First off I wanted to say thank you to all for the QSOs during my mini gridexpedition to Colorado! I made 138 QSOs on 21 different passes from 3 grids in Colorado and 3 in Kansas - EM08 (KS) mobile on the way out, DM78, DN70 and DN60 portable in Colorado, and EM08, EM19 and EM29 mobile in Kansas on the way back. I operated AO51, AO27, SO50 and HO68.
We arrived in Colorado Springs Friday evening (10th), and spent the next couple nights at an RV resort south of Colorado Springs. On Saturday we ventured up to Pike's Peak (DM78), and I was able to operate one AO27 pass before we had to go down due to the thin air (see video on right). My Mom overheard the interesting conclusions people were coming to as to what I was doing - "He is a Ham Radio operator;" "He is with the Air Force Academy;" "He is talking to the world." I thought these were pretty good.
The following day (Sunday, 12th) I was able to get on from DM78 for a second time on an early morning SO50 pass. It was nice to be able to work a few of the eastern stations along with K8YSE/p who was doing a satellite demo at the Findlay hamfest.
Sunday afternoon we traveled up to Estes Park in the Rocky Mountain National Park and setup camp for the night at a park campground. Operating became a little more consistent over the next few days from DN70 with 13 of the 21 passes being done from this grid.
On Wednesday (15th) we took a little side trip down to Grandby on the southern side of the park to do a DN60 grid activation (see video on left). I really wanted to do the DN70/60 boundary, but there was no suitable place to operate along Rt. 40. We ended up driving about a mile into DN60 before taking a gravel back road (and I mean back road) up into public land in the hills in search of a higher spot to operate. Just to give you an idea of how back road-ish it was, there were cow skeletons along the road. It was true "cowboy country." Anyway, we found a spot about a mile up the road and got set up about 45 minutes before the AO27 pass at 1929z (click to play recording) This enabled me to get on the 1905z HO68 pass and work a few stations. Four contacts were made on HO68 with 21 on AO27. I hope that everyone that wanted this grid was able to get it. I wanted to stay longer, but we needed to get back across the mountains (which is a 2 hour trip) before dark.
Operating continued from DN70 until we left on Friday. Friday evening (17th) I was able to get on a few passes while we were mobile on I-70 coming back to Ohio. I was on AO27 from EM08, SO50 from EM19 and AO51 from EM29 (KS side). It was really fun to be able to work into the birds with a quarter wave mounted on the van roof. I could only hear between approximately 35-75 degrees which kept operating mobile short, but it was fun to make a few more QSOs using different equipment.
Here are a few of my favorite pics from the trip... I think I took somewhere around 500.
Tornado!! Okay, just a dust devil... This thing was pretty ominous, especially considering that we were all on a horse at the time.
The sunsets were incredible!
Another beautiful sunset....
Entrance to Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park
A couple siblings had fun staging this.... Extremes only. ;-)