Two Hikes in the Spring
April 2013

I've been waiting all winter for this day. It's not going
to be wasted. I took two quick hikes today. I worked
Guadeloupe, Russia, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Part One - Quick Hike to the Pemi

Just before lunch I hiked down to the Pemigewasset
River. I made one quick QSO with Tennessee before
heading home.

As I crossed Weeks Brook it was nice to see that all the
ice there has melted and the brook is flowing freely.

I continued toward the river and heaved a line over a pine
branch on a sunny corner of the trail. I sat on a small
bank at the edge of the trail and operated the HB-1B
on 20 meters with a half wave wire.

I called KF4TJE as he finished up a QSO. Stan answered
and gave me a 579 from Tennessee. He was a strong 599.
We chatted for a while, and I told him I was hiking and
operating with a view of the river. "I would like to be near
 a river," he responded.

It's a favorite spot that anyone would enjoy on a warm spring day. I
promised I'd send Stan some pictures, and we signed with a quick 73.

With that I hiked back up the hill and drove home for lunch.

Part Two - Johnson Road

I couldn't call it quits this afternoon. It was nearly 55F and I was itching
to get out again. I drove over to a property on Johnson Road. It's several
hundred acres of upland fields and woods and then drops down to
Salmon Brook. I stayed in the field. I hiked about a half mile and setup
under an oak tree.

Again I'm on 20 meters with the HB-1B and a half-wave wire. I sit right
down in the dried grass and tune around. FG5FR in Guadeloupe is working
stations. Frantz is very strong and he gives me a 599. Might be... there
were several other stations calling him, and I got through. Then I tune
up a bit and hear RU3ZL calling CQ. George is 599 and gives me a 559.

My view from the operating position

Then I go up to 14.060, (the QRP frequency) and hear NF9V working a
very weak station in the Netherlands. I call Rudy in Wisconsin and have
a quick chat before he has to run. He gives me a 599 and he is also very
strong. "FB Jim UR 4W. It's working," he sends. Then he has to run off
for some "honey do's." I pack up.

Hiking down to the field, I crossed several hundred yards through snow. But
here in the field it's all gone. The buds will appear in the next week or so.
And soon, the peepers will start their spring song in the little pond behind
the stone wall. I think they are calling CQ.