My plan for the day was to attend the West Central Illinois Hamfest located in Carlinville IL. and then head to Beaver Dam State Park for a parks activation.
At the hamfest I got to meet Jim N9JF who is a very active park activator and ILQP big-wig. It was great to swap ILQP stories about the miserable rain we endured last year and to discuss the upcoming IL200 Challenge. This is the bi-centennial for the state and there is a program starting on Aug 9th to activate and chase every IL county by December. More on this hopefully in later posts.
I drove about 15 minutes from the hamfest to the park and made a slow drive around it looking for a parking spot I could back in to and stay out of peoples camping and picnic spots. I found a spot by an empty pavilion and got setup. Unfortunately I had little cell service so I could not spot myself like I had wanted so I started on 40 meters and only got 10 in the log in the first hour. This was going to be a long activation to get at least 44 contacts. I switched to 20 meters and someone spotted me but I never could get a run started. I made around 20 contacts on 20 meters and then was able to see some Facebook posts that said folks couldn't hear me on 20 meters so I switched back to 40 meters. I finally had to start begging for any contact to get my 44. Amazing when you announce "last call" for anyone listening you start knocking off the contacts. Maybe next time instead of calling CQ CQ I will start with "last call everyone"!
It took 2.5 hours to get 46 contacts. Still a great day hamming.