From the featured image above, you’d expect to hear that I kayaked my way to the Dayton Hamvention® this year. No, not the case. But it was a part of my travels.

Grandkids in Kansas City

Grandkids KCMOOur journey to the Hamvention began a week prior. First stop on our trip was to check in with the grandkids on our way through Kansas City. We had a wonderful time reconnecting and in the photo nearby I caught grandma teaching them all about selfies. Although they might actually have been teaching grandma a few things.

Benton Harbor Visit

CottageKaren grew up in the Benton Harbor area and I worked there for Heathkit from 1977 to 1989. Our trip here was to check in with her family and to enjoy one of our favorite places.

We found a cottage near the shore of Lake Michigan that really suits us. It’s just the right space and it allows us to entertain friends and family while we’re in town.

Plus, when I headed out to Dayton, Karen stayed in the cottage and had a wonderful weekend with her college roommates who came in for the weekend to keep her company and catch up. Perfect.

Radio Scouting @ Dayton

Radio Scouting BoothThe K2BSA Amateur Radio Association operated the Radio Scouting booth at Dayton this year. They took it over from an enterprising group of Scouting hams that live in the Dayton area and have been nurturing this outreach effort for quite a few years. Hats off to them and to Bill Ragsdale, K6KN, who originally launched the effort.

Radio Booth with K3LSYNow the ARRL provides us booth space and works with us to reach out to hams to encourage their support of Scouting, Jamboree on the Air, and other Radio Scouting activities. You can see a photo nearby of our booth as well as a photo with me and Kelsey, K3LSY. Kelsey also gave a presentation at the Youth Forum during the Hamvention.

The booth not only served as an outreach effort, but it gave me a superb base to meet key leaders who support Radio Scouting. I spent time with Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, the new CEO of ARRL; Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, the ARRL Education Services Manager; Bill Morine, N2COP, ARRL Vice Director Roanoke Division (talking about the Jamboree in WV and his support); and Tim Duffy, K3LR, and Teri Grizer, K8MNJ, from DX Engineering about Jamboree sponsorship.

Equipment Hunting

I didn’t have much on my shopping list, but I did want to check out some antennas that could be the next step in my small VHF/UHF station. So I spent some time examining the Cubex 2m/70cm Quad and I looked at the Directive Systems yagis. I actually didn’t make any purchases.

I also spent some time in the Icom booth saying hi to people I work with there. I even caught Ray Novak, N9JA, for a brief time. Will Jourdain, AA4WJ, spent some time with me going over the spectacular new IC-7300. It was good to see it in person after doing some writing for its introduction. Will even showed me a couple of things that weren’t in the literature. Very. Cool. Rig.

Central Michigan Kayaking

Kayak in MichiganAfter the Hamvention I headed back to Benton Harbor, picked up Karen, and we headed to her brother’s cottage on a small lake near Scottville/Ludington. It’s a quiet lake with limited cell phone coverage and, as a result, a perfect way to relax. We love spending time on the lake in kayaks and just chilling out.

Of course, after a few days of that, it can get too quiet. Plus, things were waiting for us at home.

All in all, we had an excellent two-week family vacation wrapped around the Dayton Hamvention.

One more part of my ham radio adventures.



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