Was planning on a single county expedition from Piute County. However our previously selected camp spot had too much snow which forced us to another location. "Plan B" took us to Iron County at Bumble Bee Springs (Elevation: 7370'). Relocating cost us antenna set up time and finally had the tent, radios, and Triband Beam set up and operating at 9:00 am local time -- all powered by a Honda eu2000i Generator. I still had no 40/80 wire antennas in the air yet so at about 7:00 pm I got off 20 meters and put up the 40/80 antennas and once again it was off to the races! The contest was both exhilarating and exhausting but already can't wait to do it again next year.
First 7QP for me. Proud to have so many "7s" in the log. Booming signals from the ARI contest. Some 7 stations did not expect an ON to be participating!
Icom IC-7300 and a two-day old ZS6BKW flat-top antenna, up 45' running N-S at 6053 feet elevation from Grid DN-71od in Laramie County, Wyoming. High QRN from passing thunderstorms made copy difficult at times, but I still managed to obtain and keep a decent run frequency going for most of the event.
I worked a few of my fellow Grand Mesa Contesting Club members, as well as many other perennial players in this fun event. As always, 40 Meters was my money maker but I could not find a soul on 10 or 15, and I had no 160 Meter capability. Thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic, I was not the only phone Op on for Laramie County Wyoming for a change, and I was able to work several local Ops as well, which is not usually the case. I exceeded 100 contacts per hour in more than one 20 minute logging "snap shot", which was a real hoot. However, my rate was hampered more than once when I had to stop in the middle of a good run, and find the correct exchange for the 7-Lander who had just answered my CQ!
7QP is rapidly becoming my favorite contest next to November Sweepstakes. Thank you all for the Q's and Mults! Another "100 Watts and a Wire Adventure" is now in the books.
My son met me in La Pine, Oregon to go with me to the ORDES/LAK county line spot just off NFD 18 about 18 miles north of Fort Rock. A few miles out of La Pine we came upon a pair of barriers across NFD 22 with warnings that the road was closed because of snow. I was ready to break out the GPS to search for a suitable DES/KLA spot when we saw a pickup coming down the road from the east. The driver stopped and informed us that there was no snow on the road. Greatly relieved, we drove through the barrier and arrived at the QTH with no problem. We erected the antennas and got the tent and station set up before my son had to leave for home.
Halfway through the contest my trusty Icom AT-130 auto-tuner suddenly refused to respond to the tune button, and I had to bring an open wire feeder into the tent and connect it to my newly-minted breadboard style balanced ATU. That worked out really well, and I finished the contest with no issues.
As predicted, a thunderstorm blew through the area, the winds were high enough to blow water mist past the rain fly into the tent and onto my face! No damage was done. In spite of the wind my tent held up fine, and I just kept on keying.