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.



The view from Eric's operating location -- click to enlarge On Saturday, April 25, 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 Bulldog Shelter while maintaining proper social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis on a pleasant spring day. Eric was accompanied by his wife Vickie and their two small dogs, Theo and Mindy, and by daugher Kate and her dog, Bo.

Eric chose to operate at the Bulldog Shelther because of the dogs—the Horseman's Area would have been too muddy due to recent rains. Eric and the family arrived at the Bulldog Shelter at about 1700 UTC to find the picnic shelter closed and the bathroom locked due to COVID-19 but the parking area and trails were open. Several cars were already in the parking lot, but only two couples were on-site; both were sitting lakeside, some 100' apart and 75' or more away from the parking area. Eric parked the family van on the edge of the parking lot and deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of the wind and to help ensure social distancing, Eric operated inside the van. While Eric was operating, Vickie and Kate took the three dogs on a walk along the hiking trail and then enjoyed sitting in the sun. Eric was on the air by 1706 UTC.

The closed Bulldog Shelter -- click to enlarge Eric started operations on 80m in the hope of working his good friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT, but no QSO with Mike was made—Eric could hear Mike but Mike couldn't hear Eric. Eric's only QSO on 80m came at 1709 UTC with WC0Y in Indiana.

Switching to 40m at 1715 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1716 UTC with K3MRK in Pennsylvania. QSOs on 40m came steadily, with Eric's fifth QSO on 40m coming at 1725 UTC with KC2BPP in New York. Eric changed to 30m for one "POTA Hunter" QSO at 1726 UTC with N0EVH, who was performing an activation of K-6477, Amarugia Highlands Conservation Reserve in Montana. Returning to 40m, Eric made his last QSO there at 1732 UTC with N4SOC.

Switching to 20m at 1736 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1740 UTC with AE0G in Nebraska. This was followed at 1741 UTC with a QSO with W6LEN in California and a QSO at 1744 UTC with N9MM who was performing an activation of K-4417, Dora-New Holland on Salamonie Lake State Recreation Area in Indiana.

Switching to 30m at 1746 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1749 UTC with W6LEN in California. QSOs came steadily on 30m with Eric's fourth QSO on 30m coming at 1757 UTC with NQ7R in Arizona.

In all, Eric made fifteen QSOs, including four Park-to-Park 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.