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2018 Salmon Run

Jay and I didn't see a single salmon! What we did see was many harvested wheat fields, grapes in vineyards, a live porcupine rather than a dead one, and a wild turkey strolling down Main St in Davenport. Between these sights and less than ideal propagation conditions, we managed 497 Qs, 55 mults, plus the bonus station for a score of 83,005 from the 20 counties we put on the air Saturday and Sunday.

A closed bridge over the Snake River into ASO county caused us to go through Lewiston,ID rather than the quicker bypass which gets one into ASO sooner.  The Snake and Clearwater Rivers converge here creating a wide spot in the river canyons.  We had planned to operate stationary for 15 minutes in this wide spot before continuing on for the 14 mile width of ASO county.  However, the detour ate all this time.  As you head west on US 12 in ASO, the canyon walls quickly squeeze in making contacts difficult.  We managed only a meager 4 Qs in ASO.  A poor start to our Saturday.

Our best county was LIN with 67 Qs.  We operated the LIN/GRAN line on 80 m in the final few minutes on Saturday and again on 20 and 40 on Sunday.  OKA was good to us, too, with 40 Qs split between 40 and 80 in the dark on Saturday and again in the light on 20 and 40 Sunday.  In the last two hours of the contest on Sunday, folks were finding us in STE and SPO where we got 22 and 34 contacts.

Our very best "customer" was N7IR, Gary, in AZ, who caught us in all 20 of the counties.  In ten other Salmon Runs that Jay and I have done, no one has ever worked us in all the counties we put on the air.  Thanks, Gary, for keeping us company!  Other regulars were N6MU in CA with 16 counties, W8PI in MI with 14, K2SSS in NY with 10, AA4DD in TN with 10, and K4ORD in VA also with 10.  By far the loudest signal both of the days was K2SSS, Zeljko.  Of special note was the club station, JA1YNE, who caught us in 8 counties.  A fine job from across the Pacific.  Many other operators found us frequently.  Jay and I thank everyone who worked us or gave us a try.

The rig was an IC-706MKIIG at 100 watts with a Hustler "Pitchfork" antenna.  We used N1MM+ on a LT4004u netbook.

Band    Qs    Mults
80         47     10
40         94      9
20      356     36
Total  497    55 for 82,505 plus W7DX bonus for 83,005 points

Pictures and Comments 
This is our operating stop on the WAL/COL county line.  We were rewarded with 9 pairs of contacts here in the 10 minutes of our stop.  The Hustler "Pitchfork" shows up well.  It has resonators for 40, 20, and 15 mounted on a common plate about half way up the antenna.

These are some of the grapes I mentioned above.  While Jay operated from the KLI/BEN county line and gathered 4 pairs of Qs, I wandered across the road to the vineyard.  On Saturday we saw many similar vineyards in WAL and BEN counties.

On Sunday morning we operated in GRAN from this overlook of the lake behind Grand Coulee dam.  The night before we managed 26 Qs on 40 and 80 in OKA just a short distance across the dam from here and 7 Qs on 80 in GRAN plus 8 pairs on 80 from the GRAN/LIN county line.  Operating in a county late in the evening and again the next morning worked well for us this year.

We used this operating spot in FER county while waiting for the ferry which takes you across the Columbia River and into LIN county.  Not many Qs while waiting here, but we did get 33 Qs while in FER.

The Plan
Jay, WA0WWW, and I will drive 834 miles to activate 20 Washington counties in the Salmon Run on September 15 and 16.  We will use my call of K7TQ.  We will focus on 20 m CW during the day with a 10 minute window for 40 m CW from 15 to 25 minutes after each hour to catch WA counties and nearby states.  Our sunset will be at 0211 UTC so as darkness falls we'll switch over to 40 and later 80 CW.  You can work us each time we change bands or counties.  We will try to be on CW frequencies ending between 038 and 039, such as 14.0386 or 7.0383.

Here is a time line and a Washington map with our route.


September 15, 2017 (UTC)

 1600-1630 WHI
 1630-1702 ASO
 1702-1744 GAR
 1744-1855 COL
 1855-1951 WAL
 1951-2024 FRA
 2024-2114 BEN
 2114-2139 KLI
 2139-2311 YAK
 2311-2400 KITT

September 16, 2017 (UTC)


 0000-0058 KITT
 0058-0142 CHE
 0416-0530 OKA
 0530-0700 GRAN/LIN
 1600-1630 GRAN 
 1630-1708 OKA
 1708-1824 FER
 1824-1938 LIN
 1938-2105 ADA
 2105-2212 LIN
 2212-2257 STE
 2257-2330 SPO
 2330-2400 PEND/SPO