Portable HF at Kawishiwi Falls

Today was a great day for a hike and some radio. With some debate about where to go, we decided to go to Kawishiwi Falls. Sarah, my mother, and Asa all came along.

Kawishiwi  is an Ojibwe word that means “river full of beaver or muskrat houses”.  Native Americans, explorers and voyageurs portaged around the falls.  The watershed drains from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and flows 2,000 miles north to Hudson Bay.  Kawishiwi Falls is between Garden and Fall Lakes.

A short hike in on a well traveled path made it easy for the most part but the packed snow had us using caution to not slip on the hard packed snow and ice. Kawishiwi Falls was amazing today.

I set up the radio equipment, first attaching the Packtenna 9:1 wire to the Packtenna mast. This wire is 29 feet long and works great with my radio and tuner. The Packtenna mast is approximately 32 feet when extended. The mast was attached to a tree stump with bungees.

I connected everything and was all set up in 14 minutes. It’s still winter here so keeping the power between 50 and 100 watts ensured I would make some QSO in a short time.

My first QSO was with Jeff, K2DQ, at Panola Mountain State Park in Georgia. Jeff was doing a Parks on the Air activation.

The next QSO was with Luther, N4DA, at Talona Mountain in Georgia. Luther was doing a Summits on the Air activation.

My third QSO was Luis, YV5ENI, down in Venezuela. We could have carried on for a while but he was in high demand for contacts.

My final QSO was pretty meaningful as we share the same career. Jerry, N7WR, came back to me calling CQ on 17 meters. Jerry was loud and clear in Oregon.

Yaesu FT-857D with the LDG YT-100 tuner. This setup is powered by the Bioenno Power LifePo4 Battery.

We had a great hike and fun on the radio. My mom got to see me work HF for the first time and thought it was neat too. Once back to the truck we went into town to Boathouse Brewpub for some dinner (the Sweet Potato Fries are excellent).

Asa and I at dinner. My eyes are puffy because I worked the night before and had to wake up early.