Starting with 10M, the band was open from around 11:00am local time onwards to most US call districts. We worked a couple of South Americans on 10 but most of our contacts were inside North America.
As expected, 15M was open for longer and provided most of our QSOs, Multipliers and DX. Signals were very strong to much of the US and Canada with weak openings into Europe. On Sunday morning I worked a handful of UK stations who were taking part in an RSGB contest. This was somewhat confusing because the exchange that they were giving us (e.g. 59 CO) mean something different in their contest than in did in ours. For them, they were R5, S9 in COlchester while for us, it meant QSO #59 from Colorado - confusing. We just logged 001 - DX and moved on :-)
On Saturday evening we used the spotter station to give away a few points in the Oceanic contest on 15M. The band was quiet and signals were really strong. The operators seemed very relaxed and working them was a real pleasure.
20M closed fairly early on Saturday although I think it gave us our biggest pile-ups when it opened again on Sunday morning. The pile-up was so deep I was starting to feel sorry for some of the operators who were waiting in line and hoped they wouldn't give up in frustration. QSO rates peaked at well over 200 per hour with sustained rates better than 2 per minute for a while.
The lower bands were, as expected, crowded and noisy. I crashed around midnight and got up at 4:00am. By then the QSO rate was down to a trickle and it was tough finding any new stations anywhere. I could hear many JAs at the lower end of 40 but 30 minutes of "CQ Contest/Listening here and 7.0XX" resulted in just a couple of North American QSOs and a sore throat.
Brian, NJ6N, reminded me of a couple points regarding our CW operation. Dana single handedly (good pun eh?) made most of our QSOs except for few made by Brian (with a little help from myself) around 4:00 am on Sunday morning. With Brian at the controls, both of us listening and a lot of patience from the stations that we were working, we managed to make about 20 contacts. It actually was a lot of fun and it really made me wish my CW skills were better. There has been some talk in recent months about having a regular CW practice net for SOARA members. I hope as a club we can make this happen.The other incident occurred a little later. I had been calling CQ on SSB for ages with few takers. Dana said he wanted to try CW so I found a clear spot in one of the CW sections and proceeded to tune up. As I went back to receive, someone sent QRZ? Since I was still sitting in the operating chair I sent a quick "K6VO" in CW - then panic set in as he called me back at around 90 WPM (ok, it was probably around 30 but anything above 20 sounds like Pink Floyd to me). Fortunately Dana was in ear shot and responded to my screams of 'help!'. He quickly took over and the calling station probably never knew the turmoil he'd created :-)