Managed to get enough of the shack cleared out that I could do some listening on 20 metres last evening. I was pleasantly surprised how active the bands were, including well into the evening. The contest weekends raise the question in my mind just how dead the bands are as opposed to just how "inactive" the bands are. It seems that just about every contest weekend I can hear all sorts of DX but otherwise the bands have the appearance of being dead.
I listened to a number of Kuwait stations, New Zealand and mid-Atlantic stations working pile-ups. After listening to one particular pileup for about an hour, there was momentary lull and I tossed my call sign out to 9K2WA using QRP (5 watts) on SSB and he came right back to me and gave me the obligatory 59 signal report. (Yeah right...) But he was about 20 over S9, so who knows how strong I really was on his end.