Eighty five people traded the scorching asphalt of Las Vegas for four days of outdoor radio fun, at the Eight Annual "Ham's On The Hill" Field Day event.
Once again, Mt. Charleston, with it's 30 degree cooler temperatures, was the event site.
Campers began arriving early in the week, with many on hand to enjoy a nice Friday evening, fried chicken picnic dinner.
"Ham's On The Hill" is known for plenty to eat. Jack (KE7CGL) and Mary (KE7HKL) Meiner set up a full field kitchen, complete with stoves, grills, griddles, and ovens.
Is there a better way to start off Field Day morning than with a stack of steaming hot Flapjacks....smothered in fresh, homemade strawberry sauce, or buttery maple syrup....with savory sausage, crispy bacon, and a piping hot cup of java?
The group got busy erecting some antennas, launching wires into the trees, meshing a logging network, and before they knew it, the lunch bell (a genuine, western style, triangle... just like off the chuck wagon) was calling the crowd to the noon bar-b-que.
Somehow during all of the morning activities, Jack Meiner managed to hand squeeze three dozen fresh lemons into icy cold lemonade.....as good as at any county fair in the country!
Saturday afternoon found the 10 Alpha N7V and the K7QQQ GOTA stations coming to life. Operator's were firing up on CW, SSB, ATV, Olivia, Hellschreiber, and PSK modes.
Before anyone knew it the bell was ringing and shout's of "come and get it" were summoning the operator's to "Homer Hog's 'All ya can eat' Spaghetti Pig Out."
So how did the "Ham's On The Hill" top off the big Spaghetti Pig Out? Well, they had an Ice Cream Social. Three kinds of hot, freshly baked cobblers....peach, apple, and berry...topped with deliciously cold, ice cream.
After the nice big feed it was time for a show.
For eight years the fictional cartoon character "Professor Elmer Sparkgap" has answered questions about Field Day on the Las Vegas Field Day website.
This year the "Professor" came to life. With his assistant, Dr. Novice Litl'boy, Professor Sparkgap gave wacky, and sometimes misguided demonstrations, on Doppler, DX, sunspots, and the future of mobile CW.
Following Professor Sparkgap's presentation, door prizes were drawn. Sal Giandinoto KM6JD was the Grand Prize winner of the Kenwood mobile rig.
The K7QQQ GOTA station wrapped up their successful day of introducing new hams to HF and Field Day operations. The N7V operators returned to their posts and operated continuously thru the night.
Light bright bracelets were handed out to the kids and several young ladies made use of an antenna mast stand to create a game of "Glow in the dark" ring toss.
Several youth operators were operating late into the night, including Liam Kalson KG7DYO, age 14, who brought and set up his own station, which he operated SSB and straight key CW.
Other young operators were 14 year old Dominic Simon KF7YNB and his younger brother, 8 year old Marty Simon KG7MDB. Marty is the youngest ham operator in Nevada.
Daybreak Sunday morning found diehard CW ops Guy Dudley N7YK and Sal Gino KM6JD, along with digital op Bridget Nivatugena KF7RHB exhausted and cold. All three chose sleep and skipped the hot breakfast.