I made the trip to the Washington Crossing area to activation the Delaware National Scenic River (WR03). It’s a beautiful area but this wasn’t my best activation.
I had a couple of potential operating locations I wanted to check out. I first headed up to the Thompson-Neely section of the Washington Crossing State Park in Pennsylvania. There was a high bluff overlooking the river that was intriguing but didn’t seem close enough to the river. (In hindsight, I might have been over-thinking the 25-foot requirement.)
I next headed across the very narrow bridge to the New Jersey side. Intrepid NPOTA activator, N2CX told me about this section of New Jersey’s Washington Crossing State Park. I passed on the picnic area (one of a couple of bad decisions I made) and continued to explore the park. I was thinking about heading back to the Pennsylvania side but I wanted to get on the air.
I set up in a lightly-used section of the park in a wooded area on the banks of the river. I could have tossed a wire up in a tree but I took the easy way out and went with my Alexloop. Since the Alexloop isn’t exactly a barn-burner on 40 meters, I cranked up the power on my KX3 to 10 watts (gasp!).
I started out on 40 meters and quickly received a call from Emily KB3VVE. Emily is an active NPOTA activator and chaser and is widely-known in NPOTA circles for her cookies.
For the next 20 minutes or so, I was pretty busy until things started slowing down. I checked 20 meters but it was wall-to-wall with contesters. So, I retreated to 30 meters. Thirty is usually a pretty good band for me but not today, for some reason. Checking the Band Conditions website, it looked like conditions had taken a bad turn. I went back to 40 meters and picked up one more contact.
It was heavily overcast today with a steady breeze blowing down the river. After an hour or so I started to get cold and decided to pack it in for the day.
I ended the day with 13 contacts in the log — all on 40 meters. It wasn’t a great showing but I had more than enough to qualify the activation.
The heater in the truck felt pretty good on the drive home.
72, Craig WB3GCK