My interest in the hobby pivoted about eighteen months ago when I decided to abandon HF - for at least the balance of Cycle 24. Band conditions at HF have been abysmal enough over the last several years that my interest in HF had taken a nosedive.

I made that decision knowing full well that Cycle 25 is expected to be even worse. At 58 years of age and capable of doing math, it became obvious that band conditions at HF may never return to “wonderful” or even just “good” again in my lifetime.

Having been licensed for over 40 years there were always some facets of the hobby that I wanted to explore. But these were esoteric and in my head I pushed them to the end of my radio life. I told myself that I would one day get involved with moonbounce, meteor scatter, etc. after I retired when I had “more time”.

When my overall interest in radio began to wane, I knew it was time to go QRT on the typical ham radio fare and begin what I had always thought would be my “later in life” exploration of these other facets sooner than planned. So I moved on. Put HF on the back burner and began chasing VUCC via satellites.

Then came Dayton 2017 with all the energy and excitement that goes with it. The friends, the chatter, the DX banquet. Next thing I knew I was driving home with a new IC-7300 and plans to remodel the shack and antenna farm in a way that would give me a shot at working Bouvet Island early next year…

I got off script. Drifted off course. Took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

Now it’s time to get back to the idea of radio exploration - without the shortwaves.