W9FZ/m 2013 Iowa QSO Party Travelogue

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As we drove southwesterly from Hillsboro, WI towards the Mississippi River, we went through some beautiful Wisconsin terrain. As we descended towards the River, the moon was setting. Plus some little rain showers had moved through where we saw several rainbows.

Here is the bridge across the Mississippi River at Lansing, IA.

At the west end of the bridge in the picture of above, we stopped and snapped this picture. We had arrived in Allamakee county. This would be the first county we'd activate. But it was still an hour to start time and we needed to drive diagonally SW across the county to start in the SW corner of the county.

We passed through Waukon, IA which is the Allamakee county seat.

N6MU in California worked us for 8 Q's and WY0A in Kansas worked us for 4 Q's. Many stations found us 2 or 3 times. Sitting on the Clayton/Fayette county line gave us MANY two-fers.

Postville is very near the intersection of four counties. We crossed through town a few times while moving between counties.

Corn is mature and being harvested. Great color.

This is Winneshiek County. You can see the new MFJ manual screwdriver antenna. This should really help us be viable on 40 meters. But I had a bad chunk of coax and no spares (left house in hurry). So we used it VERY little. And we sure had a good time on the hamstick on 20 meters.

     IA QSOPARTY Summary Sheet
       Start Date : 2013-10-22

    CallSign Used : W9FZ/M
      Operator(s) : W9FZ KA9VVQ

        Band    QSOs    Pts  Mul
           7       3       3    2 
          14     260     260   39 
          21       2       2    0 
       Total     265     265   41 

            Score : 10,865

Ultimately, we'll end up with a detachable faceplate radio like the FT-857. But for now, we put the FT-897 on a board in front of the front passenger seat. Janice's legs pass over it so it's not too uncomfortable. The big benefit is not having to twist her torso to look at or operate the radio. And we don't have to move our operator to the back seat! A chunk of coax goes to an 2-position antenna switch on the floor behind this seat. That let's us select one of two antennas.

On the Clayton-Fayette county line. There were beans on one side and corn on the other.

We liked this two-counties-at-once thing. It made us in more demand and kept us busier!

As we neared our Bremer operating location, we saw this rainbow. We whipped off the road because we know they don't last long. Janice got out the tripod and the camera and captured a GREAT picture! Note the gold of the corn, green grass, and blue-gray clouds.

Here we are in Chickasaw County.

Q's per county:

ALL  10
WNS  35
CLT  42
FAY  42
BRE  59
CHI  49
HOW  25

While in Chickasaw County parked along a cornfield, I thought the lighting on the corn and the dark blue clouds behind made for a nice picture.

Here Bruce takes a turn from the driver seat.

It was a beautiful afternoon driving through northeast Iowa.

Here we are in our last county--Howard. After the contest was done, we drove to Decorah and had a FINE dinner at the Winneshiek Hotel.

Here is the special QSL card we will send out this year. I make a small "limited edition".

We really like this picture and how the card turned out.

We had a good time in this year's event. We will take part again next year.

It was a great year of ham radio for us and the IAQP was one highlight!

See you in just under a year!
Bruce W9FZ and Janice KA9VVQ

w9fz (at) w9fz.com