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.

Monday, July 11, 2011

First BPSK qso !

As I arrived in the very small town Faith, North Dakota with a population of 489 souls.. , I found a spot to pitch the tent in the public parc. Very warm weather all day long for 127 km and the water cooled me off ! I washed my clothes, ate and hung up a vertical groundplane with three elevated radials in the tree next to my tent. It worked superb to the westcoast. I worked SSB on 20 with Jeff, AB4HF,  Alan W6BAK, Shaun VE7JAM into British Columbia for the boyscouts camp over there ! , KE6RJ Harry, WB4UIC Tom and of course at 0300 utc on 14285 on sked Ken VA7IR !

I'm almost not able to make it to the westcoast on 40 meters with 5 watts. That's why I'll put up this antenna config for the next days or weeks.

When checking the twitter account in the evening I saw that there was a new app for my Android cellphone that did encode and decode bpsk. It's from Wolphi and is called Droid PSK.

I bought it and tried it out on the air on 14070 khz in the morning in my tent since it's the tour the France had a break today. I had to place the mike in front of the cellphone and the mike of the cellphone above the Yaesu but... IT WORKS ! Mike KK7H replied to my cq and gave me 469 from Huricane, Utah. I send him my references and 599 and tried to chat with him via my cellphone on the air :-) it is slow and sometimes the dictionary from the Android smartphone does stupid things but nevertheless it was a QSL 100 %.

Is doing bpsk like this a first ? I don't know, but what I do know is that I'll be cycling eastbound to Gettysburg in the next hour. CU later.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mount Rushmore - Sturgis

Entering the Black Hills from the east was going uphill for some 5 hours.. I reached the USDA campground in South Dakota now, near Jewel Cave in the early evening. I hung up the 20 and 40 meter antenna's and worked LY5A, UX3MZ and some 10's of US-hams ; AA6RK, NU5DE, K0XE, K0FG, N0AIE, AB7NK, VE7DQA on 20 and the streetgang on 40 meters. Conditions on 40 aren't that good to the west in the early evening so we schedule for 0300 utc on 14285 kc. The campsite was empty except for a young couple Peter and Olga. We exchanged food and sigares :-b

The next day I visited Custer and ate some cheap and good food into town. Located some tens of miles north of the city, the Crazy Horse statue is still in the process of being carved out of the mountain. The site doesn't want to receive any government money and entrance fees and souveniers are their only source of income. Many native people around and busloads of people. I only had to pay 5$ as a cyclist.

Mount Rushmore is some 20 miles more to the northeast and located relatively high into the hills. This site is constructed quite different as the Crazy Horses. More commerce and .. free entrance for bicylists ! Took some pictures, ate icecream and drunk a beer before cycling down to Rapid City, some 40 km. more to the NE.

I entered the city by sunset and didn't found shelter nor a decent place to pitch up the tent. I tried to put it up into a parc but people said me it was not legal to do so and a thunderstorm was coming over so.. looked for a cheap motel. I had a shower, watched Star Trek and slept. In the morning I saw Gilbert conquering the green jersey in the Tour the France live on the Versus channel on cable tv over here. I streamed VRT radio1 simultaneously. The place had a great airco and swimmingpool. It costed me 50$..

I headed out of the city this morning and cycled along a maintenanceroad parallel to the interstate until I reached Sturgis. This place is famous for the yearly MC-party in august where about 50.000 mc's show up. It's alike the Daytona event but this is the real deal..

Leaving this town , meant leaving the Black Hills and so the last 'real' mountainrange in the west of America. From here on it will be open plains and I'll dive under the 1000 mtr. elevation once again since the Kamloops region in Canada ! That's more than a month ago already..

I'm heading out for Faith ,Dupree, Gettysburg,Aberdeen and Fargo and so North Dakota, by next week and reach 6000 km. by then.

Halfway trough the trip already and have changed the overview-maps the eastcoast is coming in closer. The west-USA map is packed away..

If I'm able to, I'll try to be qrv on 14345 kc and 18145 kc at 2000 utc, that's around midday over here and most of the times I'm cycling by then. It should be getting better to reach ON as I keep on going to the east..