by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

Although relatively small, 106-acre Jackson Lake State Park boasts some of the most scenic country in Ohio. The park's serene lake is a focal point for excellent fishing and provides the ideal setting for a peaceful retreat.



A view of Jackson Lake On Saturday, August 10, 2019, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Jackson Lake State Park in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, was accompanied to the park by his wife Vickie, KC8MAJ, and their two dogs, Theo and Mindy.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at the Jackson Lake State Park picnic and swimming area at about 1645 UTC and after a bit of exploration, Eric decided to set up his station in the more rustic of the two picnic shelters at the site. He deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 33' MFJ-1910 telescoping fiberglass mast and set up his KX3 on one of the picnic tables. Eric was on the air at 1710 UTC.

In order to give his good friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT, Mike, a QSO, Eric started operations on 80m and a QSO was made immediately at 1710 UTC.

An aquatic harvester Switching to 40m, Eric's first QSO there was with WB4WTN at 1717 UTC. QSOs came quickly on 40m with Eric's ninth QSO there coming at 1730 UTC with KC7ND.

Switching to 20m, Eric found that band to be less productive than 40m had been, and he made only two QSOs there. A QSO with KD4CB came at 1737 UTC and a QSO with W6LEN came at 1739 UTC.

Switching to 30m, two QSOs were made. A QSO with VE2ZN came at 1746 UTC and a QSO with AB2EW came at 1747 UTC.

Finally, Eric returned to 40m to give his good friend K4SWL in western North Carolina a QSO.

In all, Eric made fifteen QSOs on four bands. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level. Vickie didn't operate but did perform all the RATpedition navigation and managed the dogs during the operation.

Eric and Vickie had hoped that both the dogs would have a good time exploring the park and, indeed, little Mindy did have great time—and even jumped into the lake for a swim. Unfortunately, mere minutes after the arrival at the park, shots were heard from a nearby shooting range and little Theo, who is terrified of gunshots, remained close to the humans and the relative safety of the picnic shelter for nearly the entire operation.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program although he didn't make enough QSOs to 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.