With the CQ Worldwide VHF Contest completed, it seems a good vantage point to begin to judge the 2010 Summer E's season.
Personally, I can't recall a better June with E-Skip nearly every day of the month and some maximum usable frequency days that went higher than Channel 6. On the amateur side, we had multiple days of 2 Meter skip, and some of the best (Non F-2) 6 Meter conditions that anyone can recall.
But then when the calendar page turned to July, the bottom seemed to fall out, at least here in EM63. While a few days revealed a mixture of Mexican and Canadian E-Skip on the TV low band channels, there was no hint of the fireworks we saw in June.
The CQ VHF Contest was the worst that I've participated in so far (this is only my third one). I felt like Captain Sig Hansen on "Deadliest Catch"...I kept telling myself "You just have keep grinding it out when conditions are like this". The only way to increase totals seemed to be staying in the chair, and at the mic/key.
No strategy, no science, no anticipating changing conditions to stay ahead of your competition--no just hard work. This was a great year to have big antennas and big amps...and a voice keyer.
Overall, I'd have to rate the season a 6 out of 10. High band and 2 Meter E-Skip is nothing to be ungrateful for...but I could live without another July like this.