek was 599 and
he gave me a 579. Just as I was about to give the key to Hanz... I hear a Croatian
station pounding in... 9A206CW. We exchange quick 599s, and Hanz takes over the

As soon as he sits down, Hanz answers a call from KI4FIA in Florida. Rudy has a booming
signal and he and Hanz chat a while, exchanging info about rigs and weather. When they
sign Hanz hears another strong signal... IK4VFD, Rudy in Italy. They both have solid
signals and they finish the exchange easily.

Satisfied with our walk, our quiet retreat by the lake and our transcontinental exploration,
we pack up the gear.  As we hike back up the slope, we wonder if there might not be a trail
on the other side of the pond. It's definitely worth another jaunt.