First, to all of you who are Vets, Retired, or currently serving, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service, and all the sacrifices you've made.
Thank you ALL!
I was able to contact NI6BB yesterday, and again today, using my "temporary" vertical. Yesterday the contact was later in the afternoon, and propagation wasn't very good, but we did make the contact. Today's contact was earlier in the day, and propagation was much better.
I'm blessed with a MUCH lower background noise level here compared to Long Beach. All the utility wires are buried here, and since there aren't any exposed 4300 Volt (the two wires all by themselves at the very top of your power pole) lines and insulators being bathed with salt air and causing coronal discharges, there's very little "static", or powerline buzz, cracking and popping. Where my signal meter hovered around S-5 to S-6 in Long Beach, about half-scale on the meter, here it's S-1 or S-2, only lighting up the first or second bar on the meter. I still hear "birdies" and other spurious noises caused by the zillions of little "wall wart" switching power supplies, home networking routers, Plasma TV's, and other consumer devices, but it's not a solid "Wall Of Noise" like it was back in SoCal.
In fact, the background is so quiet here that I notice my radio could use an alignment. Things that were covered up in background noise before are now noticeable, and I'm making plans to do a complete re-alignment of my little K2 transceiver. I built it back around 2001~2002, so I've had it quite a while, and it's been dragged hither, tither, and yon since the initial and follow-up alignments were done. I don't let it get banged or bashed around, and keep it securely packed, but still, components drift and change values slightly with age, and I have much better test equipment now than when I first built it.
I think it'll be a nice Winter Workbench Wonder to tinker with on those nights it's too cold to hang out in the garage.