by William Eric McFadden


Day 1 of An Adventure Against Nature and Adversity

Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating Cuyahoga Valley National Park as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC activated Cuyahoga Valley National Park, NP14 (link) at the Columbia Run Picnic Area during rain, temperatures in the 30s, and winds 23mph gusting to 32mph.

The pair arrived at the Boston Store Visitor Center to find it nearly empty of visitors. After Eric stamped his Passport 2016 and then he and Miles drove the short distance north to the Columbia Run Picnic Area where they set up for the activation.

As at previous activations, Eric's station consisted of his Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit, his MFJ-1910 33' fiberglass telescoping mast, and a custom clipboard. For this activation, however, Eric chose to use a handy tree to support the 28½' end-fed wire instead of using the mast. Because of the weather conditions, Eric chose to operate inside the car. Eric was on the air by 2109 UTC.

Eric began operations on 20m and his first QSO came at 2115 UTC with K5LH. QSOs came steadily on 20m until Eric's 11th QSO at 2127 UTC with N6YEU. Eric changed to 40m and his first QSO there came at 2134 UTC with KO1U. QSOs came quickly on 40m until Eric's 20th and final QSO came at 2142 UTC with N5KIP. All of Eric's QSOs were CW made at the 5-watt level.

During the operation, Eric and Miles were thilled to see the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad passenger train motor past on its way to the Boston Store station.

Miles did not operate but helped Eric with set-up and tear-down and did most of the activation photography.