I took some time away from work and family to decompress in nature.

I’ve previously written about Afton State Park (K-2466) near my QTH here in Minnesota. It is a beautiful park located on the shore of the St. Croix river which separates Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The hike into the campsites is not tremendously long at just about 1 mile, but there is both a steep downhill and uphill section that can get the heartrate up a bit, so I chose to go lightweight this trip.

Equipment included:

  • Elecraft KX2 (new to me – more on that in a follow up post)
  • Elecraft AX1 antenna
  • BaMaTech BaMaKey TP-111 (see previous post for a review)

I knew going into this that the AX1 is a severely compromised antenna, however I didn’t want to haul in a throw line to run an EFHW or dipole, nor did I want the weight and mass of one of my larger verticals.

This was going to be, and was a challenge.

In the end, I logged 5 contacts. Signal reports weren’t great – as expected – but I greatly appreciate the effort those old men put forth to pull my signal out of the ether. Given I was on 20 meters, no surprise to see the distances for each contact.

Created at https://www.levinecentral.com/adif2map/

You can see a quick video I did upon returning this morning showing the area, the setup, and some of the flora and fauna I encountered.

Even though I failed the activation, it was a great time and beautiful scenery. Just what the doctor ordered!