My NPOTA Finale

ARRL National Parks on the Air logoWow!  This year sure went by fast.  Back on New Year’s Day, I activated Valley Forge National Historical Park (HP46) on the first day of the ARRL’s National Parks on the Air event.  I thought it only fitting that I end the year where it began.

I had some things to do today, so I headed down to Valley Forge this morning for an early activation.  I pulled into the same parking spot in the Wayne’s Woods area I used on January 1st.  It only took a few minutes to set up my 29.5-foot vertical on the back of my truck and get on the air.

The National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge National Historical Park

The National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge National Historical Park

I started off on 40 meters CW and was quickly met by a horde of enthusiastic chasers.  Business was brisk for about 30 minutes or so.  The 40-meter band was in excellent shape.  My meager 5-watt signal was making it all up and down the East Coast and well into the upper Midwest.

Operating "stationary-mobile" the Wayne's Woods area of Valley Forge. This is the same spot I used back on January 1st.

Operating “stationary-mobile” the Wayne’s Woods area of Valley Forge. This is the same spot I used back on January 1st.

I moved up to 20 meters but the results were disappointing.  Signals were very weak and only one station made it into the log.  I dropped down to 30 meters and worked a handful of stations there before calling it a morning.

My setup in the truck

My setup in the truck

Although I was only on the air for about an hour, it sure was a lot of fun.  There were lots of familiar stations like my friends, Kay N3KN and Carter N3AO, down in Virginia.  It was nice to work Emily KB3VVE, the NPOTA “Cookie Queen.”  I also made 2 park-to-park contacts to boot.  As I was processing my log, I noticed that N4EX worked me on both my first and last activations (and a bunch of others, too).  Thanks to Rich for the contacts this year.

I really have to hand it to the ARRL.  This event was a stroke of genius.  The popularity of this event was nothing short of spectacular.  While I wasn’t the most active participant, I sure had fun.  I particularly enjoyed the camaraderie of the participants on the NPOTA Facebook site.  Thanks to the ARRL for putting all of this together.  I also want to thank the many activators and chasers who really made this event so successful.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

73/72, Craig WB3GCK

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