by William Eric McFadden

From the park's website:

Strouds Run State Park is located in the scenic forested hills of Athens County, in the midst of the unglaciated Appalachian Plateau. Although untouched by the vast ice sheets that moved across portions of the state over 12,000 years ago, Strouds Run displays the effects of the glaciers — in the deep ravines and high hills — where the valleys served as outlets for torrents of glacial meltwaters. The erosive power of these waters carved the valleys and hillsides, creating the familiar topography Ohioans know today. Large deposits of glacial outwash, primarily sand and gravel, were deposited along these streams and strongly affected the type of biological communities present today.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Tuesday, April 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. On a lovely spring day, and while taking advantage of a use-or-lose vacation-day, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation at the park's Horseman's Area while maintaining proper social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Eric arrived at the Horseman's Area at 1520 UTC to find the area completely unoccupied. He quickly deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of the need to ensure social distancing were others to arrive, Eric set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air by 1526 UTC.

Eric started operations on 80m and at 1530 UTC made a QSO with K8NWD in Michigan. This was followed almost immediately with a QSO with Eric's good friend and fellow SEORAT-member K8RAT at 1531 UTC. Eric's third and final QSO on 80m came at 1533 UTC with WC0Y in Indiana.

Switching to 40m at 1535 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1538 UTC with K3MRK in Pennsylvania. QSOs on 40m came very quickly, with Eric's thirteenth QSO on 40m coming at 1559 UTC with WK2S in New Jersey.

Switching to 20m at 1601 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came before he could even self-spot himself, the QSO coming at 1602 UTC with OH1XT in Finland. This QSO was followed by a QSO with K4ARQ at 1604 UTC and a QSO with DL8NDG at 1606 UTC. Eric's fourth QSO on 20m came at 1607 UTC with W6LEN in California.

Switching to 30m at 1613 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1617 UTC with WB2FUV in New York. QSOs came steadily on 30m with Eric's fifth QSO on 30m coming at 1625 UTC with WI1G in Massachusetts. In the middle, a Park-to-Park (P2P) QSO was made with N9MM who was performing an activation of Sam Houston National Forest in Texas.

At some point during the activation, an Ohio State Parks law enforcement officer arrived at the Horseman's Area. He didn't get out of his truck or otherwise talk with Eric, but he did remain parked behind Eric's car for about twenty minutes, driving off just as Eric was finishing his activation.

In all, Eric made twenty-five QSOs, with one Park-to-Park (P2P) QSO. 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.