by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

Located on four acres in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, Tu-Endie-Wei State Park is home to an 84-foot granite monument commemorating the frontiersmen who fought and died in the 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant. The monument was erected in 1909, and rests where the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers meet. The name Tu-Endie-Wei is a Wyandotte word meaning "point between two waters."



The 84-foot Granite Monument -- click to enlarge Two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team succeeded in performing a valid activation of Tu-Endie-Wei State Park, K-1823, in West Virginia as part of the the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8NKC, visited Tu-Endie-Wei State Park on their way home from the MOVARC Gallipolis Hamfest on a brisk and windy late-winter day.

The pair arrived at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park at about 1430 UTC to discover that the 1796 Mansion House Museum was still closed for winter. They explored the small park while Eric took photos. Eric had planned to set up in the corner of the park nearest the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers but the cold wind prompted him to instead set up on the front porch of the Mansion House, something that probably wouldn't have been possible had the Museum been open. Eric chose to use his N2CX-inspired 20/30/40m wire vertical supported on his 20' Black Widow telescoping pole. Eric and Miles deployed the antenna and four radials on the lawn in front of the Mansion House and Eric fed the antenna with 25' of RG-58 coax. Eric was on the air by 1455 UTC.

Propagation was rough. Over about a 75-minute period, Eric managed just eleven QSOs on 40m, 30m, and 20m, including one Virginia QSO Party QSO and two undetermined contest QSOs. Received signals were almost without exception extremely weak and the signal reports Eric received indicated he wasn't being heard well, either. Eric gave several signal reports of 339 and even received a report of 229. Fortunately, the low noise-floor at the park allowed QSOs to be made despite the weak signals.

The statue at the base of 84-foot Granite Monument -- click to enlarge After discovering a few weeks prior that the coax Eric had taken to Florida was intermittent, Eric had chosen to use the N2CX-inspired vertical for this activation to determine if the problems he had had with the antenna in Florida were gone with a replacement feedline. The vertical showed good stable SWR matches on all three bands with the new feedline, the worst match being about 2:1 on 40m. Eric is now confident that the problems he encountered in Florida with this antenna had been because of his feedline, not because of the antenna itself.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program although his eleven QSOs were not sufficient to achieve a valid activation within the program which requires 44 QSOs be made. However, the WWFF program allows these 44 QSOs be made over any number of visits so a valid activation within WWFF is still possible if subsequent visits to the park are made.

All Eric's QSOs were made at the 5-watt level. Miles did not operate but helped with set-up and tear-down and helped with activation photography.

The Kanawha River and the Bartow Jones Bridge -- click to enlarge