I have set up in EM49pa near Winfield, MO, just off MO-79 and MO-N highways for the first day of this contest. The intention here was to find new location in EM49 closer to my house than the AT&T tower near Dow in IL where we usually go.
There were several promising locations above 700ft a.s.l. in the wooded area north of Foley, MO but there also was a problem - a bridge under repair between Foley and Winfield. Detour was huge, so I decided to set up in the lowlands (430ft.) close to the river for today.
I arrived just for sunrise, exactly as planned. Picture doesn't nearly capture how nice it looks!
Following two pictures show my 10GHz antenna and my 144MHz omnidirectional "eggbeater".
The higher ground on opposite side of the Mississippi River turned out to be a "little" problem - I didn't work anybody from that direction. However, there was nobody closer than ~100 miles, so it might not be caused by these hills after all (picture taken towards East).
Next picture shows the view in opposite direction (West). These hills sure aren't looking 300+ ft. higher than my location!
Anyway, after 4 hours of trying, I have only worked N5MU from EM48sq (27 miles) and WA0CNS from EM48rl (38 miles). These two QSOs proved that this location is good for QSOs with stations in St. Louis area and that was the main goal today. I will have to keep looking for more elevated spot in this area for long-range QSOs with stations located across the Mississippi River.