W9FZ/m 2020 Minnesota QSO Party Travelogue

Click on ANY image for a larger version. Previous MNQP travels:  2013 MNQP   2014 MNQP   2015 MNQP   2016 MNQP   2017 MNQP   2018 MNQP

We were successful in getting the weekend off from work. In the weeks leading up to the event, we enjoyed looking at maps to come up with a plan for this year. A limitation this year was that we bought tickets to the SPCO to hear a concert on Friday night. That meant we could not pre-locate for the contest. Rather, we would get up early in Woodbury and drive north to be in position at the start of the contest.

We developed a plan to activate 6 counties. We started in Kanabec and procceded through Pine, Carlton, Aitkin, and Crow Wing on our way to finish in Cass County.

We were up at 5am to be out-the-door at 6am and on our way to our first stop in Kanabec. We took I-35 to Hinckley and then headed west for 8 miles and then 3 miles north. Just before getting to our first stop, the beautiful sunrise caught Janice's eye. We stopped and she took some pictures that really revealed the purples that we were seeing right then. Down the page, you can see another image that Janice worked in to our QSL card for this year.

The only time we worked OM2VL was our first Q when we heard him CQ'ing on 20m.

Here is the special QSL card we will send out this year. We make a small "limited edition" printing run.

We upload to LOTW. We build locations in each of the counties that we operate. We sign our logs as W9FZ, W9FZ/m, and as W9FZ/XXX. Looking in LOTW, of the 278 QSOs, I see 116 QSL'd QSOs. 58 to W9FZ, 46 to W9FZ/m, and 12 to W9FZ/XXX.

Please know that we will gladly QSL any of our QSO's (and we'll probably send your SASE back to you).

Next, we headed back to I-35 and just north of Sandstone headed in to the rest area. We operated there for Pine County. After about an hour there, it was back on the interstate northward to get into Carlton County. At Moose Lake, we headed west on MN 27 until we were nearing the edge of the county.
                   MN QSO PARTY Summary Sheet       

    CallSign Used : W9FZ
      Operator(s) : W9FZ KA9VVQ

Operator Category : MULTI-OP Mobile
             Band : ALL
            Power : LOW
             Mode : SSB
 Default Exchange : JAN MN
     ARRL Section : MN
        Club/Team : Northern Lights Radio Society

        Band    QSOs     Pts   Mul
          7      163	 326  
         14       76     152   
Total            239     478    48    23,422

Q's per county:

KNB	49
PIN	38
CRL	36
AIT	20
CRO	62
CAS	34

Lunch was at Subway in Aitkin. Nice to let our ears and voice rest a bit. We don't operate while we drive. We both get to look out the window and enjoy the countryside.

For antennas, we primarily use a mag-mount hamstick on 20m. We strap to the roof rack a 3" PVC pipe with end caps to carry many other hamsticks.

Aitkin Airport. We like airports because they are flat and there is a place to park. In the winter, pulling off on the edge of some country road has caused me to use 4-wheel drive to get out of a ditch.

The sun has popped out late in the afternoon. Crow Wing County is our next to last county and things were really hopping for us. We stayed a bit longer than we intended because each CQ usually brought one or two new Q's.

Our last county for the day was Cass County. We operated in Outing, MN at the Town Hall.

The contest was over and now we were hungry. We got on google maps and queried what restaurants were nearby. None were particularly near. We noted that a place about 25 miles away south of Deerwood was called "Lonesome Pine" on Bay Lake. We both got Prime Rib and it was delicious. A fine meal before we drove the rest of the way to Woodbury.

Another fine MNQP! Thanks to all the stations who found us and worked us.

If you would like a QSL card, just let us know.
See you in just under a year!
Bruce W9FZ and Janice KA9VVQ

w9fz (at) w9fz.com