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 Friday, May 15, 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 pleasant spring day that threatened rain to arrive later, 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 was accompanied by his small dog, Theo.

Eric and Theo arrived at the Horseman's Area at about 1530 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 1539 UTC.

Starting on 80m, Eric's only QSO there was with his good friend K8RAT at 1543 UTC. After his subsequent calls of "CQ POTA" went unanswered, Eric switched to 40m at 1545 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 40m came at 1548 UTC with W8SUN in Virginia. QSOs came blazingly fast on 40m, with Eric making eighteen QSOs in eighteen minutes. Eric's final QSO on 40m came at 1606 UTC with WA8IPA in Michigan. In the middle of the run, Eric made a Park-to-Park (P2P) QSO with K0EMT who was performing an activation of Little Dixie Lake Conservation Reserve (K-5706) in Missouri. Eric switched to 20m at 1612 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 20m came at 1615 UTC with WA7WJR. As with 40m, QSOs came very quickly on 20m, with Eric's eighth QSO on 20m coming at 1623 UTC with W9ALK. This run of QSOs included a P2P QSO with N9MM who was performing an activation of Sam Houston National Forest (K-4417) in Texas. Eric switched to 30m at 1624 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1629 UTC and was a P2P QSO with KC2BPP who was performing an activation of Gantry Plaza State Park (K-2059) in New York. As with 40m and 20m, QSOs came very quickly on 30m, with Eric's thirteenth QSO on 30m coming at 1640 UTC with W0YES in Minnesota.

In all, Eric made forty QSOs, with three 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.