by William Eric McFadden

From the park website:

Prickett's Fort State Park, located five miles north of Fairmont in Marion County, features a reconstruction of the original Prickett's Fort, which served as a place of refuge during colonial times. This historical park commemorates late 18th-century life on the Virginia frontier.



Prickett's Fort -- click to enlarge On Friday, October 2, 2020, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Prickett's Fort State Park in West Virginia as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

On a cool, overcast early Fall day, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation of Prickett's Fort State Park at the boat-ramp area of the park. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie and their dogs, Theo and Mindy.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at the Prickett's Fort State Park at 1430 UTC. After stopping to look at and photograh the fort, they made their way to the boat-ramp area at the confluence of Prickett Creek and the Monongahela River, where Eric found a suitable place to park and set up his station. While Vickie explored the area with the little dogs, Eric deployed his 28½' wire antenna on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base. Because of the cool temperature, Eric set up his KX3 inside the car and was on the air by 1453 UTC.

The former railroad viaduct which now carries the Monongahela River Trail over Prickett Creek, at the confluence with the Monongahela River -- click to enlarge Pleased to find he had good cell-signal at the site, Eric self-spotted himself to POTA Spots (link) and began operations on 80m.

Eric's first QSO came at 1454 UTC with his friend K8RAT in Ohio. When additional QSOs on 80m were slow in coming, Eric took advantage of POTA Spots to identify two park-to-park (P2P) opportunities. At 1500 UTC, Eric made a P2P QSO on 40m with AA9OM who was activating Reynolds Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area (K-4223) in Indiana. At 1503 UTC, Eric made a P2P QSO on 40m with N4EX who was activating Dupont State Game Land (K-6902) in North Carolina. Returning to 80m to commence calling "CQ", Eric made a QSO at 1506 UTC with VE3LDT in Ontario. Eric's third and final QSO on 80m came at 1508 UTC with KN4RBN in North Carolina.

Looking upstream along Prickett Creek -- click to enlarge Switching to 40m, Eric quickly made a string of twenty-two QSOs, starting with AE4Y in North Carolina at 1513 UTC and ending with N4HID in Kentucky at 1538 UTC.

Eric switched to 20m at 1540 UTC but after several minutes of calling "CQ", no QSOs were made.

Before tearing down his station, Eric again checked POTA Spots and at 1547 UTC made a P2P QSO on 40m with W5ZDW who was activating Fontainebleau State Park (K-2362) in Louisiana.

In all, Eric made twenty-eight QSOs, which included three P2P QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program.