Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Dayton part 3 - home

At least on Sunday morning we were able to have a 'lie in' before departing for the Hara Arena.

Time to return the room keys to the University reception, head for the car park, 'breakfast' and the arena.

We arrived about 8am and parked the van in our usual spot before going off to have a last look around. No trading for us on the Sunday, but the chance to pick up some las minute bargains....
Most but not all the Fleamarket and hall traders had already departed. But here was still enough to see and do before departing for the airport. Rich had already departed for Dallas early on the Sunday morning, before Kent and I were even awake.

After a quick look round at what was left of the Fleamarket I went into the hall area. In there I bumped into Justin of Innovantennas and had a chat. Later we were joined by Kent, WA5VJB and an earnest discussion on antenna ensued. Photo 1 shows Justin and Kent in deep conversation.






You can see that the North Hall wasn't as busy as usual on the Sunday morning. The Elecraft stand, behind Kent, was as quiet as I had seen it all weekend!






Not much left in the Fleamarket............







After saying cheerio to Lloyd, NE8I and a few other other guys, I was back at Dayton Airport about 11am and ready for my flight to Chicago on the Embraer 145 jet. Kent went back to the Hara Arena to pick up Douglas, his co-driver for the long drive back to Dallas, and then set off to cover the 1150 miles through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and into Texas.


An uneventful flight for me and we touched down at Chicago O'Hare airport after about one hours flying time. O'Hare airport seems to be bigger every time I see it! The last time I was here was at least 10 years ago.

The flight into O'Hare, over the south end of Lake Michigan, was close to Gary, Indiana, and I was able to see just how desolate this old American industrial area has become. It was easily recognisable from the air. Fascinating!

Lake Michigan is a well known American microwave area and I previously wrote about amateur microwave contacts over the lake in my column in Radcom. It was nice to see it from the air. I had already been driven through it by Mike, AA9IL, in his pick up truck some years ago ( on our way to the Sandusky Microwave Update event).

A few hours later ( another delay on United Airlines) and it was off on the trans Atlantic leg home to Heathrow. Justin and I were in adjacent seats, so we were able to chat about 'ham' things before the day's exertions got the best of us!

We touched down at 06:00. I was completely disoriented by the fact we were in Terminal 1 whereas we had left from T4! A short underground ride later and I was back on familiar territory and ready to collect my car from the T4 long term car park and the 2 hour drive home.

It was a great trip to Dayton. I really enjoyed visiting again after my several years absence. I would like to go back at least one more time. I really don't know why as the Hara Arena is becoming quite dilapidated and must be nearly ready to be pulled down. The Friedrichschafen Messe is much, much, cleaner and the food and beer is so much better. And the flight there is a lot cheaper than it now costs for long haul flights.

But, there is something about Dayton that keeps drawing me back. It has more to do with the social aspects of the event than suffering the inadequate facilities of this old establishment.

My thanks to Kent, Brian, Rich, Lloyd, Dave, Tony, Dick, Zack, Ed and all the other American amateur radio guys who helped to make my visit so successful. Thank you.

Dayton, I will be back again!

Sam





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