Monday, April 22, 2013

The Meltdown

Our Cartoon Shack
Could it finally be? A sound I've not heard for many months! Nope, not DX but the sound of running water! We do have indoor plumbing but the water I'm referring to is outdoors. The sound of water dripping into our gutters as the snow melts off the roof. We saw a high temperature on the 19th of 37.9° followed by  a high of 46.2° on the 20th! And if that was not enough, we saw a high of 44.7° on the 21st! I think (as I knock on wood) that spring has sprung! The meltdown is here! Our driveway is already beginning to look like a lake during the day and an ice rink during the night. We are in that thaw and freeze cycle now. Our weather station is showing some dramatic temperature changes though out the day. And believe me, I'm a happy camper!

More Sunshine than DX this past weekend!
And speaking of a happy camper, with such balmy temperatures, I moved our travel trailer batteries from our garage back to the trailer. It's plugged in and the batteries are once again fully charged ready to go. As the bands continue to be a bit of a struggle up here, it's easy for me to be distracted and head outdoors to catch some arctic rays, especially now that we have over 17 hours of daylight! The photo shows the view from our front deck and sunglasses are once again a requirement with all this sunshine and reflective snow giving us a double dose of solar emission. 

Our cluttered shack KL8DX / KL8SU
This was a busy weekend for radio. Several QSO Parties and a few HF contests. I managed a few CQMM European QSO's and even fewer Michigan QSO Party QSO's. I also wanted to make an appearance in the Feld Hell Sprint and the poor conditions only yielded a few Hell QSO's as well. I think the highlight for me was working Dan, W8CAR and Jim, K8MR who were mobile in the Michigan QSO Party. Dan lives only a stones throw from where I used to live in Ohio. I won't be able to make Dayton this year but you can sure bet it will be on my agenda for next year! Since we officially received our EOD date (Enter On Duty) to our next assignment in 1'land, I'm now focusing my efforts on getting ready for our move. We have LOTS to accomplish between now and then but I still have some time to enjoy radio. I need several inches of snow to melt yet before I even think about dropping my antennas and towers. That will probably be one of the final projects but in the mean time, I have plenty indoors to keep me busy. 

My logbook is fast approaching 53,000 QSO's since moving to Alaska in 2003. I used a vertical antenna for the first few years and I can still remember how the world opened up when I got my Mosley TA-34-XL in the air!  It has operated from two QTH's (locations) and has served me well, proving itself in this very harsh arctic environment. So until we make our way back to Alaska, it will once again be packaged up and taking a long rest. I don't expect to have much of a station back east as we are looking to rent. I'm also looking to hook up with a local contest club or stations to operate with. I've very much enjoyed the experiences I've had at KL2R with the multi crowd and I'd like to continue that fun. But we need to find a place to get settled and survive this move first before I begin thinking of operating. Once the station is deconstructed here, it will be portable operating for me only but I love that, too! My favorite portable operating is when we are boondocking many miles away from any available internet or cell service! Introduced to me by our bestest of friends, Sean KL1SF & Mindy KL1MF, out on the Denali Highway. I've been bitten by the bug ever since. 
Susitna River Bridge by KL8DX

One of my favorite places on the Denali Highway is out along the Susitna River. Lots of fond memories for sure. The photo to the right is one that I took from a previous excursion on the Denali Highway. Some of the bridges up here make you hold your breath when you're crossing them. This one however is my favorite. I love walking out onto the bridge. Like in may other places, not a sign is safe in the Alaskan backcountry. Trying to find one without a bullet hole can be a challenge in this neck of the woods. Me, I've personally never felt threatened by a sign so I never felt the need to shoot one. Those who shoot signs rank as low as the few I've heard who hang out on 14.313. Or at least, I'm sure they are related somehow. 

1 comment:

  1. Best of luck in your move to 1 land my friend! If you're driving through northern Ohio on your way back through, you'd BETTER stop. I'll give a shout to VA3UG and we'll meet for coffee or something.