Along the Pemigewasset River

Today I road my bicycle along the Pemigewasset River. It was sparkling. I worked a mobile station in Montana and two QRP stations… one in North Carolina and the other in Ontario.

The old road runs along the river in the Army Corps of Engineers flood control property in Sanbornton. Today I rode about a mile north and stopped at a sunny spot right along the river. It was dazzling.

I threw a line over the branch of a tall pine tree and sat down along the bank. I ran 4 watts with the little HB-1B on 20 meters. To my west was the river, and to the east, a steep hillside that rises nearly 700 feet toward Knox Mountain. I was pretty sure any QSOs would not be coming from Europe and I was right. I heard NT7R mobile in Montana calling on the county hunters frequency and I made a quick contact. Then I went up to the QRP calling frequency and heard Steve W5QC calling CQ from North Carolina. We gave each other 559s. Steve was running an 817 at 2 watts with a telescoping antenna right on the back of the rig! Fantastic. He was camping in North Carolina. As soon as we finished, Gary VE3MPQ called me from Windsor, Ontario. He was very strong at 579 and he gave me a 579 too. Gary was also running an HB-1B at 4 watts. We chatted for more than five minutes with perfect copy both ways.

When I told Gary I was sitting by the edge of the river, he sent, “I’m jealous of your QTH.”

After operating for a bit more than 20 minutes, I headed south back down the road. It’s nice to have the camera to record these wonderful afternoons. But it doesn’t record the sound of crickets, or the touch of a cool breeze on my face as I peddle along the river. It doesn’t catch the smell of early fall or the nostalgia of the first fallen leaves along the trail.

Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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