Sky Pond State Forest – Parks on the Air K-4963
Today was a delicious early spring day. It was brilliant sunshine, the temperature was 65 F but the infrared rays washing over me felt like it was 85 F. It was intoxicating. It was a perfect day to visit Sky Pond State Forest in New Hampton, NH.
I was introduced to Sky Pond by my mentor and very good friend, Jim Cluett W1PID, several years ago. The Bald Ledge vista point is inside Sky Pond State Forest.
This state forest is off the beaten path. You have to travel miles and miles off State Route 104 and it’s at the dead-end of a Class V dirt road. In a typical spring this first week of April the road could have been impassable because of deep mud. Mud season was not too bad this year, it came earlier, and the road was in remarkably great shape.
Today I decided to just set up next to Sky Pond and enjoy the breeze and tranquil view. No one was here and I was thankful for that.
I’ve gotten to the point in my outdoor radio career that I have far more fun if I don’t tangle with strangers. This wasn’t always the case as I used to love pulling the handles of the Happiness Machine where I’d chatter with strangers about how in the world I got my antenna wire so high in the trees.
That’s always the first question a stranger asks when they see me doing outdoor radio. Now if someone asks I hand them a small business card that has this URL printed on it:
Once there, one of the first things they see is this video:
I was all set up and ready to transmit at 3 PM. We ham radio guys use Universal Time so it was 1900Z. It didn’t take long for the Parks on the Air chasers to find me. Soon I was clicking off a contact each minute.
I started on 20 meters and once I exhausted those contacts I moved to 40 meters. Today I used my:
- Elecraft KX3
- Begali Adventure Dual Paddles
- 29-foot vertical wire antenna with a 9:1 unun
- 4.5 Ah BioennoPower LiFePh battery
I was only on the air about 35 minutes but that’s okay. I got fourteen contacts and you only need ten to activate the park. After the black flies have gone away at the end of May, I’ll probably be back with Jim to walk up to the Bald Ledge scenic overlook. It’s spectacular.