Monday, October 12, 2009

County Hunting

I have not actively started to hunt counties but I have always thought that someday I will see how many I have left to obtain that award. Knowing nothing more than me needing to confirm contacts with all the counties / boroughs in the United States, this is one heck of an accomplishment and for many people, it takes years to reach such a goal.

I know at least a little about county hunting due to my long time friendship with Ed, K8QWY. Ed has chased counties for many years so I have always had somewhat of an interest in the award, but nothing close to serious.

A few years ago, I received a certificate in the mail called the "MARC LAST COUNTY AWARD". This award is apparently given to stations who give the very last county to those on that hunt. It appeared to have been generated by a contact that I had with W9MSE back in 2006. I set the certificate aside but I kept it out to remind me to look deeper into the award.

Then it happened once again but this time, I received a "Red Seal" which was generated by a contact that I had with K8OOK in 2008. I got to looking at the certificate and I saw where there was room for a Red Seal, Gold Seal and finally a Blue Seal. This is not an award that I nominated myself for nor did I chase this award. It just so happened that I was able to help a few hams out with their last county and this appreciation was recognized by them and the MARAC organization.

One of the true highs for me is being able to confirm Alaska on a certain band or mode for anyone chasing awards. I enjoy reading or printing (digital) their excitement when they work me. There are plenty of stations active in Alaska and it always puzzles me to know that I was a first for somebody, little ol me!

And just tonight, I received an email from WB4KZW regarding his last county. I was probably as excited as he was about the request. After a couple brief e-mails back and forth, I sent along a frequency and just as I landed and got settled there, his big CW signal was heard calling me. We had a short QSO and afterwards, I got to thinking even more about this "county thing". My thoughts were how much of an accomplishment this feat is, working and confirming all 3077 counties! My hats off to Gene, WB4KZW and to all the others who have accomplished this great task. And to those who are chasing them now, either for the first or tenth time, good luck!

Someday you may find me checking into one of the NETS or maybe just chasing the mobiles as hams go out and operate counties with their own time and funds. Mobiles I'm sure, make a large part of this possible, hams driving thousands of miles just for other hams. For this very reason, this is why I love ham radio. I will always try to do my part but I had the easy job, giving out their last county. I now proudly hang this certificate with my others on the shack wall as this like many, do NOT belong in a filing cabinet someplace.

Thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment