I really need to try harder to work the guys in AZ. I know it's a haul, but I don't think it's that much farther from here then it is from W7QQ, although Bill's path (at least close in) is considerably better. I was surprised during our June multi-op from W7QQ that AZ was so....workable.
I recall several years ago, working WA7JTM from his portable location near the Grand Canyon on 2M Sunday morning of the June contest. He was VERY loud and very surprised to hear some W9 from DM58. But, PHX and the bulk of AZ's VHF op's are a lot farther away.
Speaking of WA7JTM, readers may be interested in looking at his QRZ.COM
biography. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated opinion within the long-time VHF community. We're losing guys and a lot of the guys we're losing are traditional BIG signals who are 'band beacons' and 'go-to' guys for all the small stations. I had commented privately to several, earlier today, about the decline of VHF/UHF op's along the front-range and some of the reasons behind the decline. I had wondered if it was due to the loss of big-time station W0EEA, who was always a beacon on any band, 6M to 47 GHz, who could work anyone within 200 miles, no matter how small the station. I really believe this is true, and the loss of more and more of these guys, for whatever reason, is really going to hurt.