Merle and Herm have just returned from a month-long RV journey that took them out to western PA and then southward on the far side of the Appalachians through MD, VA and WV. The goal was to activate summits that we had previously made contacts with (chased) from our shack. Not only would we score activator points, but these would also be recorded as "completes".
After a few days with our daughter in NY we set out and hiked, or sometimes drove, up 17 summits in 17 days setting up our HF station in sun, fog, drizzle and cold. One high point was so foggy we could only see the base of a comms tower we were near. During a momentary lifting of the fog we saw that we were in the midst of 14 towers!
This trip we were on the highest point in PA, MD and WV. Previously we have been on highest elevation in TN, NJ, SC, GA and of course NH.
We used the Alex Loop antenna some, but find we get consistently better signal reports with our half wave end fed wire up on a 26' fiberglass pole and sloping back to about 6 ft high at our operating position. Contacts were made all over the country at 8 to 20 watts, with the furthest to the Czech Republic. It was a particular kick to have qsos with Cliff N1RCQ, Bob AC1Z of CNHARC as well as with George N1GB of the LARK Club in Littleton. Also several summit-to-summit qsos with Doug, W1DMH.
Next we attended the graduation of our granddaughter from NC State in Raleigh. From there we spent a few days on the ocean at Assateague National Seashore before backtracking to one last activation in NJ and then the NY daughter and home. While driving we played radio too. As we passed a car and trailer on an interstate a call sign was noticed on the trailer. Grabbed the HT and called it on 146.52. A couple from CT came back and we chatted and learned they were heading to FL.
So if you want to go somewhere you would never think of and meet all kinds of interesting people and see some fabulous sights along the way . . . get in your vehicle and travel to where that qso you once had came from!
P.S. If you are anywhere near Pittsburgh go to Shanksville to see the 911 memorial to Flight 93.