by William Eric McFadden



Eric's station -- click to enlarge One member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in activating North Country National Scenic Trail as part of the ARRL's year-long National Parks on the Air (link). Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, traveled to the fire tower in Tar Hollow State Park to activate the North Country National Scenic Trail, TR04 (link).

Eric arrived at the site at 1345 UTC and after photographing himself at the North Country National Scenic Trail's trailhead sign, quicky set up his station which consisted of his Enhanced KX3 Travel Kit, his MFJ-1910 33' fiberglass telescoping mast, and a custom clipboard. In a change from other recent activations, Eric didn't use his tripod to support his 33' mast but strapped it to a gate-post using duct tape. Eric was on-the-air by 1407 UTC.

Eric operated only on 40m and his first QSO was with fellow SEORAT K8RAT at 1409 UTC. Eric made an additional nine QSOs over the next six minutes before switching to LSB to work fellow SEORAT K4SWL who was activating the Blue Ridge Parkway (PK01). Back on the CW fequency, Eric worked an additional seven QSOs, his final QSO being with KB8OMG at 1447 UTC. In all, Eric made 18 QSOs. All CW QSOs were made at the 5-watt level; the single SSB QSO was made at the 10-watt level.

The weather was excellent for an outdoor operation in a forest. While it was warm in the direct sun, in the shade it was quite comfortable. This being the week Brood V of the 17-year cicadas emerge, the forest was loud with the calls, and one fellow stayed with Eric during the whole operation (photo).