Well, I haven’t been on the air at all in the past six months. My family moved from Arkansas to Kansas back in May. Between moving, house renovations, and my wife and I starting new jobs, there hasn’t been much time for hobbies. When things started to calm down a bit, I looked into getting radioactive again.
To celebrate, I acquired a ham radio PO box and subsequently changed my address with the FCC. I went out to my nearest POTA entity, Saline State Fishing Lake K-7422, and got on the air as soon as I got the chance.
The park is close to the beaten path, some two to three miles northwest of the intersection of I-70 and I-135 in Salina, KS. Good gravel roads lead to the entrance, located on N Gerard Road at the northeast corner of the property.
The weather was odd. The wind was going at least 30 miles per hour with 50 mile an hour gusts. Of all things, there was a dust advisory! They weren’t lying. The sky was brown, visibility was about two miles, and everything got a bit gritty that day. I’ve never seen anything like it.
I knew for certain that no antenna masts would be erected that day. I might have been able to get away with my 17 foot QRP Guys Portable 40/30/20m Tri-Band Vertical Antenna, but decided not to chance it. My decision to opt for the QRP Guys Portable Multi-Band End Fed Antenna for 40/30/20m was the right one.
The northwest side of the lake offered the best views and operating position. I found a good tree that was protected by higher ones in the vicinity, threw in my arborists line, tied the antenna end to it, hoisted it, and managed to keep the antenna off the ground for the whole hour.
The chasers came out in force and managed to make 28 contacts in just under an hour. I had contacts ranging from Arizona to the Azores, from Minnesota to Louisiana.
I’m afraid that I let my CW muscle atrophy a bit. My first contact was a busted one. I copied down some possible iterations of what it might be, but no luck once I got back to QRZ to verify my contacts. All I can say is that ??8?J from MI, I hope to work you next time.
- ??8?J (busted; sri om)
- CU3AA (Azores, Portugal)