First Warm Day of 2012
What a day! The thermometer topped 60 degrees. I heard a cardinal
singing this morning
as I got into the car. The sky is blue. Hanz, W1JSB and I met before
lunch and headed to
Knox Mtn. The largest X class flare in over five years has just
bombarded earth. That doesn't
stop us from bringing a QRP rig and plenty of optimism.
We walked east on a logging road. Hanz wears only a polo shirt.
There are still four inches of
snow from the last storm. We probably should have brought
skis... The trail is spotted with
the tracks of moose, rabbit and wild turkeys. After a mile, we turn
down toward the brook.
How glorious to see the stream begin to flow again. The old route to
the cabin is temporarily
out of commission. The property owners have removed the second
bridge. The timbers were
all rotting. This summer we'll move a few rocks around to make a
suitable pathway across
the brook. Until then, we'll take a detour.
The sight of the cabin across the pond under a brilliant blue sky is
thrilling. There's still
ice on the pond, but it will melt quickly in this weather. I have
brought the HB-1B, and
two spools of wire. I was going to set up a half-wave end fed for 20
meters... but I
discover that I put the tuner in the wrong pack! I have no tuner.
Not to worry. I have
a BNC-to-binding post adapter... we'll make a half wave dipole (with
no feed line).
I throw one wire into a tree near the cabin porch, and we run a
second wire across the
porch, around a supporting beam and then attach it to a stick we
place in the snow.
Before attempting any contacts we each enjoy an apple my wife has
40 meters sounds dead... I hear a couple of stations from Quebec
in the phone portion of the band. So we know there's some
possibility for a QSO.
I span the CW band a few times and finally hear Rick, VE3MFN calling
CQ on 7029.
He's pretty strong. He answers "VE2PID." Pierre operates QRP from
Quebec, so Rick
made a good guess at the call. He gets the right call on the next
over and my signal
picks up enough for a nice QSO. Who needs a tuner? Or propagation?
Hanz has brought his VX-7R handie-talkie. The built-in thermometer
reads 76F on
the porch. That's about what we estimated. Summer! It can't be far
We pack up and hike back to the road. It takes about 40 minutes. Mud
New Hampshire is a sure sign of spring. The dirt road down the
mountain is so soft,
that at times the car just slides along following the ruts. At home
I hear the call of
red-wing blackbirds. There is no sweeter sound.