I was the club head of amateur radio in the college, when I was a late teen ager. Every summer, we were going somewhere for camping. That year, in the mid 60', we decided to go to a skirt of Mt. Fuji. About 10 members were going to a bangaloo we rented there. It was located in the middle of a big forrest of pine trees. Our equipment was a typical one for beginner station. TX88A, a transmitter, with an 807 for PA and 9R59, a single conversion superhetrodyne receiver, both of them were from Trio, the former name of Kenwood. A dipole for 40m was set between trees, which was barely over 10 meters high.
While the others were walking outside, one or two members were operating radio throughout a day. It was early summer. At night, I found 20 meters was open literally to all over the world. With that tiny set up, we have worked stations from everywhere in the world. At that time, I had already worked some DX from home but was still impressed at that opening. First, I thought it would had been the path open at high altitude like there. Later, I knew it was a real firework like opening in the height of the solar cycle. What a brilliant experience for all of the teen age boys!
I have given grinding training for CW reception to young members. A guy was having nightmare of CW at that time! Of course, it was not a training with violence but a long lasting, almost enduring, training for them. I hope it has helped them to enjoy this mode in their lives later.
Anyway, we were fascinated by this miracle of the nature. It was the days when we had no communication tool with abroad except for ham radio. That opening was a real window open to foreign countries. The young people with cell phone and the internet won't be impressed at that path now.
Late at last night, before going to bed, I was listening 20 meters. Some DX were coming through. Calling CQ on 14018KHz, I was called by a few statessides. Not so loud but very easy to read on the quiet background. Allen N2KW was calling me with a special call W2FOC. Then, ZS9FOC Raoul and A45XR Chris followed him. The latter two were really loud here. It was typical for summer night path on 20 meters. All of them were in the 80th anniversary event of FOC. It has not let me talk to them for a long time. I only wished it had been without such event and we had been able to chat a bit more. However, no complaints are necessary for the condition. All I had to do was to enjoy it remembering good old days.