The day didn’t seem like it was going to be good: listening on 12 meters yielded a few stations nearly in the noise with no one really standing out.
But as I was leaving the mall where I walk to try to lose weight (don’t get me started), I tuned down to the CW portion just to look around.
At 24892 I found a pileup rolling along in fine form. Tuning lower I found the station everyone was calling on 24891: E51MAN on Manihiki.
I listened as I was pulling out of the parking lot and set up the split on the radio so I could call him. There have been plenty of times I would drive home, pushing the button on the radio to send my call all the way, usually arriving home without a reply.
This time though, I sent my call expecting it to be lost in the swarm 1KHz up, and in reply heard “WA5?”. I sent it again and got “WA5ICA 599 TU”.
Later in the afternoon, with the help of friends at the K3UK sked page, I was able to work Mississippi and Nebraska to get closer to WAS. Now I just need Arkansas and Vermont to finish WAS. 1963 to 2011 and I’m down to just two states. (Were Alaska and Hawaii states in 1963? I can’t remember. It may have been easier back then.)