I walked on bare ground for the first time in four months today. It was glorious. I worked Iceland, Ukraine, Belgium and a bunch of stations in the Missouri QSO Party and a few in the QRPARCI Spring Contest.
The river is swollen with spring run-off. A couple of kayakers have just left for the three mile run through the rapids to Franklin. I hiked along the old rail trail that runs alongside the river. Parts of the trail are snowy still. It’s still squishy in many places. But it’s 52F and a perfect day for the first real spring outing.
I hiked about a mile and whistled back and forth with a chickadee as I went. I turned through a gate toward a farmer’s field. I tramped through eight inches of snow on the way to a warm spot I knew would be free of snow. The sun had melted all the snow in a warm corner of the field, and I sat down under a large pine tree. The rest of the field was still covered with six inches of white.
I had tossed a line over a pine branch and was using the KX3. I tuned a 33 foot wire with the earchi.org 9:1 unun and the internal tuner on the KX3. Rather than detailing each QSO, I’ve attached my log below:
6 Apr-14 1921 21.037 N0M CW 599 599 MO
6 Apr-14 1922 21.039 N0O CW 599 599 MO
6 Apr-14 1924 21.042 W0E CW 599 599 MO
6 Apr-14 1927 21.060 N4BP CW 599 599 FL
6 Apr-14 1932 14.006 TF3JB CW 599 599 Iceland
6 Apr-14 1940 14.025 UR9IDX CW 599 599 Ukraine
6 Apr-14 1942 14.062 AB8FJ CW 599 599 OH
6 Apr-14 1945 21.018 ON4IA CW 579 599 Belgium
I operated for about 25 minutes and had a fantastic time in the warm sun. The little thermometer attached to my backpack read 65 degrees in the sun!
As I made contacts around the world, I could see the last remnants of the long winter melting before me. Most of the snow in the open areas will be gone in 10 days or so. It will linger for several weeks in the woods. I will get out every chance I have.