2022 Salmon Run


On September 17 and 18, Jay, WA0WWW, and I put all 20 of the Washington state counties east of the Cascade Crest on the air in the Salmon Run. We started in Whitman county and went clockwise to Douglas county where we spent the night in Grand Coulee, the location of the Grand Coulee Dam. Sunday we finished up the other 20 counties and ended operating from Pend Orelle county.

We were able to make 660 Qs and 74 mults for a total score of 146,520, the highest Jay and I have ever done. For the first time in several years, we made good use of 15 m with 67 Qs and 14 mults. Last time out in 2020, we didn't make any 15 m Qs. The idea of going to 80 m at the top of each hour was successful. During the daylight hours we picked up several WA counties.

Our most frequent customer was N7IR, Gary, in AZ. He made 32 Qs with us and caught us in all 20 of our counties. Others with 10 Qs or more were N7EPD with 19 Qs in 14 counties, K7GS with 16 Qs in 14 counties, OM2VL with 16 Qs in 11 counties, W7G with 15 Qs in 14 counties, K9CW with 13 Qs in 12 counties, W9PL with 13 Qs in 11 counties, W7DM with 11 Qs in 6 counties, K2DFC with 10 Qs in 10 counties, W7FN with 10 Qs in 9 counties, W6TDX with 10 Qs in 8 counties, and N8II with 10 Qs in 7 counties. In total 243 different calls made it into our log.

On Sunday a route plan in ADA county didn't work out. Way too much powerline noise, so we had to take a longer route into the next county which made us fall behind our operating plan. We got even further behind and entered our next to last county, SPO, with just over an hour to go. Lots of folks must have needed SPO on CW because the pileup was nearly more than I could handle. We got to our last county, PEND, with only 40 minutes to go compared to our planned one hour to finish up the Party. Seemed like even more folks wanted PEND than SPO. Either folks gave up or I was able to work the pileup down. I sent the first CQ in PEND and 16 minutes later I had 29 Qs in the log with no additional CQs.

You don't get many visitors doing mobile, but this year we got two sets. The first was on Saturday as were leaving the KLI/BEN county line. We had been operating on the county line, a gravel road leading to a house about a 1/4 mile away. A car pulled up and inquired what we were doing. We told him that folks all over the USA were wanting to talk to folks in all the WA counties. That seemed to satisfy his curiosity. The second set was a couple that had been behind us on the way downhill from the top of the pass in FER county mid-day Sunday. They passed us when we got down in the valley. We caught up to them as the Keller Ferry approached our side of the Columbia River. On the ferry they asked about the big antenna on my truck. Jay and I had a nice conversation with them about the Salmon Run and ham radio.

The rig was a KX2 and KXPA at 100 Watts to a Scorpion 680 antenna mounted in the middle of the Ford Ranger's bed. We logged using N1MM+.

We had a great time and thank everyone who worked us and those who tried, too.

Pictures and comments from along our route.

Here we are on Sunday morning on the Lincoln/Grant (LIN/GRAN) county line after a very steep and winding road from the city of Grand Coulee. Wheat fields, wheat fields, and more wheat fields.

This is just past the Okanogan/Ferry (OKA/FER) county line in Ferry county. No more wheat fields here, but a sizeable mountain lies ahead of us.

The MV SANPOIL, which operates the Keller Ferry, has just left the ramp on the Ferry (FER) county side. It will take us to Lincoln (LIN) county across the Columbia River. While on the ferry we had a nice visit with the couple from the car in front of my truck.

The Plan

Jay, WA0WWW, and I will activate 20 counties east of the Cascade Crest. We will use my call of K7TQ. My truck has a Scorpion 680 antenna so we will be able to be on 80 through 10 m. We will be on CW only most of the time on either 20 or 40 m frequencies ending between 038 and 039, such as 14.0386 or 7.0383 MHz. Watch the RBN for K7TQ/county, or some combination of that, because we will add the current county to the callsign. You can work us each time we change counties or bands. Our sunset will be around 0210 UTC.

80 m specials: For close in work during the day and after sunset, we will try to be at 3.535 MHz for five minutes at the beginning of each hour. That works for all but four of our 20 counties. The plan for those is COL at 1830 UTC Saturday, CHE at 0030 UTC Sunday, ADA at 2030 UTC Sunday, and PEND at 2330 UTC Sunday. We should be able to make contact with stations in WA, ID, OR, BC, and perhaps a bit farther away.

Here is our planned timeline and a Washington map with our route.

September 17, 2022 (UTC)

Time (UTC) County

1600-1627 WHI

1646-1722 ASO

1722-1804 GAR

1804-1843 COL

1843-1939 WAL

1939-1342 FRA

1942-2057 BEN

2057-2120 KLI

2120-2227 YAK

2227-2359 KITT

September 18, 2022 (UTC)

Time (UTC) County

0000-0109 KITT

0109-0153 CHE

0153-0356 DOU

0430-0659 GRAN/LIN

1600-1640 GRAN/LIN

1640-1718 OKA

1718-1834 FER

1834-2002 LIN

2002-2039 ADA

2039-2146 LIN

2146-2231 STE

2231-2302 SPO

2302-2359 SPO/PEND