I got clear faxes from London to Kodiak to Hawaii tonight. Some look like they are just on plain paper. It really didn't matter what the band, just seemed the propagation gods were finally happy. Sunspots???
More like no sunspots. With the flux levels this low, you just happened to catch the ionosphere when it's relatively quiet and a nice opening popped up. Nothing more than that.
There are so many sites on the web for getting this information, it's almost ridiculous. However if you want a quick way to see if the sun is acting up, it's hard to beat SpaceWeather (although it should be noted they cover other astronomical and weather related stuff, too).
Yeah, I agree with Mike. About a month ago the solar index was in the high 70's and low 80's and I thought we were heading in the right direction. But the last week or so it's been back down to the upper 60's.....yuck.