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 -- click to enlarge On Friday, January 21, 2022, 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.

While taking advantage of use-or-lose vacation, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited Keeton Cemetery within Lake Hope State Park on a cold (22°F) but sunny January afternoon to perform a two-fer activation of Lake Hope State Park and Zaleski State Forest. Eric was accompanied by his little dog, Theo.

Eric arrived at Keeton Cemetery at 1818 UTC and, after walking Theo, 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 1826 UTC.

As at his previous visits to Keeton Cemetery, Eric found he had sufficiently-strong cell-signal to allow him to use the POTA Spots website (link) to spot himself and to look for possible park-to-park (P2P) QSOs.

Keeton Cemetery under a blanket of snow -- click to enlarge Eric began operations by using POTA Spots to seek P2P QSO opportunities and spent a minute or two trying make a P2P QSO on 20m. However no QSOs were made and, wanting to make this activation a quick one, Eric gave up on the hunting to find his own frequency to run.

Finding himself a frequency to run on 40m, Eric's first QSO came at 1829 UTC with his good friend K4SWL in North Carolina. QSOs came very quickly, indeed, with Eric achieving his tenth QSO in only six minutes and with Eric's twenty-fourth and final QSO coming at 1851 UTC with WZ9B in Illinois. This nice run included a QSO with Eric's good friend K8RAT in central Ohio and QSOs with operators in North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Michigan, Virginia, New York, South Carolina, Illinois, Missouri, Ontario, and Maryland.

In all, Eric made twenty-four QSOs in twenty-five minutes, all on 40m, between the end of set-up and the start of tear-down. 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.