To emphasize this point, here's a story that one of those friends, Jim W1PID, posted on QRP-L today:
An hour ago I got a call on my cell phone. The caller ID said New Jersey. Must be a telemarketer I think, so I don't answer. A few minutes ago another ring from the same number. It's Guy N7UN.
"HI Jim... this is Guy N7UN... did you call me?"
I explain that I got a call from him that I didn't answer. Well... turns out he's doing a SOTA activation on the highest mountain in Maui!
"You gotta rig?" I ask.
"Ya", he says." I'm on 14.062."
"OK, I'm going to the shack."
So I just had a QSO with Guy in Maui. Wow and Mahalo!
Haleakala Crater, Maui's highest peak, it rises over 10,000 feet above sea level. KH6/MA-001
I am sure there are other hobbies which provide tight knit friendships, but I've never experienced that until I joined the QRP community. You folks are the best!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!