Wednesday, September 21, 2022

"We ride the waves; distance is gone"

I had the absolute funnest POTA activation today. Ever.

First was the new rig. Awesomeness, encapsulated into a rectangular form. More on that in a future posting.

Then a QRP-QRP POTA contact with Thomas K4SWL. I've worked Thomas a number of times from Texas but this was the first time working him since moving to FL. He was one of my few contacts on 40m - the bulk of them were on 20.

To top it all off, I had two visitors, both of whom were so interested in what I was doing that they lingered. Not obtrusively, but with a sincerity of curiosity that made them a pleasure to have at the site.

First, was an 8 yo boy and his mother, one of the park rangers. She brought him over at his request and he was amazed at the set-up. He knew SOS in Morse - now he knows his name (Andy). He asked intelligent questions, listened attentively to my answers and then had more to ask, all in a calm, almost adult-like demeanor.

I told him I was going to wander a bit with my camera and he asked if I'd like to see a tree that was hit by lightning. How could I say no? So off the three of us went to look at Andy's favorite tree. Then I told him that my favorite tree was nearby and it was for that one that I brought my camera.

Finally, between Andy's radio visit and the later tree excursion, I was back on the air when a woman called out to me, "What are you doing?"

She'd been walking around with a plastic bag, slowly working her way closer to me.

I just said, "Good morning" and she said "What's that sound?"

"Morse Code."


"Morse Code - you know, dots and dashes."

She came over and I gave her the whole spiel - ham radio, parks talking to parks, etc. My antenna was pretty high up and she wanted to know how I got it up there. I told her that I threw it & that I'm much stronger than I look.

I showed her the AirBoss and then asked her what she was doing with the bag.

"Collecting mushroom." Singular, but meaning plural.

Oh, now I get it.

"Mushrooms to eat or mushrooms for going on a "trip" while listening to In Search of the Lost Chord by the Moody Blues?" She was of Chinese descent, not completely fluent in English, and didn't get the cultural reference. 

"For cooking!"

I told her that I know all about psilocybin (a lie, I promise...) and that I suspected her motives. She laughed and I wished her a pleasant & meaningful "journey" as she left.

Since I was recording the POTA for an upcoming video, the audio of our entire conversation was recorded...might make for a fun YouTube "short" someday.

And I did finally manage that tree photo.




  1. That's not much of a tree :/

  2. There's a tree like that on the Edison estate near Naples. I remember visiting there with my folks decades ago, and that tree impressed me then, and your photo reminded me of that, very strongly. It's interesting how images can transport the viewer in time and space. Thanks for that. No mushrooms needed (or Moody Blues).

    1. I had no idea there was such a place in Naples - you made me Google it. Possible future road trip as we plan to start exploring the state over the fall & winter. There are a lot of similar trees in the area and I'm always amazed that the branches can stay attached despite having so much leverage (and weight) at a good distance from the trunk. They do make for good photography subjects.