[amsat-bb] WD9EWK's road trip - Wednesday (22 July) report

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Wed Jul 22 23:04:46 PDT 2009


After 7 days and over 1905 miles/3066km on the road, I'm back home
in Phoenix.  Today was mainly a travel day, not wanting to make a 
late drive home tonight before returning to work tomorrow morning.
I worked two passes to help some operators get QSOs with certain
grids, had lunch in between the two passes, and drove about 400 
miles/640km today.  

I started the day in Mesquite, Nevada - a small town along the I-15
freeway at the Nevada/Arizona border.  Before leaving that area, I 
worked one SO-50 pass around 1449 UTC from the DM26xt/DM36at line
just inside northwestern Arizona.  DM26 is on regularly, but not 
DM36.  I figured I'd make one pass from here, handing out more QSOs
from there.  I was in another part of DM36 in late May, operating
from Grand Canyon Village.  In 2008, I worked from 3 different 
spots in DM36 as part of my July 2008 road trip along Arizona's
borders with Utah and Nevada.  I worked 7 stations across the US
and Canada, not a big number but pretty good for a weekday morning.

After the SO-50 pass, I made the hour-long drive down to Las Vegas. 
I met Jeff WB3JFS, a Las Vegas resident and satellite ham, for lunch.
Jeff had told me earlier that he had never worked anyone in his 
home grid (DM26), but had worked the other grid that covers the 
southern end of metropolitan Las Vegas (DM25).  I said I would try
to help him, and planned to work from the DM25jx/DM26ja grid 
boundary where I stopped last year.  Jeff gave me some QSL cards 
for QSOs we had made earlier in my current road trip, saving the
postage for those cards.  :-)  After lunch, Jeff went home and I 
went to the south end of the Las Vegas "Strip" for an AO-27 pass 
around 2029 UTC.  

In 7 minutes on AO-27, I worked 15 stations - including WB3JFS - 
from the DM25/DM26 grid boundary.  I realize that these grids 
would not be the most rare of the grids in the state of Nevada.
I was not intending on going to those rare spots on this trip.  
This stop, and the earlier stop in DM26/DM36, were made to help
others specifically looking for at least one of the grids at
those stops - and they were not out of my way for today's travels.

After the AO-27 pass, I dismantled my portable station and stowed
the gear.   It was time to return home and wrap up this trip.  
Other than s-l-o-w traffic passing over Hoover Dam on the Colorado
River, the drive was OK.  Some rain near Hoover Dam and near 
Phoenix, otherwise a quiet drive where I could set the cruise 
control on my truck.  I made a quick stop at Hoover Dam to get 
some photos of Lake Mead (the water level was much lower than I
have ever seen it in person), and held my camera out the window 
to get pictures of the new bridge being built over the river that
will replace Hoover Dam as the way to cross the river at that 
point on the Arizona/Nevada border.  

I will post a longer report covering all of my trip in a few days.
So far, I know I made over 250 QSOs throughout the trip, working 
from 14 grids (DM25, DM26, DM35, DM36, DM37, DM38, DM45, DM46, 
DM47, DM48, DM49, DM57, DM58, DM59) in 3 states (Arizona, Nevada, 
Utah).  In between the two AO-27 passes from DM58/DM59 in eastern
Utah on Monday afternoon, I made a quick road trip to the 
Utah/Colorado border.  I stopped at the state line to take some
photos, then went to the first exit on I-70 in Colorado before 
returning to the DM58/DM59 boundary for the later pass.  

If you worked me during the past week - going back to last Thursday,
the day before the hamfest in Williams AZ started - and would like 
QSL cards for those QSOs, please e-mail me with a listing of the QSOs.
If you're in the log, you'll get a card (or multiple cards).  

Since I operated from so many unique locations, I will need a little 
bit of time to prepare cards.  As I have tried to do in the last year
with my QSL cards, all of these cards will have descriptions of the 
location for each QSO including the grid(s), name of the county I 
was in during the QSO, and an image of my GPS receiver's display 
showing the latitude and longitude for that location.  I will 
include the GPS image even for those cards where my location was not
on a grid boundary, to keep all of these cards similar in terms of 
the information I am presenting for my location. 

Was this a fun trip for me?  Yes!  I've never driven beyond the 
Arizona/Utah border area in Utah, and it was fun to see more of that
state.  Getting on the air a lot over the past week, whether I was
at the hamfest or on the road after the hamfest closed, was great.
Generally there was good cooperation on passes, allowing many to get
QSOs with me in these different locations.  Meeting WB3JFS in Las
Vegas today was a nice surprise, and I was happy to help Jeff and a
few others get QSOs with new grids throughout this trip.  

Time for bed.  Good night, and 73!

Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - back home in Phoenix, Arizona

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