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Rolling Rock Trail Campout - Oct 20, 2000

Rolling Rock Trail

Nr Bailey, CO

After my last hike to the top of Mt Bierstadt, I got an email from Dan, N0BN.  He said that he had tried to contact me when I was on top of Bierstadt but I never returned his call.  We exchanged a few emails, turned out he is an avid hiker/backpacker and we arranged a short overnite trip to get to know each other.  Dan selected the site.  A short hike (about 3 miles) on the Rolling Rock Trail into the Lost Creek Wilderness.  Dan was familiar with a good camping spot on the trail and he gave me explicit directions (3 miles in, cross a total of 4 streams, first 3 steams have nice split log bridges, 4th stream has a simpler bridge, campsite is on a little knoll about 30 ft to the left of the trail about 1 minute past the 4th bridge) and we arranged to meet there.  We both expected to do some HF QRP operating and Dan also was going to be control operator for a 2 meter net from the campsite on Sunday morning.  

I was the first one to the site.   As soon as I arrived I sat down for a short constitutional to enjoy the scenery.  As I sat there I thought... Had I brought along the short coax jumper that I needed to hook my antenna tuner to the rig?   I rifled through equipment and discovered it wasn't there.  This was a bad problem as my dipole had a 300 ohm feedline and I couldn't hook it directly to the rig.   It looked like I might be going without any radio tonite until........  I remembered an email I had seen on QRPL talking about the worlds simplest antennas.  One of the simplest was a simple quarter wave wire attached directly to the feedline.  I started cutting up my dipole and came up with two 16'6" wires (qtr wave on 20 meters).  I threw the end of one up in a tree so that the end hung just above ground and then pushed the end into the center of the bnc connecter (by crimping the wire just a little I was able to get it to stay in the hole).  The other wire I attached to a screw on the rig (for a counter poise).  I fired up the rig and miraculousley, I was able to make some qsos.  I cut two 23' wires and rigged up the same setup for a little 30 meter rig (see the photo with the yellow wires hanging out of the rigs).  I got the two rigs setup on a rock and managed several successful qsos on 20.  In the meantime, Dan arrived, and hammered out several qsos on 40 meter with his 12' high dipole.  That evening, I pulled the radios into the tent and has a few very nice qsos on 30 also.  One of these was a 3 way qso between me (colorado), missouri and michigan.  All in all a very successful qrp outing.

First order of business the next morning was a photo of 'The Castle' just across the valley.  After breakfast,  Dan got started with his 2 meter net (from his sleeping bag as you can see from the pic) as I packed up my gear.  The morning was pretty cloudy and cool and looked like rain.  I was completely packed with Dan still in the middle of his net so I hit the trail just as a light rain began.  As I hiked the rain turned to snow but the short hike back was pleasant.  I took the time for a quick photo of some Colorado aspens just losing their leaves to the fall weather.