by William Eric McFadden

From the Grayson Lake State Park website:

Sheer sandstone canyons and gentle slopes are a featured quality of the 1,512 acres of Grayson Lake State Park. The park's site was a favorite camping area for former occupants: the Shawnee and Cherokee Native Americans. For an excellent adventure we recommend the hiking trails, which offer several species of ferns, mosses, and lichens, the flowering rhododendron, "lizard head rock," and the unusual combination of beech-hemlock trees.



Grayson Lake On Friday, June 23, 2023, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Grayson Lake State Park (K-1258) in Kentucky as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

While enroute to Carter Caves State Park for a two-night stay, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, detoured to perform an activation of Grayson Lake State Park. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie and their two little dogs, Theo and Ginny.

After stopping to admire the view of Grayson Lake at the dam, the quartet continued into the state park and stopped at the picnic shelter near the park's campgrounds, arriving about 1830 UTC.

Eric's station At the picnic shelter, Eric was pleased to find a steel post, originally intended to support a grill, perfectly located to support his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast. For this activation, Eric chose to use his Elecraft KX3 and his half-size W3EDP antenna, and he operated on his folding camp-chair. Eric's station was set up and he was on the air by 1852 UTC.

Eric was pleased to find he had good cell-signal at this location and would be able to spot himself on the POTA Spots website and to use POTA Spots to identify possible Park-to-Park (P2P) QSOs.

Eric began his operation on 40m by finding himself a frequency to run and calling "CQ POTA", and was pleased to be auto-spotted on POTA Spots. His first QSO came at 1854 UTC with WB8DTT in Michigan. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's eighth QSO coming at 1902 UTC with K9IS in Wisconsin. This run included QSOs with operators located in Michigan (2), Kentucky (2), Ohio, New Jersey, Illinois, and Wisonsin. During this run, Eric received a nasty little RF burn from his paddle; apparently, the half-size W3EDP inserts a fair amount of energy onto the key.

Eric's mast and Theo-dog Pausing to check POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities, at 1904 UTC Eric completed a P2P QSO on 40m with KN3A who was activating Samuel S Lewis State Park (K-1418) in Pennsylvania.

Resuming his run on 40m, at 1907 UTC Eric completed a QSO with WD9DWX in Indiana.

Switching to 20m, Eric found a frequency to run and his first QSO there came at 1913 UTC with K9IS in Wisconsin. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's fourth QSO in this run coming at 1917 UTC with K2WO in Florida. This run included QSOs with station located in Wisconsin, Ontario, Virginia, and Florida.

Because of approaching weather and the need to continue the drive to Carter Caves State Park, Eric finished his activation with fourteen QSOs, including one P2P QSO, on 20m and 40m. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at five watts output.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program for an activation of Strouds Run State Park, KFF-1994.