by William Eric McFadden

Support-Your-Parks Summer 2021 RATpedition, Day 2; parks one and two of eleven

From the Shawnee State Park website:

Once the hunting grounds for the Native American Shawnee tribes, the rugged landscape of the 1,095-acre Shawnee State Park offers outdoor adventurers an opportunity to explore the back country of southern Ohio’s Appalachian foothills near the banks of the Ohio River.

Nestled within the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest, the area is often called the “Little Smokies.” When combined with the state forest, the scenic trail system offers a variety of options for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Two lakes provide a variety of boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities.

Overnight features range from the rustic, well-appointed Shawnee State Park Lodge and modern vacation cabins to the wooded family campground.

From the Shawnee State Forest website:

Shawnee State Forest, also called "The Little Smokies of Ohio," has developed into the largest of Ohio's state forests with more than 60,000 acres. This working forest is managed to provide a variety of multiple uses on a sustained yield basis: Timber harvesting, tree planting, wildlife habitat, forestry research, watershed and soil protection, and production of tree seeds.

During the spring and fall forest fire danger periods, state forest crews detect and suppress wildfires that occur on state and private lands within the surrounding protection area.

Nearly 8,000 acres of the forest have been designated as wilderness. Timber is not managed and public motorized travel has been eliminated in the wilderness area.



Shawnee Lodge sign -- click to enlarge For the Parks on the Air program (POTA; link) Support Your Parks Summer 2021 Plaque Event on the weekend of July 17-18, 2021, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed an aggressive two-day activation schedule with an overnight stop in Portsmouth, Ohio. The route of Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, would cover over 300 miles, would include fifteen stops in two states, and would lead to twenty-one successful POTA activations with 421 QSOs made. Over the weekend, Eric would encounter rain, thunderstorms, and brilliant sunshine.

From the hotel in Portsmouth, it was a quick half-hour drive to the Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center, Eric's first stop of the day. Choosing a parking spot in a remote corner of the lot, Eric quickly set up his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of his aggressive time schedule, Eric set up his KX3 inside his car. Eric was on the air at 1241 UTC.

Eric's station -- click to enlarge The cell-signal at this location allowed Eric to use the POTA Spots website (link) to spot himself and to look for possible park-to-park (P2P) QSOs.

Eric began operations by searching POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and almost immediately made a P2P QSO on 30m with NG5E who was performing a two-fer activation of Homochitto National Forest (K-4497) and Caston Creek Wildlife Management Area (K-7120) in Mississippi.

Finding his own frequency to run on 40m, Eric made fourteen QSOs between 1247 UTC and 1259 UTC.

Switching to 30m, Eric made two additional QSOs in quick succession.

After checking POTA Spots again for P2P QSO opportunities, at 1311 UTC Eric made a P2P QSO on 40m with W9AV who was activating Lower Wisconsin State Riverway State Park (K-5643) in Wisconsin and at 1314 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 40m with WA3TVH who was activating Pinchot State Forest (K-5473) in Pennsylvania. These were followed at 1318 UTC by a P2P QSO on 30m with N3KAE who was activating Frances Slocum State Park (K-1354) in Pennsylvania.

Because his aggressive itinerary didn't allow for much time at any of the parks, Eric tore down his station in order to proceed to his next location.

In all, Eric made twenty-one QSOs, including five 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 for Shawnee State Park.