It was a day, not unlike any other day, however, this particular day was a Thursday when two trucks quietly departed the Canadain Tire parking lot in Vernon, B.C. Having freshly stocked up on food stuff from the local grocer, VA7MXY and VE7PDE pointed their rigs east and head into the wild wonders of the B.C. backcountry. They went up hill and down hill and wound their way around corners. Cautiously avoiding pot holes and odd patches of snow they arrived at the destination, Grizzly Lake. Their arrival was preceded by forward recon scout VE7LWK. Having successfully secured the site and scared off any local critters, he was lazily awaiting their arrival.

Now that camp was established it was only a matter of time before the next participants in the weekends' activities arrived. A short time later, VA7EEH appeared out of the fading light and added his portion to base camp. The balance of the day was uneventful and peaceful relaxation around the campfire.

Friday saw our intrepid adventurers greeted with glorious weather that persisted for the balance of the weekend. Friday saw VE7LWK, VA7MXY, and Aiden try their hands at fishing. They confirmed that there are fish in the lake, however they decided, out of the goodness of their hearts, to leave the fish for the next fishers to cast their line. VA7EEH strung out a 100+ft long random wire and Aiden explored and stepped into the role of ensuring our adventurers never ran out of chopped wood for the fire. Meanwhile, VE7PDE relished in the opportunity to work with and try out different antennas.

Late in the afternoon, having broken free from his shackles of responsibility, VA7PWF arrived on site completing the list of those contributing to the resulting antenna farm. The farm currently having been planted with VA7EEH's long wire and vertical, VA7MXY's overly large rabbit ears, VE7LWK's OCF 80m Dipole and vertical. At this point in our story, I believe VE7PDE and create and was tweaking a 20m dipole. 

Thanks to an error in coordinates (VA7MXY was thoroughly beaten), VE7KPZ and VE7WWJ stopped, set up and awaited others at an adjacent camp spot. Later visited by VE7WEA and XYL making their way out to check up on our intrepid adventurers who then migrated over to main base camp. None the less, good times and good laughs were had around the fire.

Late Friday evening, after all the weary heads of our adventurers had hit their pillows and visitors returned home, VA7MXY decided to take a quick night shot. He was rewarded with the Northern Lights illuminating the sky.

Keeping with the glorious weather, our adventurers awoke to another beautiful day on Saturday. Sadly the previous nights visual display completely killed the bands. Leaving our rugged Hams struggling to make a contact. None the less, VE7KPZ and VE7WWJ moved their setup over to base camp and best efforts were put to making any QSO.

Some minor success was had. VE7LWK and VE7KPZ landed on an American station calling CQ POTA. The stellar band conditions saw the dedicated POTA peeps call CQ for 2 hours with only a couple contacts prior to being found by our adventurers. 7 additional contacts were given in under 5 minutes, giving a successful activation for the POTA Station. They again ganged up on W9IMS special event station calling CQ.

VA7PWF managed to make a QSO where he had the pleasure of being a first contact for an American operator. Meanwhile, VE7PDE strung out 300+ft of wire with 17ft of ground using a 9:1 balun and showed them all, much to their amazement, that a really long random wire is an amazing thing. 1.5:1 SWR or lower across the bands. Then proceeded to amaze all with an inverted J-Pole.

Meanwhile, VA7PWF entertained all with his dietary choices. Yes, that is a brownie headed for a dip in some cheesewiz.

Topping of the day with a bit of irony, our joyous Hams enjoyed some fresh farm raised pork supplied by VA7MXY. VE7PDE providing baked beans, VA7EEH providing said brownies for desert, VA7PWF adding his famous taco pasta salad, with VA7MXY and VE7LWK topping things off with chips and dip.

Belly's full, spirits high, our intrepid adventures laxed the evening away around the campfire. Sharing good times, good stories, and good music until each sought their respective beds.

Sunday morning again kept with the previous day and another beautiful morning greeted our travellers. Activity was slow around camp as each tore down their antennas and packed up their gear. Weekly net was joined, farewells were said, and talk of next time was put forth as our adventurers each departed on their own time and begin the return journey's home.

In all, it was a great weekend, though the bands didn't play along. I'd like to that VA7PWF (Howard), VA7EEH (Colin), VE7LWK (Lorne), VE7PDE (Paul), VE7KPZ (Mike), and VE7WWJ (Jane) for participating and making it a great weekend.

Special Mention to VE7WEA (Jake) and Kaitlyn (my apologies if Ive spelt that wrong) for making the trip up on Friday night and adding to the experience.

Lastly, and more definitely not last nor the least, I'd like to give a huge shout out to Tao for being there and adding some K9 class to the chaos.

Thanks again everyone. Look forward to QSO Backcountry Camping Party #2. Be good to one another.

73, VA7MXY (Cary)