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.



Eric's station & the Keeton Cemetery sign -- click to enlarge On Friday, June 19, 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 partly sunny afternoon at the Keeton Cemetery within both Lake Hope State Park and Zaleski State Forest. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie, KC8MAJ, and the two small dogs Theo and Mindy.

Eric had actually intended to perform an activation of Waterloo Wildlife Area (K-8633) but while enroute, was notified via text that his friend Carl, N8VZ, was already at Waterloo performing a POTA activation using FT8. Not wanting to interfere with Carl—and not wanting his own operation to be interfered with by Carl—Eric decided to drive the short distance farther and instead perform a two-fer activation of Lake Hope State Park and Zaleski State Park.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at Keeton Cemetery at about 1845 UTC. While Vickie walked with Mindy and Theo, Eric quickly set up his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount and set up his KX3 inside his car. Eric was on the air at 1855 UTC.

Just as at his activation at the same location the day prior, Eric found he had only very poor cell-signal at Keeton Cemetery. He was initially able to load the POTA Spots website but was unable to self-spot himself. Eric was able to identify possible park-to-park (P2P) QSO opportunities on the POTA Spots website and at 1856 UTC made a P2P QSO on 20m with NK4DX who was activating Biscayne Bay National Park (K-0007) in Florida.

Finding his own frequency on 40m, Eric texted his friends K8RAT and K4SWL for spotting-support and in just about thirteen minutes he made ten more QSOs. Near the end of this short run, Eric heard what he thought was a distant thunder-crash and resolved to make this a short activation. No thunderstorm developed, and Eric later learned from K8RAT, who had been watching the lightning-map, that the map hadn't shown a lightning strike anywhere near the state park and state forest during Eric's operation.

In all, Eric made eleven QSOs, including one P2P QSO, in just about twenty minutes. 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.