I guess for the QRP operator, it has to. I'm going to bore you guys with yet another Fox hunt post, but there's lessons to be learned - mostly by me.
Last night was the 40 Meter QRP Fox hunt. Our two Foxes were Marty NR3Z in PA and Rick NK9G/7 in AZ. Marty doesn't live all that far from the NJ/PA border, radio-wise, so I didn't expect to hear him - and I didn't.
Rick NK9G was a different story. He was weak (to me) all night. Mostly he was ESP. I figured out where he was from the baying of his chasers. I knew he was there and I could make out his call sign and the occasional "QRZ" or "AGN?". Late in the hunt, for about ten to fifteen minutes, he rose to about a 229 / 339 level. I called, furiously, to no avail. I went 0 for 2 last night - skunked.
Why? I don't know. Both Steve WX2S and Charles W2SH, two other NJ Hounds bagged Rick's pelt. Maybe South Plainfield is in an RF hole or something. Or maybe that first ridge of the Watchung hills blocked me - I am in their shadow. Not sure what it is, except that it was frustrating as all get out. For crying out loud, I just worked Paraguay the other day and I can't make it to Arizona?!?
But looking back on it, even though at the time it seemed and felt like a wasted night, in reality I WAS doing something that I love to do. Just because I wasn't successful at it doesn't nullify the effort or the experience. I think we (that should be "I") get too hung up on results sometimes. I keep my eye on the destination too much, without looking at and enjoying the journey instead.
What's the twist on that old saying about fishing? "A bad day (night) at QRPing is better than a good day at work!" Forty years a Ham, and I still need to kick myself in the pants and remember that - often.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!