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Horses On The Air!
September 16-26, 2021

Horseback image

The 'Horses on the Air!' special event celebrates the Michigan Trail Rider’s Association, (MTA) “September Ride” , which follows the Shore-to-Shore State Horse Trail, stretching from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron.

Portable radio operation will be from the trail during the second half of the ride. This is the return leg from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan.

This year’s September Ride is scheduled to be a ‘crisscross”, as opposed to the “double-cross”. A double-cross has the riders travel from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron, before turning around and riding back to Lake Michigan. With a crisscross, the ride begins in Cheboygan. Riders take the trail south and then east to Lake Huron, and then cross the state to Lake Michigan. For a calendar page that shows the dates for each campsite, click here: 2021 September Ride.

Individual riders can join or leave the ride at any and location, but those who travel from shore to shore qualify for a trophy! (Note: this has been described as ‘the ugliest trophy in the world’, which is probably why there are zero images of it on the internet. It was reportedly crafted to resemble a hitching post. I will upload a picture once I have one.) We will begin at Lake Huron and end at Lake Michigan. We will meet up the MTA riders at the River Road Campsite.

I am the only scheduled radio operator, but I will look for interested hams and non-hams to take the mic when possible. (No one can talk to a horse, of course!) My wife will be riding her Tennessee Walking Horse. I will be her ‘rig jumper’, taking the truck and trailer approximately 25 miles each day to her destination and setting up camp. This will be my first time. This is a way for us to share the experience even though she is not a ham, and I am not a horseman.

I will add details about the campsites as we visit them. I imagine anyone new would appreciate knowing:

  • Distance to a gas station?
  • Is there a river or lake nearby for fishing/swimming?
  • How far for guitar strings if one gets broken?

Just finding the names of the campsites and then associating the names to the locations was difficult. The details I provide will be found on this page: Shore-to-Shore Trail Rout and Campsites.

Activation details
CW/SSB on or near these frequencies:

3.538, 3.875,
7.038, 7.287,
14.034, 14.285,
28.075, 28.485
Time of operation from the Shore-to-Shore State Horse Trail:

14:00 UTC - September 17, start
23:00 UTC September 26, end

I plan to operate from mid-morning till early evening every day, and to be on the air at other times when possible. I will try mobile operations early in the day.

Depending on conditions, a live online log will be available here. If not, it will be here soon after the event.

QSL via mail, QRZ, and LoTW only please. US Mail goes to N8PPQ: 1817 Mills Ave., N. Muskegon, MI 49445. Please add comments about your experience, including RF conditions or knowledge you may have of endurance riding.

More details about this event, the MTA, and the Shore-to-Shore State Horse Trailwill be added here as they unfold. Stay tuned!