Crested Butte, Colorado QRP-Portable
This was taken from Cottonwood Pass - on the way to Crested Butte

This weekend my wife and I took a three-day trip to the small mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado. It was my intention to work ham radio into the schedule after all of the day's activities were done. I set up late Friday night, but was chased back inside minutes later by a heavy rainstorm. Saturday brought the same weather, but finally cleared up after 9:00 p.m. I only had time for a few CW QSOs on 40 meters, and copy was rough with fading and static crashes, but had a nice time operating from the balcony in the dark. As you can see from the photos below, the place has a metal roof. Not the best situation when you have a shortened halfwave vertical and it is only two feet from part of the roof. (continued below)

Where we stayed

The third-floor balcony

Parallax error doesn't do this photo justice. The antenna was 20 feet tall, but only about half of that was above the roofline facing the west. That means at best half of my five watts made it over the roof to the only contacts I made: two to CA and one to OR. I wonder what happened to the other half as it reflected off that roof? I was using my new 4-band, end-fed halfwaveand a Yaesu FT-817 with internal AA batteries. I'm glad I could operate using CW with headphones. The town below us became deafeningly quiet at night, and had I used a microphone I would have been heard for two blocks at anything over a whisper. Note: the antenna was only up Saturday night for the couple hours I was on the air. I set it up again Sunday morning just to get these shots during daylight.

Looking north. All contacts were made to the west (left) directly over that roof!

The balcony view looking east. That's Mount Crested Butte on the other side of town.