While hunting around the waterfall in search of someone with a fur-bearing creature in their name, call, or qth, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if I contacted something like Sasquatch?" I promptly typed Sasquatch into the QRZ.com search box, and to my surprise, it actually pulled up something!
N6CRO, it said. Sasquatch Amateur Radio System, it read. I literally jumped for joy when I seen they had an email address. I knew it was a once-in-a-million shot, really, but I decided to try anyway.
I sent them a message telling them what I was up to and asking if any of them worked PSK31. In a few short hours, I received an email back. Yes, there was one person that was willing to try to work me with the club call N6CRO. Jim Shryne, N6DHZ, agreed to meet me at a certain time on a certain frequency. I knew it would be difficult, him being in California and me here in Tennessee with a cloud-burning dipole and bad propagation -- but I had to try.
When the time came, there was no Jim on the waterfall. I had him via email, but the bands (20 and 40) were dead where he was. At this point, Jim was even nice enough to call me at home, and we discussed power, location, frequency, and yet still, after adjusting it all, could not see one another. I think Jim was just as disappointed as I was, but he wasn't ready to give up yet (and neither was I, but I didn't want to waste his time). Jim decided to try again in a few hours, if only I was going to be up past 11pm. That's not late for me, so I promptly, and excitedly, agreed.
We talked a little longer on the phone - him discussing his dx club, and me discussing our 070 scavenger hunt. He thought that was a grand idea, and I really enjoyed our conversation. He was a very nice 6-lander. We ended the call, and I went in search of other items on the list while I waited, impatiently, for time to go by and propagation to improve.
Twenty minutes until time for us to retry contact, and the bands completely died out here. Not a single signal on the waterfall. I felt so destroyed. I have a terrible habit of getting my hopes up. So, I waited anyway. I wasn't ready to give up. 11:00 pm hit the clock, and promptly there was an email from Jim. He was on 20meters and was waiting for me there. I sent a quick email back to him and called out... and called some more... and sent about 75 watts of signal... and nothing. He couldn't see me -- although he did mention that dx was rolling for him now.
So, we opted for 40 meters. It was better. Propagation was booming on his end, and it had actually come up from nothing on my end to a little something. At least there were 3-4 signals on the waterfall now. I emailed him where I'd be... threw out a call for him... and nothing. Again called... and nothing. I told him to try calling me, via email, and I could see him - at least enough to get bits and pieces. So, I tried to reply -- once -- twice -- and by the third time, he picked up my signal. I was picking his up, too. The band picked up long enough for us to exchange a hello and an RST -- and then BAM, 40meters was dead for me again. It never picked up any more that evening - unless it was after I went to bed. But we both got a good clean copy, long enough to call it contact.
So, I want to send out a SPECIAL and HUGE
-- THANK YOU!!! --
to Jim, N6DHZ, for contacting me... even though it took a ton of effort. Jim, you'll never know how much I appreciate the help and the contact.