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Surfin’: Spring Can’t Come Quick Enough

02/04/2011

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ visits websites with warmer weather in mind.

Since the last week’s Surfin’, five additional inches of snow have fallen here for a total of 62 inches this winter, making it the worst winter snow-wise in my lifetime (and we have six weeks to go, whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow or not).

If I wasn’t so busy fighting the weather yesterday, I could have received the status of Phil’s shadow over the air by means of the Groundhog Day special even station, K3HWJ, run by the Punxsutawney Area Amateur Radio Club. I guess I'll have to wait ’til next year.

Meanwhile, I wait for spring.

The Dayton Hamvention is only three months away and it is not too early to make reservations at your favorite accommodations for that event. In fact, you may be too late in some cases, but there are always last-minute cancellations that free up rooms right up to Hamvention eve.

The first time I attended Hamvention, I decided to go at the very last minute. I drove all day Thursday from Waterbury to Dayton, pulled up in front of Stouffer’s (now the Crowne Plaza) in downtown Dayton around 6 PM, walked up to the front desk and scored a room for the weekend --- no problem, but your mileage may vary.

Although I missed the groundhog on-the-air, if I decide to vacation this summer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, I will be sure to check the Myrtle Beach Ham Radio Visitor’s Guide. Mike Leek, W2SWR, launched the site six months ago for hams heading to Myrtle Beach.

When Mike moved to the area, it took him a few months to become acquainted with the local ham community. By researching many websites and sending many e-mails, he finally got into the swing of things, joined a local club and began meeting other local hams.

As a huge APRS fan, he saw a lot of hams visiting the area, but seldom made contact with them. He discovered that there other resident hams that also looked forward to contacting vacationers, but had the same results as Mike had.

If it took me months to get into the local ham rhythm, then the vacationers don’t have much of a chance during their one- or two-week forays. Having vacationed all over the map, I can attest to that and I am sure many of you can, too. So, Mike created an information website to get visitors on the local repeaters, on the nets and to local club meetings and hamfests.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, has been vacationing on Earth for almost 60 years. As for the weather, members of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra are blaming Stan’s editor -- ARRL News Editor S. Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA -- for bringing snow and ice with her when she went out to Albuquerque to see Wicked. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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