|Cochise and me in 1970, Tyler TX|
Over the past 6 months or so I've been reading a number of books regarding events of American-Indian history here in Texas and they've put me in the mood for another two-wheeled road trip - this time on pavement with my Kawasaki, which will henceforth be known as Cochise II - because I'm a sentimental old fart. The plan is to visit certain areas mentioned in the books as a way of giving structure to what would otherwise be a random ride.
Through the course of planning this ride, I've spent much time debating whether or not to operate FT8 or stick to the KX2's native CW/phone modes. Having such a portable radio like the KX2 and not taking it along would almost be sacrilegious since it's very purpose is to allow portable operation. Thanks to Tim KA9EAK's tutelage, I've been able to make several FT8 QSO's with the KX2 - but I think I'm going to leave the laptop at home and stick to CW/phone for this trip.
Two questions remain: specific dates and what to take for a motorcycle-friendly antenna (that can be used in the treeless Trans-Pecos region and other areas without trees) though most operation will likely be in cheap-ass motels with open-able windows for antenna wire. This will be a solo trip and my standards of what constitutes an acceptable hotel can be remarkably low when I don't have family in need of accommodation, though I will try to avoid hotels that have tenants with names like Trixie or Bubbles.
The weather forecast will settle the date question and I expect the trip to take 5 to 8 days. When motorcycle riding, I don't like freezing my giblets off in the cold and I don't like baking in the heat. Picky, ain't I? It's looking like sometime in March, possibly early April.
As for an antenna, Wolf River makes a Take-It-Along antenna that is compact and has its own tripod. On my numerous camping trips with QRP back when I was a young whipper-snapper, I always camped in areas that had trees. Wire antennas were the order of the day back then but I'm on new ground now and gladly entertaining suggestions...