Monday, September 12, 2011

Portland - Boston

Leaving Portland and it`s heavy traffic I went south along smaller roads and tried to see more of the shore. Weatherwise was still not perfect, rainshowers and grey skies but the wind was coming from the north so that was a ok. Hampton beach was very nice. Long beaches and curving roads similar like in Normandie, FR. I stopped near Groveland for the night at the qth from Dave KD1NA and XYL. I was impressed by his Elecraft and nice double setup/shack. We ate very good and I left in the afternoon more to the southwest to Peter in Harvard N1PQ and Pat his xyl. The weather was great, blue skies and warmer weather. Since Peter knew that that stretch as going to be the last for me, he welcomed me with balloons, Belgian beer, food and some time-off. The final numbers are 11527 km 703 hrs 17,6 kmh moving 11,9 kmh overall 123 days cycling .. pfft.. :-)

The next day 9/11 you couldn`t change a channel without watching a livestream from the ceremony. We went out to shop for some smaller thing and I packed and disassembled the bicyle in the carton box. That went smoothly and very relaxed, more so than on an airport, thanks Peter.

Peter is also a long distance cyclist and knows what it`s all about. On sunday we took the car to Boston and drove trough the city and did some sightseeing by car and on foot trough the city centre. We ate Italian in a resto and see the most important things in a nuttshell. Time to say goodbye back in the hotel and I expect Peter back in Belgium on day ! I crashed down and the next day I packed my bags in the HUBO afvalzak to be fittted on the plane.
The flight is the KL 6030 and leaves Boston at 17h local and arrives at 06h local in the morning in Amsterdam. Katia could be disturbing the latter part of the flight but I hope we go south of Ireland.

Track me on

Hope everything goes well and we will not be transformed in a submarine since I`ve got no VLF on board of the FT817d ;-)

A better review of this last trip will follow as a final comment on the whole journey when I`m back home, bye for now.




Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Maine - Portland

I'm now cycling towards Boston over road number 1 to the south.
Weather isn't really in my favour but still it's only a good 250 km to go so, it isn't really a downer.
What surely is a downer is the driving habits that the drivers over here are showing off. It is not only during the extended Laborday weekend, what was as expected like unfriendly 'BA'-kind of people shouting towards you and driving barely next to you as they where going to hit you or just trowing a beer bottle to you.
It is actually happening also now during the first schoolday over here.
A greater number of lorry's and big trucks are passing all over and the road over here in the neighbourhoud of Brunswick and the road doens't really has broad shoulders.

Some scenery's along the coastlines are nice but I have seen nicer one's during the trip, sorry locals. Talking about the locals..
If they ask where I'm are coming from then I try to explain what I did during last summer (that has gone by now) and after explaining they just think I'm 100% crazy and I'm making things up. Difficult to maintain a normal conversation after that hahi.

From time to time I see a plaque or sign that shows that I'm cycling on the designated bicycling lane.. (the green sign with white bicycle) so I know I'm on the right track and not missing any smaller and nicer roads.
The GPS and maps are still trying to show me the best roads.
Radio-wise the WX isn't cooperative to hang up antenna's during the early evening and I already fulfilled the main goals. I try to be active maybe one more time during the evening on 40 or 20 if all goes well, I'll announce it on the twitter.

I encountered a few other bicyclers but not many as the summer season is closing down. The temperatures during the day are not exceeding the 20-25 degrees and during the night it's only some 8-12 degrees. The sun comes slowely up around 07 o'clock in the morning and it's only until 09-10 hrs when it's nice to come out of the tent. The sun goes down quickly at 1900 hrs so I have to find a place to pitch down by 1800 which leaves me only some 6-7 hrs of travelling during the day, not much. Compared to the Scandinavian summer - THE bicyling walhalla - days over there are sometimes 24 hrs long so time enough ! I'll go back to .se and .no next year, for sure.

I hope I'll make it safely at the final destination as I'm entering the heavy traffic Portland - Boston area.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fieldday ON4OSA

Yes ! I was able to contact my clubstation ON4OSA/p today on 20 and 40 meter during the local late afternoon 16:30 (20:30z) on 20 meters and 21:30 (01:30z) on 40 meters. They were really loud on 40 meters here at Phills station N1ED here in Maine in the little town in Milbridge. I saw the APRS spot from his friend N1DP but he was not at home and his daughter redirected me over here, very nice fron Phill to give me the opportunity to be active during the fieldday ! thx.
So, 5 more QSO's in total for the guys back home to add to the list and hopefully they get many more multipliers. As expected, Eddy ON6EF was doing the radio during the night and I got Mick ON4RAW during the daytime on 20 meters with the help from ON7DS Dirk who was very loud over here.
I worked the FT857d over here with the SteppIR vertical with 100 watts and it did the trick very good. Fingers crossed for the remainder of the trip towards Boston, weatherwise it will be rainy most probably the next days.
I'll add a video of the QSO with the station whenever I got the possibility to add it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

QRV from Back Bay, NB

Qrv right now, 00:15 utc on 02 september on 7147 kc in Back Bay near Campobello island FM65ng on baseballfield. Going wry @0200utc, there is a coyote barking next to ny tent, I can't hear anything... Also from 1000 utc 7153 kc.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

PEI - Saint John

Coming out of PEI and cycling of the ferry in Cariboo led me into the Pictou-region. It was already 7 in the evening and looking for a spot to pitch up the tent was iind of difficult. Someone got me on track to a terrain close to Loans Point where I could sleep in the garden of some house. Asking the route again some km further onwards got me in contact with the family of that lady. They allowed me to stay over there's place in the garden and so I did. Nice area and people. Got some beers in the evening and got ready to go up to Truro where Tom, VE1DC lived.

He invited me to come over and in short, I remained over there for three nights until the storm Irene left the area since its path was not clear and I surely didn't want to get hit by crazy amounts of wind and rain. I did some radio on HF and stuck up with 149 qso's. 12 with Belgium, 3 with Holland, 60 with the rest of the EU and 74 with America on 20 and 40 meter. Nice station, a array of 3 vertical Butternuts. On Monday I said goodbye to Beth and Tom after a good breakfast and ended up near Windsor where I probably would have slept in the city parc .. until Andrew proposed to pitch my tent in his backyard which was more safe taken into account the small crime that went on over there. I did see the high tide come in into the bay of Fundy in Old Barns , really a wave of about 2 foot high that comes inland. Really a wonderfull view.

The next day I ended up near Lawrencetown and saw Simon next to a church. I stopped and asked him if it was ok to pitch my tent up beyond the church. I was allowed to pitch my tent up in his backyard and showered since I was maybe a bit smelly ? Talked into the evening and slept until the sun dried up the moist that got the tent kind of wet.

It's becoming very clear that the summer is almost gone. The temperatures are in the 20's and in the night it's only 12 dgrs. The sun goes down around 2000 and come slowly up by 0620 hrs.

I cycled for Digby during that day and the Annapolis valley is very nice, relaxed cycling and sunny ! I got onboard the ferry to Saint John, New Brunswick by 1600 where I arrived by 1900. It costed me an astonishing 50$ for me and my bicycle ! I Hope to find a free spot to pitch up the tent tonight to compensate.

I have 10 more days to arrive in the greater Boston area where I will hopefully meet up with Dave, KD1NA with whom I spoke on HF and invited me over ! Furthermore to the south Peter N1PQ , also a bicylist got in contact with me on twitter and have been talking about the bike since and how to get it to Logan ! He already got a box ready and proposed me bringing me over to Boston. That is a great peace of mind for the end of the big journey.

I Hope to do some easy 100 km a day and cycle into the US by Campobello island. There are some bicycleroutes that go to Boston.

I also hope to be once again radioactive during the fieldday next weekend in Europe to give my clubstation ON4OSA some points and hopefully speak with Eddy ON6EF ! I think he's eager to speak with me. Good luck guys ! I already heard that there are almost 10 of you so pile it up, spread out and don't fall asleep !

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I'll be QRV for the coming hours out of Nova Scotia on saturday and sunday on 80, 40, 20, 15 so I'll call on these frequencies :
SUN 08/28
1100 UTC 18145
1300 UTC 21290
1800 UTC 14278
1922 UTC 14292

Friday, August 26, 2011

Last hurdle : Irene ?

After a tsunaniwarning, hurricanewatch, hail, lightning, snow&ice, extreme heat and an earthquake.. the list gets complete this summer !

I hope my tent can handle Irene as she's moving right into my direction on the south part of the westcoast from Nova Scotia, Canada. Most probably she will have weakened by the time she's here to a moderate storm, hopefully that is.

At least I certainly will enjoy the fierce headwind that Irene is producing. The ARES emergency nets are up and running too. I may improvise some short 70 meter antenna.

Shall I battle her or just go indoors for a day or two, I don't know..

Update :
I made up my mind and I stay put here in Truro where Tom VE1DC has offered to stay over his place. Cycling against the wind and rain is no good idea after all ;-) Thank you very much !

On sunday a not very good forecast was made concerning windconditions for monday, rain would be ok ..

From his station I made some good contacts into Belgium with :
ON2ALI Robert, ON4PO Martin, OT4A Theo, ON7DS Dirk, OP2A Ivo, ON7GR Guido, ON4ANN Erik, ON8BV Pol, ON4KCY Yves qnd some other 100 QSO over the world.

For more info on the trajectory click this link.

Hurricane IRENE

Thursday, August 25, 2011

QSO on PEI part II

QSO's with Guido, ON7GR and Michel, F6COW.

Also ON5TN Karl, ON4CDX Roman, OT4A Theo, ON7USB Geert, OT2X Johan, ON5MA Nic, ON7GR Geert, ON4CAS Egbert, ON7XT Jean-Marie, ON7ZZ Gill, ON7KJW John and ON5WQ Bernard had made a QSO with my 2 / 5 watt station on PEI ! Nais ;-)

QSO on PEI part I

QSO on 20 with Arie, PD0ARI/MM out in the ocean near Rotterdam on 14208 kc at 0937 utc. He's working with 25 watts while I was putting out 2..
Later on in the clip Rene, PD2RKG/M joins in driving his car on the motorway A12 near Rijswijck Holland.
Very good signal strengths from both stations as you can hear. Enjoy the clip.

East Point LH, PEI

Great qrp contacts all over the place there and great people at the lighthouse.. The former lighthousekeeper (sk) was also a ham. I found aluminium poles underneath the coffeeshop that I used to build the mast on the shoreline. Full size quarterwave verticals for 20, 40, 17 and swr ok for 15.. nice !

22NA 73!EU 12ON's and 107 qso's in total. Most of them 2 watt. See picassalink for more pictures.

I'm now on my way south to Truro in Nova Scotia and a little worries about the bad weather that's on it's way from the south (a hurricane btw). Normally I have some 2 weeks left to arrive in the Boston area which should be ok to cover the distance, also with the fierce headwind.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Prince Eduard Island

Nice island to be cycling on !

After 3 days doing so I ended up next to the East Point lighthouse on the most easternly point of the island. Superb scenery over the Atlantic ocean. The local people let me tent on the property and do radio and setup some antenna. I placed a 10 meter long antenna and hung up quarterwave antennas for 40, 20 and 17 in it. I already worked a doen European stations during evening and the night on 40! and 20 with 2 watt... Grab you're chance, I'll be listening until thursday 1300utc.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tien miljoen miljard femtometer

Just west of Shediac, New. Brunswick, I surpassed the 10000 km-mark. The bicycle is, just as myself, holding on strong. The weather is ok, some 25 degrees C and 50 overcast. As PEI became within reach for the day, the wind turned in my disadvantage. I hope to do some radio on VY2 as the flies eat me alive when I stand still. Just searching for a free and safe spot and setting up the tent is tough enough for the moment. I got used to wash me in restrooms of gasstations whenever I can't stay with a fellow hamradio-guy. Last Tuesday I had the worst day, mentally, but got over it. I already made contact with Brent VE2HF on PEI. Let's see where I'll end up there as the wx for the next week doesn't look promising. Heavy traffic also as its the weekend again. For those who wanted my Canadian mobile number it's +1 778 668 9074. APRS still goes live and direct as coverage is ok. Still some 1500 km and 3 weeks to go to Boston.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pukkelpop disaster

Just read on twitter and heard the news about the terrible weather on the festival in Hasselt back home and already three people dead.. Many ten thousands of people leaving the camping area right now and cellphonetowers out of service. Must be chaotic scenes over there right now. More over here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Montreal - New Brunswick

After leaving Montreal I cycled for 100% next to the St. Lawrence river towards Quebec.
From time to time it led me on the Route Verte but sometimes it was covered with gravel or worse so I took the main road. Nice little towns along the river with a 'normal' church like the ones in Europe. If you don't speak any French over here it can be quite tough to find an English speaking person sometimes I guess. It's even a bit like in Brussels. I saw a dosen or so bicyclers doing the trail along the river. Only one was on a longer tour as I was, Sebastien from France.

The city of Quebec was so and so. The old city center was not so marvelous as expected.
It's very much alike to a city in France or the Walloon region, not to use the word dull.
The only positive side of visiting this city is that it had an excellent bikeshop where they replaced my gears and chain as it was worn out. Some of the guys in the shop spoke English but with hair up. Nice shop but pricey. I looked around for a new pair of cycleshorts, the one I wear were priced 199 dollar.. pfft..

I slept near a lake in Tue city under a big partytent that was set up for the weekend.
The road to the north brought me alongside nice little towns but once again with a majority of french look-a-likes in every form and style. Prices didn't went down, in contrary.
I took the small ferry to the other side of the river in Levis and cycled north again to Cap St. Ignace and and ended up in Riviere du loup the day after. I cycled along with a guy from Montreal for half a day and had a beer ion a microbrewwery near Rimouski that was opened up by a guy from Brasschaat, Antwerp, Belgium. I talked some Aantwaarps again and had a self=brewed beer over there. All the Geuze was sold out.. (after my visit hahi)..

Very much traffic on the road and weekend traffic was almost killing me. I slept alongside the route. Just out of Rimouski I slept in the garage of Ivon VA2YD, I saw his beacon of his repeater on the APRS. I got some leftovers of food from a party they were visiting and charged up the batteries. Cycling out to the north I took the road to New Brunswick and slept on the banks of a lake in Val-Brillant to find out it started raing 24/24 the next day.
The tent was packed in wet and that's not the way to go but wat do you do... I cycled for New Brunswick for the night and was ready to cycle under everything were my tent could dry until I saw 50% of what was the 4-band dipole antenna of Pierre VE1AXC. I slept on the couch and took a shower which was needed after this rainy day.

I was radioaktive again three days : 2 days on 20 meterwhen I worked KC8OYD, Lance KB0RGS and WA0HHN, also KE4TS Jim in North Carolina again and NS7P Jim in Oregon with 33. Rod NY4S was 59 from Tenessee. I just didn't make it in OE4XLC and PA3DHR I think but HB9RDE Rolf worked me with 52 ! On monday 15 I worked on 40 meter with KR4IS Jeff, KR4IS Jeff, VA2FSQ Tom, VE3SSR Eugene and WA2AKP Lou all with nice signals until the rain set in in the morning when I worked W1FC Fred, W3UX John and VE1DC Tom. In Quebec I worked on VHF KE4TS Jim on his way home.
I will try again on 20 when the sunspots go over 100 or I'm in a relaxed and good position to hang up the antenna. I don't like it to do it rush-rush.. If you want to stay informed on times and frequencies got to my twitter on!/rafvz
You can also - like the whole journey - follow me on the APRS signal on the link in the menu.

I'm heading For Prince Eduard Island the next week and then up to Nova Scotia by the next and then one week to Boston from St' John in New Brunswick. The end is coming closer, I hope the weather remains dry and warm as it is today so I can camp outside as much as possible and do some radio-ing and enjoy the scenery without the need to go to a crappy motel !

As Google is messing things up since the last update on the droid I have problems to put pictures on this blog from the picassa account. You still can see ALL the pictures on the link to Picassa if you click on the link in the menu on the right side of the screen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Niagara - Montreal

Ok, I can't make it to Newfoundland anymore this trip.
So I reconsidered taking a new route that will bring me to Prince Edwards Island or PEI.
The main reason for not being able to go there is because the lack of a ferry route from Yarmouth to Portland that went out of bussiness. Sad.
To make the tour as planned and bicycle back the whole way is no option.
Taking the train back to Boston from Halifax or so is no option either. It's a three day trip on train and all the wishwash that comes along.  Taking the bus back like Greylines or so is also a real undertaking and will bring me first back to Montreal ... and some transfers + not really cheap also .. and remember .. I got a bicycle to take back also.
The other remaining option is to rent a car and I searched some stuff and that would cost some 600+ dollar all inclusive as would a trip by plane cost me to fly back to Boston - the same as a ticket from Halifax to Schiphol ... and the ticket from Boston is already bought..
So, gonna try to remain on the cheap side and the main goal now is to spend a few days on PEI Prince Edward Island and enjoy nature over there and activate VY2 !

But, the trip until now has been really nice, relatively good weather, no accidents except the one with a matrass on the shoulder..While climbing I didn't looked very good in front of me and was looking to the map and I saw something white emerging in front of me but too late and I cycled halfway over it.. nothing broken on the frontwheel ;-) btw. it was there to be collected as trash ..

I cycled fron Niagara over the Canadian/US border (I had to make a brief stop of course) to Lake Ontario and was radioactive from Fort Niagara and worked GUIDO ON7GR, Dave KJ4MCZ, IK4DCT, Tim N5RKK, Collin KD4QFT and The World Scouts Jamboree in Sweden!! SJ22S with Phil on the radio ;-) al with 5 watts and a vertical on 20 meters.

From there I cycled on to Rochester area where I slept in the wild and in someones garage since it was really pooring down over there. From Oswego I went on to the beginning of the St. Lawrence river bu the Thousand Islands region in the direction of the Atlantic sea. Easy cycling and did an average of about 140 km a day until I reached Beauharnais, a town just before Montreal where I again was sleeping in Serges garden and could take a shower, really wet evening there.. From there it was a relaxed drive to Montreal I thaught .. not .. heavy traffic and not really good directions to find a good path into town until I found a parallel bridge where it was possible to cycle to the main Island where I stayed in the youthhostel. Very nice, safe and cool place for 2 days, right in the middle of the big city. It was since Vancouver I saw these size of skyscrapers .. Montreal is ok. I went out and saw Aliens versus Cowboys or the other way around , a really bad film except for the effects. Visiting the Olympic Parc was a good decision, nice lookout over the whole city and superb views, the old stadium - already from 1976 (so old .. o'boy) - is still intact. The bicyclearena is tranformed to a kind of animalpreservation or something.. pff .. I took the metro and did some on and off hopping. and bought , again , a new isolation matrass since the one I bought in Niagara again went bezerk..
This time I bought again a Thermarest Prolite Plus but made from another maybe more durable fabric, and more expensive ... 160 Canadian dollars .. a slam in my thight budget .. no more food for 12 days ..

I was again radioaktiv south of Montreal on 07 augustus in the afternoon at 2200 local Flemish time to work the 14345 kc net but I heard Germans on 14343 kc and a US-net on 14347 kc. No Flemish stations on there so I called cq and worked Pat KI4SVM, Arno F4DCG, KURT ON8MT, Tod N4LA and Tom KI4NSP. I didn't had the time to be active on VHF over here in Montreal maybe later on the trip.

The remainder of the month I try to cycle to Quebec and maybe meet Gregg VE2HIT and then to Riviere du Loup, and in the Province of New Brunswick (Braunschweig) : Edmunston, Grand Falls,  into the mountains again in Plaster Rock, Miramichi, Moncton and over to Prince Edward Island and then to the province of Nova Scotia by Caribouand take the ferry from Digby to Saint John in New Brunswick again. From there I'll cycle south again some 100 km to the US of A and from there it will be some 600 km to Boston by oa. Kennebunkport. Up till now I cycled 8650 horizontal kilometers and 47 vertical ones and probably will do another 2600 horizontal or so km in the next month. Hope to find some good bicycle paths like the route vert if they are not too much gravel. Fingers crossed for good weather and if somebody knows a nice place on Prince Edward Island to stay for some 2-3 days with a big beam and a shack or just a more normal place let me know !






Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Niagara Falls

Wauw !

Another highlight of the tour after 8100 km.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Marquette - Mio

While entering Marquette I spoke on the local repeater with a local guy talking me into going to Presque Isle Parc just north of Marquette. I didn`t make it over there untill the day after .. Cycling trough town next to the university I noticed the rather big beam from Peter K8PT. I got to see the shack and slept in the garage where no-one has slept before hahi. Had a nice breakfast and some leftovers of the Thai food the day before and got to meet his two daughters an grandchildren, vy nice.
The next day I cycled into town and headed for the Presque Isle Parc which is vy nice and should have been nice to sleep in but it was forbidden  .. kind of ..
I cleaned the chain from the bicycle next to a bicycle store and took the grease of and made it smotth again. Since I still had a wind in the back I could make some distance and headed out for Harvey and Munising. I cycled next to some very nice and pitoresque beaches, where many people swom in the rather warm water and sunbathed a bit. Temps were about 20-25 degrs.
In Munising one could catch a boat to go out in Lake Superior and visit the Pictured Rocks.
I saw the pictures already and headed out to eat a Pastie in a local store, great food and had actually two of them. I cycled on and the slooping hills near Seney where kind of hard but the wind blew me over it.
I stopped at the local gasstation and took in some suplies. They recommended me going to the baseball field over there where I set up camp and .. a elevated GP for 20 meter at 3 meters high. There was electricity to charge up the smartphone and batteries but no water. I washed myself with a waterhose I found next to a motel ;-).   In the eveneing and morning I worked VA7IR, of couse ... , N4USA Dave, W4UZH Tom, ZL2JBR, VE2HIT Gregg in Quebecq, KC0VFO Terry in Denver, W4JNC Richard in North Carolina and KR0E Don in Boulder all with good signals report, great antenna isn`t it ..
I hope I`ll meet Gregg again in eyeball contact once I got into Quebecq and have a coffee or more as he said on the radio, looking out towards it and stopped drinking coffee already to make some space there ;-)
I found a new app for the Android to find repeaters in the neighbourhood. It works very good and is called RFinder. It plots the repeaters also on the google map so you can see where they actually are. Also the distance they can cover and all info is displayed very quick. Great app and thank you W2CYK !
Tuesday 26 juli I cycled to Trout lake and swum in it, VERY hot water and great beaches. I ended up in the evening in St. Ignace near the Mackinac Bridge in between the upper and Lowe Peninsula of Michigan. I wanted to sleep in on a peninsula but it was full of flies and the campsite was very expensive over there. A family let me sleep on the garden and provided me with food in the evening, looking for there names but can`t find it soon, I`ll have to digg deeperin the bag.
I was driven over the bridge the day after by the company that takes care for the toll=system and the maintanance of the VERY big bridge ( bigger than Golden Gate ) and it costed me 2 dollars .. wauw ..
I cycled on south to Atlanta ( Michigan ) and wanted to pitch up the tent near a lake - Lockwood Lake but it was private. I saw a lady gathering garbage next to the road and asked her where there was a good spot to camp and she proposed me to pitch up tent on here property. I got some pasta and butternut cookies in the morning and arrived now in Mio where a McDonalds should be very close to me right now - thx 4 info Rene :-)
Mio, min mio..
Heading still for Bay City, Sarnia, London, Norfolk, Buffalo and the Niagara waterfalls over there into the next week. I`ll try to be more active on 20 meters at around 2000 UTC and in between 0100 and 0200 UTC on 14285 and 14345 kc since propagation is improving.Still, sleeping, eating and cycling are my three priorities. For the last 4 days I covered 500+ km. My GPS tells me that I've been cycling for 480 hours, if I should've done the trip non-stop..

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Marquette, Michigan

This truck got almost hit by my bicycle. It's clearly visible that I was the one coming from the right handside. Beautifull weather and westernly winds for three days to come. Time to take revenge on the headwinds.. Tomorrow I'll hit 7000 km. Five digits, here I come !

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sisseton - Ashlan Wisconsin

After some VERY hot days into South Dakota and Minnesota the temperature did drop down and also the humidity did went down too to a more humain level. I cycled into Minnesota but still had to drink every 10/15 minutes. Going trough many nice little towns on the way I had the luck of ending two evenings in a cool house. One time in Little Prairie at Kevin, NE0D and his wife who made a perfect meal for me in the evening. The day after it I stopped at a township meeting and asked for water, ending up with a pasta meal and sleeping in a bed of a lady that had a hairsaloon in Giese. I'm looking for the card that I received from her but I can't find it for the moment. Also met up with very interesting people like you''ll find on my twitter and facebook account. The day after that I ended up in Duluth near Superior yesterday where the wind changed to the west for the first time so .. Time to make up with time and distance and cycled 185 km yesterday and 165 km the day before. I'm now in Ashland in the state of Wisconsin and almost in Michigan. Try to get in time to Newfoundland you know .. As it is still blowing from the west and meteo says it will shift to the east again in a matter of days. Also enjoying the TDF live streaming on radio1 while cycling, great. Time to cut this story very short for now and jump again on the bicycle. I didn`t had any time left and even not the intention on getting on the air .. I'll hopefully have more time for it as getting closer to the eastcoast and temps go down even more. Once again I can sleep in the tent without sweating all night long but muskitos are everywhere now. 73s and grtz.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sisseton - Minnesota

I'll have another day off here in Sisseton at the border of the states of South and North Dakota and Minnesota. As the temperatures are roaring over a scoarching 35 degrees celcius in the shade and extreme heatwarnings are in effect for 15 states for this extended heatwave, it's not that much better as in Belgium..

Watching the weatherchannel, nothing much is going to chance for the next days here in the Midwest. The heat is also supposed to be moving to the east ... Even at night it doesn't really cools down to nicer temperatures, left aside the high humidity.

There's a tornadowarning just north from me in North-Dakota.

Cycling into this region from Aberdeen I went trough a - now - swamparea. Frogs, birds, snakes, everywhere in this humid environment.

Most probably I ate or drunk also something wrong with bad consequences and combined with the extreme heat, I really don't feel like cycling as you can imagine.

I need a good night of sleep in this airconditioned room and head out very early in the morning to the east over the 27 to Dulouth, Minnesota. Leaving early is also something  what I don't like :-)

Hope that the eastcoast will be cooler once again.

Maybe I'll do some 6 meters later today to pass the time, if the band is open as it is right now.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sturgis - Aberdeen

Leaving the - sometimes crazy - town of Sturgis, I headed for Newell where I arrived in the evening.
The had two great public parcs but some inhabitants told me you could't camp in it.
I found a spot in the garden of the house of Doug and Kathy.
There was a waterhose to shower and I had breakfast in the morning on one of the tables in the parc.
Very nice weather in the +25 degrees + area.
I left for Faith and there was nothing in between, just prairies.
I found a nice spot in the parc and did some radio and shopped for some food.
Nextday I left for Eagle Butte but first I cycled trough Dupree. In between al poor soil and very hot.

I ended up in the evenin in Eagle Butte where the most (95%+) of the inhabitants were of native origin.
Local police send me to the public parc but it was a no-go since there were some youngsters in cars, most probably with open windows sharing some stuff. Cycled trough town to search nicer spots but there weren`t any. In the local gymnasium people were playing b-ball. One of them send me to the `main` where most probably people should be able to shelter me for the night as weather seemed instable again.
The main is a Youth Project were children can play and learn thanks to the Cheyenne River Youth Project and all off its volunteers, some of them families. The woman in charge contacted her supperiors if I could stay over there and replied positive. I had a nice warm lunch - pasta - and some beverages.
I slept in the sporthall together with another 10 volunteers for the project, most of them from a Lutheran mission in Missouri as I got info correct. A rather big fan held the hall cool but I had to sleep with earplugs to be able to get some sleep.
In the morning I had breakfast togheter with them and left before children came in from town.
They can participate in a broad range of programs over ther as can be read on
They all do a perfect job and are more than 100% motivated as I could see.
Donations are more than welcome via on

I headed for Gettysburg with a very strong headwind, I couldn`t go faster than 8 km/u and it was very hot and dry. After some 7 hours of cycling and just before I was going to cross the Missouri and the Central timezone, Robin and her husband stopped over. They came from a funaral in Eagle Butte. They asked if they could help me to go to Gettysburg since it was definitivly out of reach for the eveneing and weather was again, unstable. They brought me into Gettysburg by car. In town it was possible to camp in the beautifull parc with a free hot shower, electricity and very high trees ! perfect.
I pitched up tent and did some radio on 20 meters. The next day weather was very unsettled and I decided to stay put for the day. I visited the bakery, museum, old school, blacksmith and had lunch in the old people`s home for 6 dollars. Since it began to rain and didn`t stop during my visit I checked in a few times in the parc where waterlevels started to rise out of control, I was on one of the higher spot still water reached my tent an I had to dry it in the public restrooms where I slept for the night as it didn`t stop raining...
In the evening I had an appointment in the barbershop Hair With Flair in Gettysburg. Sandy was so friendly to do my hair and it was a ok and even more so.. she did it for free ! So if you`re in the neighbourhoud call now ;-)  (605) 7659626 hahi.
I was able to work OT4A Theo on 14188,5 kHz at 20:31 UTC with 55 and he was 59 with his big array and power of course, second contat with Belgium..

On thursday I cycled for Ipswich and camped again in the public parc with restrooms and water.
The place stood 95% blank since it rained very much.
It was VERY hot during the day and in the night it became 100% humid and temperatures didn`t go under 25 degrees C. I worked some 15 contact on 20 meters all over the US and Canada with nice signals and heard Nelson VE7FTL and Ken VE7IR again on 20 meters ! Also made some contacts again on PSK.
I couldn`t sleep very well and sweated as a horse. It`s still the same right now in Aberdeen and temperatures will go up again for the next 5-6 days every day to 35/40 C and high humidity.
I bought a bandana to protect my head since the hair is`s a bit shorter.
I saw the Cathedral of the prairies yesterday in Hoven, very nice church in the middle of nowhere and saw a lady with yellow eyes in the local groceriestore, very uncommon..

I will go to Duluth on the westside of lake Superior and from there I`ll stay on the southside to Sault St. Marie and into Michigan to Buffalo / Niagara since the wind is coming from the east (not supposed to !) and weather is very hard to cycle in so .. shorten the ride a little and stay in the vicinity of `bigger` towns and not go to remote like going north of the lakes.