I can’t believe I missed Straight Key Night !

Well, make that “I don’t want to believe … “

and it’s not like the universe didn’t give me every opportunity, either !

There was an email from the League on the 31st; (“Celebrate Morse code heritage with Straight Key Night“) that I opened, read, and promptly forgot in the press of other matters like a wide-ranging shopping trip capped with a quick Last Hike of the Year on the Ice Cave trail at Wildcat Mountain. (link on that page for a map, look to the lower center-left).

view of ice, the rock wall, and the stream
The cave forms under the overhang where a little stream flows toward Billings Creek. This is pretty early in the season; it can get much more impressive when conditions are right!
view of ice, under the overhang
A view from the side, under the overhang. Under other circumstances an adult can walk upright through the cave. Freeze / thaw cycles, stream flow, and other variables change the configuration throughout the winter, which makes this a favorite winter hike for me and many others !

The New Year opened up mild and sunny with rising temperatures here in the Driftless and I soon decided that the perfect complement to the Last Hike of 2022 would be The First Hike of 2023! Off to Wildcat Mountain again!

I had one last chance: as I sat in the car, before starting the engine, I thought “Should I grab a radio to take along ?”, and I seriously pondered it for a few seconds, (both the 6100 and the 817 were ready to go with keys and all), but regrettably settled on “naah, fuhgeddaboutit, git ‘er done” and went forth. This could have been a save, like the one that was handed to me on Field Day 2022, but the moment came, and went. Well, it would be ungrateful of me to complain too hard; it was a great day to be out on the Old Settler’s Trail and I enjoyed myself thoroughly !

a view from the trail
A view out across the park from the south-eastern end of the trail.

It was about 5:30 that I glanced over my inbox and noticed the message again: now it was 2330Z and Straight Key Night had a half hour remaining. Really nothing to do, except resolve to post about it today, and to pay more attention a year from now ! (and all year long!) Live and learn !





2 responses to “I can’t believe I missed Straight Key Night !”

  1. […] time I want one that I can bring indoors to the radio room to make it a little easier to operate Straight Key Night. Probably I will use the same pine tree as the last one, though the hypothetical radiation […]

  2. babz Avatar

    I like how your non-post about Straight Key Night was still paying homage to it, plus I enjoyed your enthusiasm for being outdoors and sharing those cool pics! Not a bad way to start the year! And also a good time to get your phone’s calendar to remind you of SKN next year ;)!

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