Early Hike to Old Hill Village

Today I hiked in Old Hill Village on the west side of the Pemigewasset River. I worked Macedonia, Italy and W0RW pedestrian mobile in Colorado. This was a fantastic outing.


Coming down the hill alongside Needle Shop Brook, there was still snow and ice. But once in the old village, the road was dry. This is the most amazing spot with 3500 acres of fields and trees which form a flood control reserve for the Franklin Falls Dam. After walking 1/2 mile north I turned east through a field toward the river.


Imagine having a place like this… all to yourself… to roam, to breathe clean air, to enjoy nature… and to play radio.


I setup at the edge of the field, not 60 feet from the river. I tossed a line over a pine branch and sat down in the warm sun. I hooked up the HB-1B with 4 watts on 20 meters to a half-wave wire rising straight from the backpack to the branch overhead.

At the bottom of the band I heard Jane Z320G from Macedonia calling CQ. I answered and we exchanged quick 599s. This was generous because I had to send my call several times before he copied. There was strong QSB. Next I went up the band and heard Pietro IZ2EWR finishing another QSO. The Italian station was very strong and well worth waiting for. Pietro gave me a 579 and sent, “UR QRP FB.”

Before calling it quits, I dialed up to the QRP frequency, 14.060. What a nice surprise to hear Paul W0RW calling CQ. Paul in Colorado, was pedestrian mobile. We were both weak to each other, but were able to complete a contact. Paul gave me a 339 and he was 449.


With cool temperatures in the mid-30s and a wind gusting to 15 MPH, it was a bit nippy in the shade. But in the warm sun, surrounded by blue sky and some trees for a wind-break, it was perfect. This is a place I love to ride my bike in the warmer weather. I’ll be back many times in the glorious weeks ahead.

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

3 Responses to “Early Hike to Old Hill Village”

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Jim, very nice shots of the outing and I am looking forward to some warmer weather up this way so I can start doing the same.

  • Todd KD0TLS:

    I really enjoy these posts about portable operation, and I hope to try it out this year. I would appreciate more detail about how the antenna was set up, and the approach used for the particular situation.

  • Mike and Todd… thanks for the comments. Todd… I heave a water bottle with line attached over an over-hanging tree branch. I pull up a half wave wire. For 20M that’s about 33 feet. I use the Par 40, 20, 10 matchbox to tune the wire. I sit directly under the branch, so the wire is pretty vertical. that’s it. vy best, Jim W1PID

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