Knox Mountain Cabin in September 2010

I walked up to the cabin at Knox Mountain
this afternoon. It was the first time since
July. What a treat. I saw a bear. The pond
was full... thanks to beavers. And I worked
Finland, the Ukraine and Belgium!

This summer has been very dry. I had no idea,
just how dry, until I went over the bridge and
glanced down at the brook. It's the first time
in more than 10 years that it's been like this.

As I continued hiking, I reached a marshy
place. I've always suspected there were
moose nearby, but I've never seen one here.
I didn't expect to see a bear... But about 50 yards
away, in the woods, a black bear raced away through
the thick forest. At first I thought it was a large
dog. But no... it was definitely a bear and
going at full speed. I walked into the woods to
see what the bear tracks would look like. I could
see where the ground was roughed up. There
were also signs of deer.

The hike to the cabin is about a mile and a half.
It usually takes about 25 minutes. I know I'm almost
there when I see the old dam and the pond.

The pond had been drained a few years ago, because
the town was afraid the old concrete wasn't strong enough
to hold the water. But the beavers disagreed. This spring
they plugged up the spillway and now the pond is once
again full of water. It's beautiful. Hooray for the beavers!

I set up my antenna on the hillside above the lake. I threw
a water bottle over a branch about 45 feet. I pulled up a
half wave wire for 20 meters and connected my ATS-2. It
runs about 4 watts.

The band was quiet, but I managed to work a few stations.
OH8KTN in Finland exchanged a quick 599. Nick in the
Ukraine, UR5VR, gave me a 559. And finally Guy in Belgium...
ON4KLG worked really hard to pull me out of the aether. I was only
339, and he was a 559. But he stuck with it, and then was
kind enough to send me an email.
We have just had a cw qso on 20 m at 19:20 UTC. Many thanks for this
one! As your signal was rather weak, I guess you were QRP.
Visiting your website (congratulations for it) confirmed you enjoy
QRP, that's great.

Could you please tell me what was your power and antenna for our QSO ?
I'm going to answer him soon and send this story and pictures.
Guy did an amazing job of copying my weak signal to Belgium
Many thanks Guy!

After working Guy, I packed up the gear and headed back down the
trail. I couldn't help glancing over my shoulder for one last
look at the wonderful place.

I'll be back several times between now and the time the
leaves fall from the trees. This is a place where the autumn
colors are fantastic.