I drove two-and-a-half hours from Portland to the Puyallup Fairgrounds in Washington to the Puyallup Hamfest. It’s a swap meet focusing on ham radio equipment and is a lot different than the ones down in Oregon. What I’ve found is that the same stuff shows up year-to-year at the same swap meet, just owned by different people. But if you go to a different swap meet there’s different stuff. When I walked in I only wanted to buy one thing, and it is new and available on the intarwebs. So I knew I was driving 5 hours today and paying $8 to do almost nothing. Then I realized it was like visiting a museum. There’s all sorts of old ham radio equipment from my youth and even earlier and it was fun to look at. Plus there were old friends there I could talk to.
I generally don’t buy old ham radios because they have tubes in them and they don’t work as well as modern equipment does. As another friend says, it’s like we’re Civil War re-enactors. Using old gear pretending that we’re in olden times. I have an old receiver and transmitter in the basement and I don’t need to add any more.
One of the best parts was the drive back. I went through Lakewood, WA where there’s a huge Korean population and had Korean BBQ at Honey Pig. I also stopped for gas in Longview, WA, driving through the town and fantasizing about living by the lake. I really needed more sleep and less driving.
The high point of the day was getting checked out at the ham fair. An attractive and probably age-appropriate woman gave me a head-to-toe scan. She was probably a bored spouse and you can imagine that there wasn’t a lot of competition if I was getting the once-over. I still haven’t gained 100# and gotten my comb-over yet.