Tim W3ATB and I hiked down to Old Hill Village today. The Pemigewasset River is up more than 20 feet and the area is inaccessible. We set up in a small field and worked the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belgium and Alabama. We had a grand time.
We hike into the Corps of Engineers flood control area along Needle Shop Brook. We detour and clamber down a steep hill to get near the brook. It’s exhilarating to see the water racing through the narrow channel, filling the air with mist.
As we get closer to the flood plain the road disappears. The river has become a huge lake of more than 1000 acres and millions of gallons of water held back by the Franklin Falls Dam perhaps 8 miles downstream.
Melting snow and recent rains have left their mark. Three miles upstream a man drowned a couple of days ago in the Smith River. Search teams have been called back because it’s too dangerous.
Tim and I find a safe operating position in an overgrown field above the water’s edge. We toss a line over the branch of a small maple tree and pull up a sloper. I am using the KX3 and the internal tuner. I hear OK2PDY calling CQ on 15 meters and complete a quick exchange. He gives me a 559 and he is 579. In just a minute I work Frank PA1FP in the Netherlands. I am only 539 and he is 589.
We’ve brought our jackets because the temperatures dipped into the 30s the last couple of days. But my thermometer reads 60 in warm spring sun. I hand the key to Tim and he answers N4RAY who is calling CQ from Alabama. Rodney gives us a 579. He is QRP but is a strong 599.
Before calling it quits, I snag one more QSO… this time with a special event station in Belgium. OS16M is celebrating Morse Heritage Day. We exchange quick 599s and pack up. Unless we get more rain the water will recede in a few days and dry out within a week.
We’ll be back soon with bicycles to explore some of the most beautiful countryside in New Hampshire.
Thanks to W3ATB for the photos.