The Ledges in November

Today was a surprise… 65F. I hiked to the ledges and worked Russia, the Netherlands, Czech Rep and Tennessee.

The woods were gorgeous… but wait ’til you see the view from the top! Judy and I drove up Wadleigh Road until it turned into Class 6… basically an unmaintained logging road. From there we drove into the boonies until we couldn’t go any farther. Then we started hiking.

I haven’t been here for a few years… and was even uncertain about the trail. Several times I thought we were lost only to find a trace of the trail once again. We hiked about a mile and a half up some steep slopes and soon we were at the top. The view is perfect.

We had lunch in the glorious sunshine. It’s been in the 40s for the last couple of weeks, so this was a real treat. The quiet was stunning. Except for the sound of a lone crow soaring over the valley, there was only the sound of the wind in the evergreens.

After lunch I heaved my water bottle into a dead pine tree at the edge of a rock cliff. I missed the first time, and the water bottle came crashing down onto the ledge and cracked. Darn! I made the second throw before all the water leaked out… and it was right on target. I pulled up about 25 feet of wire and used the Elecraft T-1 tuner and the ATS-4 on 20 meters.

There wasn’t a lot of activity on 20 meters, but the signals that were there, were strong. I called PD1DX, Erik in the Netherlands, after he finished a QSO. We exchanged 599 reports and signed. Next, I called Dan OK1DIG in the Czech Republic. Dan gave me a 589 and he was a good 599. I’ve
worked Dan several times before.

Then I had a 10 minute QSO with Bunky, K4EJQ in Tennessee. He was using an Icom 706 with a tri-band beam and was just booming in. “UR GUD CPY 599 PLUS,” he sent. When I told him I was hiking and had a beautiful mountain view, he sent, ” I envy you being able to take your rig with you. I used to mountain top with VHF/UHF, but old age caught up with me X Enjoy your hike.” With that we signed and I made one more quick QSO…. this time with Russia. RU1ZC was calling CQ on 14.017. Wally was a 569 and he gave me a 559. He lives near the Barents Sea not far from Finland.

We were careful on the hike back. It was a bit slippery under foot  with the heavy covering  of leaves on the hillside. We found our way easily this time and returned just as the woods were growing dark.

This may be the last good outing before the snow flies.

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

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