Wow, what a rush!
The two Foxes for tonight were Paul NG7Z in Washington and Sam N4SAM in Alabama. As I thought, Paul turned out to be the easier pelt to snag. He had a good signal into NJ (especially with the ALC off!) and I managed a QSO at 0133 UTC.
I thought that was going to be it for the evening. I thought that Sam in Alabama was too close to New Jersey for a 20 Meter QSO, and for a long time I couldn't even hear him - or the pack chasing him.
But, as QRPers are fond of saying, patience pays off. During the last half hour of the hunt, I started hearing Sam. He was very weak; but his signal strength began taking an upswing. So I started calling, and calling, and calling.
I finally decided to switch antennas from the HF9V to the G5RV, even though I could hear Sam better with my vertical. So I began a sequence where I would transmit via the wire; and then would hit the K2's antenna switch button to go back to the vertical for receive. With four minutes left in the hunt, I managed a QSO with Sam! I was only a 449; but hey, we made a complete exchange of information and it counted.
A minor accomplishment, I guess, in the big picture of things; but it sure was fun to achieve something that was difficult!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!