I used to hear lots of activity related to tropical systems when I lived in southeast Georgia. Am I too far out of range for any such activity on my Icom I.C R75? I currently have a long wire antenna set up.
Crappy propagation isn't helping. When the flux levels are in the 60s and 70s, freqs above 10 mhz or so can be a struggle. And in the NW, you are somewhat in a fringe area <chuckle>
The summer time also increases absorption levels on the lower freqs (not to mention TStorm problems), so it's really a catch 22. A better antenna would help, as well as a more complete understanding of propagation to the NW (consider the effect of the time difference, and when you are in daylight when the East coast is in darkness, for example) and you begin to see the issue. It's certainly not impossible, just a little harder. Having traveled in the NW fairly extensively in the 80s and 90s, I know what you are going through