Tnx Mike NJ0Q for VE3/4/5 and now 90 associations!

Once again an exceptionally generous SOTA friend has come to my assistance. In my goal of chasing new associations, Mike NJ0Q devoted a week of his time, organized accommodation, selected summits and then drove roughly 2000 miles. Thanks to him, I now have VE3 / 4 / 5 in the log, bringing my total to 90 associations. Thanks, Mike, for your generosity.

Day 1: I landed at the Minneapolis airport, and we headed off in Mike’s 2-month old pickup truck. In the evening we crossed over into VE3 and stayed in Thunder Bay. The staff at the border crossing had very little business that night, so they pulled us aside, interviewed us for 10 minutes, checked our documents, and also gave the truck and our belongings a thorough search. But of course all was in order, and we went on our way.

Day 2: We got up to a drizzly day, and from the hotel we could already see our summit: VE3/NW-171, Mount McKay.

It’s located in a park, and we waited a few minutes for the gate to open at 0900. (The park is not open for cars in winter.) It was a 20 minute hike to the summit, where we were all alone during the activation. Afterwards we hopped in the pickup and made our way across half of VE4 and stayed overnight in Winnipeg.

Day 3: We made such good time that we had enough time for an extra unplanned SOTA, E4/MP-004, Riding Mountain . This involved a 1-hour hike on a gently rising grass-covered road into the huge activation zone. The misquitos were brutal! We knew rain was coming, so we packed up hoping to get to the truck without getting wet – but we ended up spending the last 20 minutes of the hike in a thunderstorm and downpour. Then we set off to our next hotel in the small town of Dauphon.

Day 4: We started by driving for more thann an hour to our next summit, a true drive-up: VE4/MP-001, Baldy Mountain.

We sat comfortably at a picnic table under a shelter while our clothes from the previous day drive in the sunshine. We spent several hours looking at the spots and chasing S2S points. After the activation, we made the relatively short drive to Swan River and our AirBnB. We had plenty of time, so we went to the local park, set up the station, and waited for our special guest Malen VE6VID to activate MP-001 so we could have completes.

Day 5: The next morning, I did have the pleasure of meeting Malen again for breakfast in Swan River. I first met him in September 2019 when he helped me put VE6 in thelog. It was great to see him again! Anyway, the day before, Malen drove 10 hours and activated the summit Mike and I had been on that morning, then spent the night in a nearby campground. After breakfast, we made the 30 minute drive to our final summit of the trip: VE5/BP-013 Thunder Hill. We actually parked in VE4, but the very flat half-hour hike took us across the province line into VE5. We didn’t spend lots of time on the activation, because afterwards we had a quick lunch and Malen started his 10 hour ride back home. As for Mike and I, we drove back to Winnipeg for our overnight.

Paul AA1MI/B9DST, Mike NJ0Q and Malen VE6VID celebrating with, naturally, Canadian beer.

Day 6/7: This was a long drive back to near Minneapolis, and the following morning Mike dropped me off at the airport.

To wrap up…I always thought of Canada as mountains and forests. But for our trip, we saw flat prairies the entire time, hour after hour after hour, with just a few pimples of hills to give us some SOTAs.

And again I want to thank Mike NJ0Q for his enormous efforts. Fortunately, I will have the opportunity to repay him in kind when he visits HB9 in late September, and then we head off for a few days in Iceland TF to see if I can get association 91 in the log.


Hi Paul,


I will keep my fingers crossed for growing associations score in your log :muscle:

73, Jarek

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It was great seeing you again and meeting Mike.



It was my pleasure Paul and great to meet up with Malen as well!