by William Eric McFadden

From the park website:

As one of Ohio's resort parks, Burr Oak State Park blends modern convenience with Ohio's wilderness spirit. Miles of forested ridges and hollows can be found here. The park offers a rustic full-service lodge with family suites and a cozy campground with easy access to the lake. A substantial trail system ranges from moderate to difficult with portions intersecting the statewide Buckeye Trail.



The park sign -- click to enlarge On Saturday, March 13, 2021, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Burr Oak State Park Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric had originally hoped to make a much longer, more aggressive POTA activations-outing on this day, with the intention of visiting three new-to-him POTA units. However, the elevated solar A- and K-Indices, with the very real possibility of terrible HF propagation and the attendant difficulty in making QSOs, caused Eric to ultimately decide to stay closer to home for this POTA outing. Having already made fifteen activations of Burr Oak State Park—and being 75% of the way toward earning a Repeat Offender Activator Award for the park—Eric chose to visit Burr Oak State Park again and stay as long as necessary to achieve a valid activation despite propagation conditions. If it were to prove relatively easy to validate the activation of Burr Oak State Park by making ten or more QSOs, Eric would then proceed the short distance to Tom Jenkins Dam on Burr Oak Lake to perform a two-fer activation of Wayne National Forest (K-4521) and North Country National Scenic Trail (K-4239).

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation of Burr Oak State Park on an overcast but otherwise pleasant late winter day under the state park's water tower. Eric was accompanied by little dogs Theo and Mindy.

Eric's station under the water tower, with Mindy-dog -- click to enlarge Eric, Theo, and Mindy arrived at the Burr Oak water tower at about 1630 UTC and Eric quickly deployed his 28½' wire antenna on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base. Because it was a bit chilly outside, Eric chose to operate inside the car and he installed his KX3 on the car's dashboard. Eric was on the air at 1643 UTC.

With the expected good cell-signal at this location in the park, Eric was able to use the POTA Spots website to look for possible park-to-park (P2P) QSOs and to self-spot himself.

Eric began operations by looking for P2P QSOs and at 1645 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 30m with KG8P who was activating Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site (K-3715) in Georgia.

Finding a clear frequency on 40m, Eric spotted himself to POTA Spots and began calling "CQ POTA" and was rewarded at 1653 UTC with a short ragchew with NG8D, Lynn, in Illinois. Subsequent QSOs came much more quickly than anticipated given the solar conditions and by 1716 UTC Eric had logged his nineteenth QSO on 40m. This run of QSOs included a P2P QSO with KN4RBN who was activating Mayo State Game Land (K-6925) in North Carolina.

Following the run on 40m, Eric again checked POTA Spots and made a P2P QSO on 30m with NU4M who was activating Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge (K-0231) in Florida.

In all, Eric made twenty-one QSOs, including 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.