by William Eric McFadden



A view of the reservior and pumphouse -- 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 Tom Jenkins Dam in Burr Oak State Park in Ohio to activate the North Country National Scenic Trail, TR04 (link). He was accompanied by his wife, Vickie; his daughter, Kate; and Kate's dog, Bo.

The gang arrived at the site about 1804 UTC and after making proof-of-location photos of his GPS receiver and the North Country National Scenic Trail's trailhead sign, Eric quickly set up his station in the picnic shelter immediately adjacent to the trail while Vickie, Kate, and Bo began a hike along the North Country National Scenic Trail.

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. Eric was on-the-air by 1818 UTC.

Eric began operations on 20m and his first QSO came at 1825 UTC with K5MUG. QSOs came slowly with Eric making his 5th 20m QSO at 1832 UTC with W7QDM. Eric switched to 40m at 1845 UTC and his first QSO there came at 1851 UTC with N4EX. QSOs came more quickly on 40m than they had on 20m and Eric's 17th and final QSO came at 1905 UTC with fellow Ohioan and NPOTA Activator AI8P. All QSOs were CW made at the 5-watt level.

Just about the time Eric switched to 40m, a light rain began to fall but the roof of the picnic shelter kept Eric and his gear dry. The rain didn't last long.

As at Eric's October 19 activation at the same location (link, the picnic shelter and surrounding area was swarming with Japanese Lady Beetles. There were so many of them that at times Eric difficulty operating.