POTA - Ice Age National Scenic Trail
The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is an approximately 1200 mile long hiking trail from the western Wisconsin state boarder with Minnesota down near the southern boarder with Illinois and up through the center of the state ending in Door County in the north east area of the state. It roughly traces the boarders of the last glacier to cover the state. It is recognized by POTA and can be activated by ham radio operators.
2023-06-01 Another early breakfast in Elkhorn, WI with my wife followed by a visit to the Rotary Botanical Garden in Janesville, WI. Then we went on a 45 minute or so POTA pedestrian mobile activation walk on the Ice Age Trail, k-4238, conveniently located across the street from the Garden.
Got three contacts almost immediately then, finally, two more before giving up. All CW on 20m. Setup was my ic705, QRPGUYS DS-1 whip with 15' dragline, Elecraft T1 tuner and N6ARA mini key plugged directly into the radio. Had a 10Ah battery in the backpack so running 10w.
On this 85 degree sunny day pedestrian mobile was sweaty, tiring and frustrating, BUT FUN! I'm grateful for the five hunters who answered me and one or two more I just couldn't make out. By the way I logged the contacts using HAMRS on my Android phone.
2022-06-03 My wife and I just got home from visiting the Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, WI and then activating The Arbor Ridge Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail K-4238 on the outskirts of Janesville. Rig was my IC705 and WRC with 17 ft whip. Got 17 CW contacts on 20 meters in about 50 minutes. Could have gotten many more but time ran out. Only had to call CQ a few times. Band noise was quiet but was also busy. One station was in Finland. Beautiful day all around!
2021-07-14 Just got home from a fun outing. My wife and I went to a beautiful Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, WI this morning. At the last minute I tossed my ic705 and WRC antenna in the car. Wouldn't you know the Janesville Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail runs just across the street from the gardens! So with her support, I found a place to park and set up about 10 ft off the trail! In about a 30 minutes I got 14 contacts, 4 P2P on 20 meters! I really like that WRC with 17' chameleon whip and 4 ten ft radials. Quick and easy and very effective. I was running 10 watts CW. Thanks hunters and activators. Sorry I had to shut down due to a prior commitment! Next time.
This was my first impromptu activations. All my others have involved a lot of preplanning and an intentional trip to the activation site. It did occur to me last night that the trail ran somewhere near the Rotary Botanical Gardens so "just in case" I put the radio and antenna in the car before we left this morning. But I had low expectations. But when the trail ran literally across the street on its way through Janesville, I had to give it a go. It did not disappoint! And perhaps most importantly, it encouraged me to look for other parks whenever we plan day trips around the region in the future. I've kind of thought of activations as several hour stand along undertakings, which they can be. But an impromptu short one can be equally rewarding. Even my wife found it interesting!