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 Sunday, May 10, 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 seasonably-warm and dry spring 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 1500 UTC to find the area to be completely empty. Eric parked his car at the extreme edge of the parking area and 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, Eric set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air by 1508 UTC.

Immediately upon turning on the radio, Eric found KD3D operating on 40m from Chapman State Park in Pennsylvania. A Park-to-Park (P2P) QSO was quickly made at 1509 UTC. Following this QSO, Eric changed to 80m.

On 80m, Eric's only QSO was with his good friend K8RAT at 1515 UTC. After his subsequent calls of "CQ POTA" went unanswered, Eric switched to 40m at 1520 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 40m came at 1523 UTC with WD0ACB in Kansas. QSOs came quite briskly on 40m, with Eric's seventeenth QSO on 40m coming at 1546 UTC with WA3TVH in Pennsylvania. During this run, a second P2P QSO was completed, this time with N9MM, who was performing an activation of Sam Houston National Forest in Texas. Eric switched to 20m at 1548 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 20m came at 1551 UTC with WA7WJR. QSOs also came briskly on 20m, with Eric's thirteenth QSO on 20m coming at 1613 UTC with KN7D in Utah. This run of QSOs included QSOs with several DX stations, including OH1XT and OH1NPW in Finland, IW2NXI in Italy, and F6EOC in France. Eric switched to 30m at 1616 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1620 UTC with W0YES in Minnesota. As with 40m and 20m, QSOs came briskly on 30m, with Eric's eleventh QSO on 30m coming at 1630 UTC with N3XLS in Pennsylvania.

In all, Eric made forty-three QSOs,with two 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 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.