Janice and I like to avoid doing the same thing over and over again. So for this year's August portion, we decided to rove where we could reach out to several different pockets of activity. We picked the SW corner of Wisconsin and NW corner of Illinois thinking that we could reach out to W9SZ who would start his travels near Champaign, IL; make easy shots to the Chicago area; possibly reach the Twin Cities on Buck Hill; reach any rovers active in Iowa; and the biggest goal was to reach out to St Louis area operators like AF4JF and KO0Z.In the week leading up to the August weekend, I sent out email promotion to all the known and prospective players in the region. I figured that by knowing people's plans, each of us could pick operating behaviors that maximized opportunities for additional contacts. As part of the email promotion, I whipped up the graphic above to give folks an idea of what activity to expect.
On Friday night, Janice and I traveled from the cabin in Hillsboro, WI to Dodgeville, WI and checked into a hotel. That way we'd only have to travel about 15 miles to be at our first operating spot on Saturday morning.
All week, rain and cool temps were forecast for the region. The forecast caused the WB0LJC group of rovers to change their plans from SE Minnesota and NE Iowa to SW Minnesota and operate where the rain had already finished. (Their plan worked well.)
Janice and I knew to expect rain but our reading of the forecast indicated that most of the precipitation would pass north of us. Our Saturday began with low clouds but no rain. Mid morning, at our 3rd stop, we had two brief rain showers but that was all. After that, the rest of the weekend was spectacular.
At our second stop (EN42us)(not shown) we successfully worked K2YAZ at EN74av with some rainscatter assistance. This was our longest distance of the August weekend at 421 km.
We proceeded to Freeport, IL and checked into our hotel. Then we had a nice Italian dinner before hitting the hay.
This is a view towards the Chicago area and W9SNR, W9SZ, and W9ZIH. That's the nuke plant at Byron, IL in the distance.
Late on Sunday, we got word that Greg, KC0SKM was looking for just one more place to work us. So we found a spot that had a good view in the direction we thought he was. He has a funny or wry story about how he had earlier found a good spot but noticed he had NO cellphone service. So there was no way to tell us he was ready. He took down and started to head home and when he got back in cellphone coverage, we discussed it. He pulled over and found a new spot with a view in our direction. Then KC0SKM said he was ready from EN32vq. Well, the path to him was right between the two buildings across the road. We were successful at 178 km. We also had one final contact with the two operators still on Buck Hill at 340 km.
This August trek, although it started with clouds and drizzle, was filled with beauty.
I made a GoogleMap of the locations we operated on the August 10 GHz weekend. I placed the markers carefully and hopefully this map will help others who go to this area for 10 GHz. Admittedly, those fields that were soybeans this year may be corn in a future year.
Plan on Eclipse-O-Mania! on the August 10 GHz weekend in 2017!Bruce W9FZ and Janice KA9VVQ
Janice Bruce Number of Q's: 120 121 Unique Callsigns: 26 26 Distance Points: 25086 25537 Total Score: 27686 28137
w9fz (at) w9fz.com