Perhaps it was fate, or the magical ionospheric bump often seen in the wake of big contests and popular on-air events, but Straight Key Night (SKN) was a special treat this year. That much CW activity is rarely seen these days. It was almost like a throwback to some bygone radio era.

I enjoyed several interesting conversations over the few hours I participated. One was with N0TLW. Ours was a QRP-to-QRP straight key contact. Tom and I both happened to have been licensed in 1977 though he dropped out at some point and only just returned to the hobby a few months ago. He’s 72 now and a rock climbing instructor at a local gym. An interesting fellow, I hope to work him again soon!

I also managed to find and work N8XX on 40 CW. Hank was activating the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail Linear State Park (KFF1555) at Howard City, Michigan. I spent some time looking for N2CX who was activating a couple of parks in New Jersey, but I never found him. I really enjoy working these park operations and look forward to a lot more of it as both a chaser and a field station during this New Year.

With SKN behind us now begins the month-long SKCC K3Y event. I hope band conditions will be kind enough to permit me to pull-off a mini-sweep before the end of the month. With no more holiday time to rely upon this now becomes an after work in the evening and weekend only chase for me.