October 1, 2004
Last night there was a 20-Meter contest on with lots of strong European stations coming in so I took my Elecraft KX-1 out in the backyard to try for a few.
I was outside walking around just after midnight when I worked Alex, YL2KO, Latvia, on 14,060. This was my first European contact on 20 whilst being peripatetic (Pedestrian) mobile. I was hand holding my KX1 and had my eight-foot whip and a drag wire trailing behind me on the grass.
While calling another station, I saw a big black hulk in my driveway. I also heard a raspy sound of claws scratching the cement; I almost dropped the KX-1 as I dashed for the door. I was trying to figure out how to get inside the door with the 8-foot whip tied to my body, it slammed shut, locking me outside. The big black bear was only 10 feet away. I had to awaken my XYL to let me back into the house. She went to the wrong door not knowing what was happening outside.
The bear was scared away by the clanking noise of my new antenna's capacity hat, a pie pan, and ran the other way back up the driveway . . . whoosh!!!
The adrenaline rush of working Latvia while Pedestrian Mobile QRP is nothing compared to having a bear walk up on you while you are working DX in the dark.
I think I will leave the midnight (zombie) operation for winter time when the bears are Hibernating…
Just life in the city --
ps: The Bear was back in the yard on 9/31/04.
I got the QSL card from YL2KO but He never heard the rest of story.
The local TV crew was out interviewing another lady who had seen the bear and right during the interview the Bear came back into her yard. The TV crew got great pictures of the Bear.
The local Paper, The Gazette, July 21, Metro section, Pages 1 and 8 had a picture of this bear eating a fawn! The article said you could fight the Bears off with Binoculars… great!
Chris Ryan used direction finding equipment to find this bear, See QST March 2005, p. 43.
When i operate on 160 meters she follows the drag-wire (counterpoise) with a water bottle to
extinguish grass fires. She also does my logging and has a flashlight.