by William Eric McFadden

From the Lake Hope State Park website:

Lake Hope State Park offers a truly relaxing, yet rustic getaway from the high speed of modern life. The entire park lies within the Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. The park's heavily forested region is marked by steep gorges and narrow ridges with remnants of abandoned mining and iron-producing industries.

The park surrounds the lake and boasts a wooded family campground and a variety of cabins for families and gatherings of all sizes, including the roomy Laurel Lodge. No visit to the park is complete without a stop in the dining lodge for a hearty meal.

From the Zaleski State Forest website:

The 27,822-acre Zaleski State Forest is the second largest forest in Ohio's system of state forests.

Zaleski State Forest operates the only state-owned sawmill in Ohio. The mill produces rough sawn lumber for use by Ohio’s state forests and state parks as well as other government agencies.

Historic Moonville Tunnel is located within Zaleski State Forest on the Moonville Rail Trail right-of-way.



The Keeton Cemetery sign & Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Friday, June 18, 2021, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful two-fer activation of Lake Hope State Park and Zaleski State Forest in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the impromptu two-fer activation on a gray morning with an approaching thunderstorm at the Keeton Cemetery within both Lake Hope State Park and Zaleski State Forest. Eric was accompanied by his daughter Kate, KD8KNB; Kate's dog Bo; and the two small dogs Theo and Mindy.

Eric, Kate, and the dogs arrived at Keeton Cemetery at about 1530 UTC. While Kate walked Bo, and while Theo and Mindy explored, Eric quickly set up his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount and, because of the threat of rain, set up his KX3 inside his car. Eric was on the air at 1542 UTC.

Unlike during his previous activations at this location, Eric found he lacked sufficient cell-signal to look for park-to-park (P2P) QSO opportunities on the POTA Spots website or to self-spot himself at the same site. He did, however, have sufficient cell-signal to send and receive texts, so he texted his friends K8RAT and K4SWL, asking them to spot him.

Despite some pretty heavy lightning crashes on the band, Eric began operations on 40m and managed to validate his activation by making ten QSOs in about twenty-three minutes. Most of the stations Eric worked on 40m were fairly weak and most indicated his signal was weak, too.

Before tearing down his station, Eric happened to glance at his phone and saw that the POTA Spots website had, at some point in time, loaded and Eric made a P2P QSO on 20m with KW5CW who was activating Eisenhower State Park (K-3005) in Texas.

The sound of distant thunder convinced Eric that he made enough QSOs for this activation and quickly tore down his station. Eric had planned to perform an activation of Waterloo Wildlife Area (K-8633) before returning home but, because of the thunder, decided against performing another activation.

In all, Eric made eleven QSOs, including one P2P QSO, in just under half an hour. 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 for Lake Hope State Park, KFF-1968.