ATLANTA, GABefore my visit in Dayton last year I used the kind invitation of my firend Tom, N4XP
from Watkinsville/GA to spend few days there at his QTH. So I've started my trip on May 14 flying with LUFTHANSA
from Praha to Frankfurt and the by UA to Atlanta/GA with one stopover on the Dulles Airport in Washington D.C.
Tom picked me up at the Atlanta Int. Airport and during the way to Watkinsville (50 miles or so) we start planning
the trip to Dayton and other activities.
Tom lives with his wife Linda in very nice house in the area
with beautifull nature around. The most interesting to me was big crank tower with antennas promissing nice
evenings at the radio in Tom's shack. As Tom is the QSL manager of Kingman Reef DXPedition / K5K his shack
was full of the boxes with QSL cards, envelopes, etc... Even couple months after the expedition Tom was supplied
by number of letters every day. He answered the QSL requests immediately and we travelled to the Post Office
at least twice a day.
The next day we went to Atlanta o attend meeting of the Southeastern DX club where we met
some of my friends which I knew only from the bands. One of them was Bill N4NX preparing a trip to Czech at the time
so we promissed to meet here in Czech at Autumn.
The most interesting was the discussion with Mike/K4PI about
the "Magic Band" activiy there in neighbour of Atlanta. At that time Mike complained he had not chance to work many
stations from EU and from the Czech Republic.In the good mood I've promissed him we sure will make the QSO soon.
What surprise was when I heard his call during first big opening EU - USA on November 18! Since that whe had another
three or four nice QSOs.
Among many other interesting places which Tom kindly show me, we visited Tom's good friend
W4NW. Amazing Hamshack, full of transceivers, modems, and other "necessities" in the excellent order made a deep
impression to me. Except the friendly invitation we can exchanged few sentencies in Russian.
Another extraordinary experience was the visit in a steakhouse in Athens (small town close Watkinsville). I cannot forgot
the delicious meal and so well prepared steak.
Most of me free time I spent at the Tom's FT920, chasing US counties
and talking with my friends from the States. It is a big difference to work with "mobiles" from Europe on the County
Hunters Net (14.336 SSB or 14.056,5 CW). This activity brought me few new counties and improved my score.
DAYTON, OH Very early Thursday morning we set up to the long trip, 500 miles - maybe more. It was very
good oportunity to develop another Georgia's miracle - the highways. Even it was not my first visit of the USA
and i had a chance to use different roads ther in Ohio, California and Louisiana, I guess the best roads you
can find in GA. We headed to North, using US Hwy 75 and in front of us were Tennessee, Kentucky and a part of Ohio.
Weather had changing all the way and we had sunnshine, cloudy, rain, heavy rain and lightning storm with hail.
How the right "american" hail looks like I saw the next day in TV where was shown the windshield of some car with holes
at diameter 3 - 4 inches at least! During the trip Tom made few stops at his favorit Cracker Barrel and showed me a piece
of the US history.
Is very hard to describe the atmosphere there at Hara Arena in Dayton. One
must be present at the place where you can meet people from all parts of the world, where you can buy and sell
anything. As regards my deals, one of them was to improve my US license / if possible to Extra class. Fortunately,
I succeeded and obtained a confirmation that my US call KH8DO is an extra class now. Among many meetings during
the three days we've spent there the "number one" was the Annual DX Dinner.
It was fun to shake hands and
talk to nearly all DX celebrities from around the world. The deepest impression to me was the emotional speach of the
well known Ham - US astronaut Chuck Brady which just returned from the rare DX entity - Bouvet island.
Very kindly I was
invited by the K5K - the Kingman Reef DXPedition crew and it was a honor to share the table with them during the DX
As a long time member of the prominent CW club - FOC, I was very happy
to met some of the gang -Don K8MFO,
Puck W4PM, Ink N4OO, Mike KC7V, Dave K1ZZ and Bill K4LTA (see the picture).Even weather was not very pleasant, we
enjoyed the time and on Sunday morning returned back to Watkinsville. As Tom felt tired a bit, I took over the steering wheel
and for the first time ever I drove the car with the automatic gear box (pretty nice experience....). At the same
end of my stay we went visit Tom's son Tim. He is a police officer and showed us his office and the Police station.
I left the Police station with the deepest respect to all people there and to their hard job.The next day Tom and Linda
accompanied me to the Atlanta Airport and after 10 boring hours I landed in Praha.