It seemed like an eternity since our little travel trailer went into storage for the Winter. This past weekend we were finally able to take it out for a weekend of camping. Of course, ham radio was a part of that.
My (far) better half and I went to nearby French Creek State Park for our inaugural trip of the 2019 season. We arrived on Friday night ahead of a line of severe thunderstorms. We had just enough time to get the trailer parked and leveled before the storms rolled in. My antenna would have to wait.
After the storms passed through, I was able to set the antenna up before it got too dark. I went with my trusty 29.5-foot wire vertical and 9:1 UNUN. It was too wet for a campfire so I got on the radio instead. There was a fair amount of SKCC activity on 30M. I made several QSO there before calling it quits for the night.
Saturday brought clear blue skies but also gusting winds and chilly temperatures. Two of our grandkids were visiting for the day, so my radio time was sporadic. During the course of the day, I made a variety of QSOs. Here are some of the highlights:
- I ran into an old Polar Bear QRP friend, Mark NK8Q, on 60M CW. Mark was doing a SOTA activation in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania.
- I worked a special event station, WA1WCC, on Cape Cod. WA1WCC was commemorating International Marconi Day and the Centennial of RCA. This was the third time I’ve worked WA1WCC while camping at French Creek.
- I worked a special event station, KM0RSE/8, commemorating Samuel Morse’s birthday. The operator was fellow SKCC and FISTS member, Larry KA8HFN.
- Some of my Boschveldt QRP buddies were on an overnight hike on the Appalachian Trail. They were camping at a shelter on Peters Mountain in central Pennsylvania. Glen NK1N texted me to let me know he was on the air. I met Glen on 60M CW for an SKCC QSO. Shortly afterward, I worked both Glen and Ron WA8YIH on 60M SSB. It sounded like they were having a great time up there.
Fortunately, the winds eventually calmed down later in the day. After cooking some burgers and hanging out at the campfire with the grandkids, I made one more SKCC QSO before calling it a day.
On Sunday, we awoke to a somewhat rainy and dreary day. We usually do our cooking outdoors but today we opted for a leisurely breakfast in the camper. After breakfast, I made a few more QSOs before packing up for the drive home.
After a long Winter, it felt great to be back out in my little “QRP” camper. I’m looking forward to the next trip in a couple of weeks.
72, Craig WB3GCK