2019 Peak of Autumn

Most I shot with the cell phone the other 3 were with my old Nikon D70

WW1VT ARRL Sept 2019 VHF Contest Vlog

WW1VT ARRL Sept 2019 VHF Contest Vlog


WW1VT ARRL Sept 2019 VHF Contest Vlog

Trail of Two Forests – Mt. St. Helen’s WA

Made a trip up to the ‘Trail of Two Forests ‘a few weekends ago.  Located on the south side of Mt. St. Helen’s in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is an area where a lava flow carved a path through the old growth.  It left casts of the trees where the lava flowed around them and cooled.  The trees that didn’t burn, died and rotted away leaving big holes in the lava rock.  In some cases trees were downed and you can climb through the tunnels they left and out the other side.  It’s a fragile, young forest in the middle of an old growth forest.  It has a great boardwalk path that makes up a short .25 mile walk with an elevated view of the lava flow area.

Rockbridge State Park Cave Trip by Ken Wigger WD9GNG


Primary – Paul Lowry – Columbia Alpine Shop
Secondary – Barry – From Rock Bridge State Park


Ken from Stl Alpine Shop
Tom Clifton
Lee French
Matt Heuser
Ted Lohr
Philip Newell
Richard Orr
Ken Wigger

Potential Hazards:

Injury due to a fall
cut, bruises, and possible inflections
capsizing your canoe
waiting until high water lowers
being stuck in a tight passage

Our visit to Devils Icebox was one that’ll be remembered for years to come.  The day started out at the park office at 12:00 where our trip leader, Paul Lowry, began with an orientation on a brief history of the cave and where we will be going on this trip.  We then filled out release forms.  The park provided a small emergency pack including trash bags, a lighter, and a candle, for those of us that needed them.  They also provided the canoes and life jackets.  

We began our adventure by carrying a 65 lb canoe one quarter mile uphill, over a boardwalk, then down a set of stairs to the cave entrance where we maneuvered the canoes through a tiny entrance into the water.  We then boarded our canoes and started down the quarter mile stretch of water passage where we had to lay flat in the canoe several times, to pass through spots where the ceiling was low, and pass using our hands on the ceiling to maneuver through.  This was a fairly tight squeeze going into the cave with the possible hazard of swamping the canoe.  When we reached the area where we beach the canoes and start out on foot there was a water gauge that measured the water level with a red line to indicate when the water level was too high to enter or exit.  The level at this time was a few inches below the red line.  

We started our tour on foot passing through the icy cold stream several times ranging from ankle deep water to chest high water (neck high for some).  Some of the areas along the stream were steep, wet, slippery mud banks that were a bit of a challenge to get through without slipping into the stream which was as deep as 60 feet in some areas (possibly deeper).  The cave was not overly abundant with speleothems.  They did exist, but were isolated throughout the cave and you had to work to find and appreciate them.   

Along the way we found a marbled salamander, cave salamander, pickerel frogs, and several bats including Indiana bats, Small Brown bats, Large Brown bats, and Eastern Pippistrels.  This cave is home to the federally endangered Gray bat as well, though I don’t recall seeing any of them.  They Eastern Pippistrels seemed to be extremely light in color.  At one point we thought they may have been albinos, but upon closer inspection, noticed areas of melanin on the sides that verified they were not albinos, just very light in color.  

We hiked the cave to a very large dome that was just amazing, which is much further back in the cave than the normal tour would take you.  Water lightly fell from the top of the dome in two spots adding to the intensity of the room.  Just past this room were chirt bridges that we did not get to see this time due to time and exhuastion of a few of the group members.  

After enjoying this room for a nice relaxing rest, we started our way back to the canoes.  This time while passing through the water it seemed a bit higher than it was during our walk in, though nobody realized just how much higher.  We made it back to the canoes where we sat with lights out for a few minutes to rest and take a few photos.  While we sat on the mud bank, there was a large Brown bat on the wall making quite a bit of noise and fluttering his wings.  I think he was trying to tell us it was time for us to leave.

We began to load our canoes back into the water for our paddle out when Paul noticed the water gauge, that was stuck in the mud when we entered, was now floating.  Upon checking the water level it was noted that the water was now above the red line by a few inches meaning the water had risen just under 12 inches.  For a moment there was concern we would have to spend the night in the cave until the water level went down.  We decided to give it a shot and see if we could make our way out anyway.  

As we started out down the stream the current was much stronger and the wind was rushing in through the passage much more than it was when we entered.  The first few low spots were tight but we were able to maneuver through them by laying flat and squeezing ourselves and the canoe through.  The last low spot, just before the entrance/exit, was much tighter than the rest.  We actually had to remove our helmets while laying flat in the canoe and push the canoe further down into the water.  For some of us this meant taking water into the canoe as it rushed in from the sides while we pushed and walked the ceiling with our hands scraping our face along the way to get through.  Amazingly we all made it out just fine.  A couple of the group members were a bit hypothermic, but other than that and a few bumps and bruises everyone returned unharmed.  This was definitely an adventure to remember.  

Once everyone made it out of the cave we carried our canoes back to the parking lot and loaded them on the trailor.  We drove back to the park office where we washed down the canoes and went inside to change and discuss the trip.  Paul lowry, our trip leader, commented that this was the highest he’s ever seen the water rise in such short of time since he’s been leading trips into this cave.  He also said this was the most exciting trip he has lead in this cave.  The time now was 20:27.  After changing into some dry, warm clothes, Paul filled out his trip report then we left the park and headed into town to get some much needed warm food.  We stopped at a pizza place recommended by Paul called Shakespears Pizza, Very good Pizza!, then started our journey back home.  Several pictures of the trip were taken by Rich Orr, Tom Clifton, Ted Lohr, and Myself which will be posted soon for all to view.  This was definitely one of the most enjoyable caving adventures I’ve been a part of.

Matt Heuser – KC9ATL
EMT / Herpetoculturist
Metro East Search and Rescue
Metro East Cave Rescue Task Force
Stygian Grotto / Windy City Grotto


Wed Night Net Suspended

Wed Night Net Suspended

due to lack of ongoing participation I am suspending the net until possibly late fall

right now during the summer months we are all out & about so it makes no sense

enjoy summer, see you in the fall

73 AA1PR Mike

Future of Ham Radio


My grandson practicing his technique.

Ham Radio Backcountry Camping


Just getting DMR setup, and noticed your group. I will hopefully be taking it out with me this weekend on a test, and seeing how it performs over a low bandwidth hotspot and playing with that a bit, although my passion lies with HF. Won’t be setting that up this weekend, as to spend more time with the wife, since in a couple of weeks it will be field day and will be spending the whole weekend on that.

I thought I would share some pictures of my experiences. I’ve since upgraded the truck to a newer model, a 2017 Tacoma, after I got 358,000 miles out of the one in most of the pictures. I will add more recent pictures soon, but still much of the radio setup and antennas are the same. I’ve been doing backcountry camping most of my life, served on SAR in my county for 13 years, and enjoy getting out whenever I can.

Here is my website:


Jim Olsen

Ham Radio Venture Overland Decals While They Last


Ham Radio Venture Overland Decals While They Last



HRVO Active Members List

Talk Group List of those who are active or once were:

KC4VKG  Patrick       FL

KC3IT     Don             TN                                                             KE4BFG   Roger  TN

KE4UYD Michael      TN                                                                  KE8ITJ  Kim    OH

N1LWM   Bill              VT                                                            KB3VPK  Mary      PA

K5TIN     Shane         LA                                                           W5CSD Charles     TX

W1OOD   David          PA                                                              KI5AF  Larry        AR

KK6ATA Jason          CA                                                           KD2QEX   Jeff        NY

AF6NM   Art               CA                                                             KI6TLC   James    CA

W7BR    Brent            WA                                                              K6UDA     Bob      CA

KC9ZRA  Bob               IL                                                              KN6DAM William CA

KN4YHM Troy            FL                                                               KK6KND  Dustin   CA

K2ACD  MATT              NY                                                             2E0LXC     Greg    UK

N1ARN  ARN                VT                                                              K1GMM   Steve    VT

N7ADV  GEORGE         UT                                                               N7UJU   Chris      AZ

W3HDB  DAN               DE                                                             KD7DAW   Tom      FL

W0MUD  TRAVIS        OR                                                                K4KKP   James      FL

KJ4ODY  ROGER          NC                                                               KQ6K Edward       CA

AF7FS  DON                 NV                                                               KE5JXC  Arnold     LA

K6BSR BRANDON       CA                                                              WD9GNG  Kenn       IL

NA7Q MICHAEL          WA                                                              KA7EMT  David      AZ

WB2MLY RAY               NY                                                                K7JEO     Jim        UT

KE4BFG  ROGER          TN                                      (ex KN4CUH)   N9FC    Steven      AL

KG5NBA  GARY            TX   *                                                            AC5UB   Curtis       KS

KB7RQQ  TODD           WA     *                                                         AE0EP    Ryan         KS

AA1PR   MIKE              VT     *                                                          K5NWZ   Shawn     TX

  • are founding members

if we missed anyone by accident please let Todd, Gary, Dan or Mike  please know so you may be added

HRVO on Groups.io

Any interested in n email reflector for the group? PNW-DMR is using groups.io and it’s pretty nice and can handle pictures. If there’s no interest I’ll simply delete it. enter your email address and you’ll get a link to join.