by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

A total of 2,606 acres of uninterrupted hardwood forest sprawl over the many hills and coves of Strouds Run State Park. The rugged terrain and scenic lake provide visitors a unique wilderness escape in southeastern Ohio.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Saturday, March 28, 2020, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Strouds Run State Park in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation at the park's Horseman's Area while maintaining proper social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis on an early spring day that just happened to be the first day of 2020 with a temperature above 80°. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie and their two small dogs, Theo and Mindy.

Eric and Vickie had, at this point in the COVID-19 crisis, been working at home for two weeks and the unexpectedly nice early spring day begged for a trip afield for a POTA activation of Strouds Run State Park. Eric chose to operate at the Horseman's Area because of it was most likely to be empty of other people and because of its high elevation and ease of access. Upon arriving at the Horseman's Area, Eric and Vickie found the place to, indeed, be empty of other visitors, so social distancing was easy to maintain.

Eric, Vickie, and the dogs arrived at the Horseman's Area at about 1730 UTC and, after a bit of scouting to determine the amount of mud and to find the best flat area, Eric deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 33' MFJ-1910 telescoping mast supported by his staked-down tripod. Eric set up his Elecraft KX3 on his folding camping stool and was on the air by 1750 UTC.

Starting on 60m, Eric's first QSO came at 1758 UTC with K3MRK. A QSO with stalwart POTA-Hunter VE3LDT quickly followed at 1801 UTC.

Theo-dog -- click to enlarge Switching to 80m at 1804 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1810 UTC with his good friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT, Mike. Hoping to also work his friend on 60m, Eric returned to 60m but Mike wasn't able to hear Eric there. However, a third QSO was made on 60m, with ND1J at 1814 UTC.

Switching to 40m at 1819 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1820 UTC with WA3TVN. QSOs came steadily on 40m, with Eric's seventh QSO on that band coming at 1840 UTC with WB4WTN.

Switching to 30m at 1842 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1845 UTC with W0YES. QSOs on 30m came steadily, with Eric's sixth QSO on that band coming at 1853 UTC with W6LEN.

Mindy-dog -- click to enlarge Finally, switching to 20m at 1856 UTC and not expecting much action there, Eric's first QSO there came at 1902 UTC with W6LEN. Thereafter, QSOs on 20m came very quickly, with Eric's eighth QSO on that band coming at 1907 UTC with KG5CIK. This run included QSOs with F5NEP and F4HZR in France and with ON4VT in Belgium.

In all, Eric made twenty-five CW 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. 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.