SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Columbus Day Weekend Camping and Ham Radio At Falling Waters SP

Linda and I camped at Falling Waters State Park on Columbus Day Weekend 2018. On the following Wednesday, Hurricane Michael came through our hometown, Panama City, Florida. Most of Bay County got walloped. We were fortunate the damage was not very extensive at our house. We have moved back in.

Linda in front of the 13 ft camper
It is notable that we rented a 13-foot camping trailer for the weekend. The camper was light enough to pull with the van. This was our first outing with a camper. It all went smooth. Falling Waters is an excellent camping destination with clean facilities.

Campsite 5 at Falling Waters
I will also note, the campsite was one I chose for its amateur radio potential for future Field Days. The site had room enough for a 40-meter OCF antenna. The back of the site is a large open field. I extended a 132 foot end-fed into the open field. That is about as good as it gets.

The field directly behind campsite 5
There were ham radio activities to keep me busy. I activated the park for POTA. I had sixteen contacts on Saturday and twenty-one on Sunday. They were mostly 40 meters SSB. Saturday was the Leaf Peepers QRP event. Dennis WA6QKN joined me. We knocked our selves out and only found four other leaf peepers. The band conditions were degrading. A geomagnetic storm was coming on.

The waterfall at Falling Waters State Park
My luck improved for the two-hour Peanut Power Sprint on Sunday. I had twenty-five contacts, Eighteen on 40 meters and seven on 20 meters. Eighteen were fellow nuts. I had twelve SPCs. Note, I worked Larry W2LJ on both 20 meters and 40 meters. My category was salted running five watts portable. I used the 40-meter OCF antenna. I was pleased to do well considering the band conditions.

Keegan, Justin, and Amy

On the family side, my Daughter Amy visited us and brought her family. We had a cookout and visited the waterfall.  On Monday, they were evacuating the park for Hurrican Michael. We thought it might not be as bad as predicted. It was worse, CAT 4/5 as we know. We rode out the storm in Dothan, Alabama with my Mother. Not very bad on us up there other than power was out for days. I came back to Panama City for the days and spent the nights in Dothan. We got the tree on the house removed and eventually power was restored. Things are getting better every day, but a long road for the residents of Bay County.

Hey, we are looking forward to the Winter Field Day and June Field Day and future camping at Falling Waters!.


Greg N4KGL