Friday, May 6, 2011

Fort Bragg / Mendocino

Yes ! Mission accomplished !

In the evening of thursday 5th may 2011 local time 22:25 and 05:25 utc I was able to contact Johan ON7HJA in the Limburg on 14240 kc SSB with my dipole at 6 meters above the ground hanging in E/W direction and 5 (FIVE!) watts going out of the FT817 while I was in my sleepingbag in my little tent near Garberville in the Redwoods, California USA (locator CN80ca) with no cellcoverage !

I just came above the noise in the start and by 22:45 local Johan understood it Q5 .. imagine .. goosebumps all over the place.. wááy too crazy ..

Thanks very much for this contact, I can go home now hahi.

I went on to call CQ until 30 minuten later but I couldn't hear anyone else. Johan said that there were other ON-stations on frequency but no win on this side for them.. I was put on the cluster by Johan, who was using an optibeam and 500 watts.

It seems that propagation over the long path is possible at 05:30 UTC, I didn't count on that. To ON-land is about 5500 miles or some 8000 km in short-pad.

Have worked some Estonian,Lithuanian and German OM's before working Johan..just following the greyline..

Also have been talking on 40 meters with some more local guys that are following me like N7EKD, AB7TJ on 7136 kc at 16:30 utc and a group at 17 utc on 7186 kc with WA6PSG and a bunch of other guys in the round. Two meters is also working but not too many people are QRV.

I made a fandipole out of the 20 and 40 meter wires and it does seems to perform rather good or is that an understatement ;-)

Bicyclingwise it's going perfect, doing some 45 miles a day as planned and that's my 'tourist-mode'. Just heading for the avenue of the giants Redwoods towards Eureka.

The weather continous to be perfect , blue skies, +- 23 celcius and headwind.. I should - statisticly speaking - encounter clouds or rain in Oregon, I'll proof them wrong ;-)

I walked into Jim and Ann thursdaynight in Westport campground (5 dollar), great people from Kamloops and hope to meet them later on the trip. Just will not be able to bring along a bottle of cheap wine Jim, it will break, cookies will be fine ?..

Crossed some nice 3000 footers on the way, just for warming up later this trip. Also ran into some Germans, Mexican, Spanish and Canadian cyclers. The Spanish guy got me interested into couchsurfing, maybe go into that also if I'll find the time and goesting.

At a gasstation I saw a car with Texas licenseplates parking just in front of me while eating some low budget canned ravioli. Preparing for some real Texas guy to step out of the car, a young blondine and a long blond male god stepped out and asked me 'does the B stand for Belgium ?' One minute later we were speaking swedish as they were on a holidaytrip... small world ..

State parks are great to camp into btw. 5 dollar for a place in the woods, shower, both water and electricity. There is no control on the payment whatsoever. Just put 5 dollar in a small envelope and seal it with your name on it and put it in a box for 'possible controls'. Heading for Eureka tomorrow.

Coverage of the AT&T or T-Mobile network is rather bad. Some comes have coverage but the best network over here seems to be Verizon. Just relying on public WiFi for the moment and from time to time edge. Can't complain dough..

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Navarro river Mendocino

After two more days cycling Northbound I've spend the night in a firestation in Sea Ranche. Good bunkbed and a very wide TV .. thx to Robin and Shelley ! Some miles up there was the Point Arena lighthouse. That's the point located the most to the west of mainland-USA (except for Alaska). Found a very smart guy up in the tower that was touring me around. That's the area and lighthouse used in the movie  Forever Young with Mell Gibson. Took me some time to get back on the bicycle and at 19z I ended up at the beach in Navaro River Redwoods state park. People wandering around on the beach offered me a cup of wine. Woke up alive and made some contacts on 40 with VE7YP, joe N7EKD, frank AB7TJ, steve KE7RTV and ed K6HP with 2 watts and a very low dipole. Ready to go up to Mendocino and Fort Bragg now.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Point Reyes station

The last two days I was the guest of the xyl of sk w6egk. I was allowed to sleep in the garage of the house. It's located in between cattlefields and in the close proximity of the point Reyes national seashore. She let me use the radioshack that wasn't used for 1 year .. After doing some radio and sleeping she invited me to meet her family inland who did a BBQ for me with delicious meat and Absolut Vodca. This morning, after oakmeal and yoghurt I did some 35 mls north to Bodega bay where I put up my tent on the State Park camping site.. for 5 dollars only in a beautiful surrounding in a world without osama. That's way the parkholder had a Navy Sealsflag on the driveway... Got some free beer and hot meals on the way :-) nice people on the campsite who cycled on the canal du midi last year. Ps osama is dead, said the guy next to me with a navy seals flag in front of his camper..