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 amongst the trucks and trailers -- click to enlarge On Sunday, May 17, 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, 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 wife Vickie and their two small dogs, Theo and Mindy.

Eric and his companions arrived at the Horseman's Area at about 1615 UTC to find the area to be full of pickup trucks and horse trailers. Since no people and no horses were to be seen, Eric decided to stay at the Horseman's Area for his activation, parked the 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 1632 UTC.

Starting on 80m, Eric's only QSO there was with WS8G at 1638 UTC. After his subsequent calls of "CQ POTA" went unanswered, Eric switched to 40m at 1644 UTC.

Little Theo-dog resting in the car -- click to enlarge Eric's first QSO on 40m came at 1648 UTC with K0BWR in Kansas. QSOs came steadily on 40m, with Eric's thirteenth QSO on 40m coming at 1703 UTC with VA3TTB in Ontario, Canada. Eric switched to 20m at 1705 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 20m came at 1705 UTC with KI5WA in Texas. Eric's fourth and final QSO on 20m came at 1713 UTC with K0BWR in Kansas. This short run of QSOs included a Park-to-Park (P2P) QSO with W6LEN who was performing an activation of Huntington State Beach (K-3445) in California. Eric switched to 30m at 1715 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1719 UTC and was a third QSO, on a third band, with K0BWR in Kansas. QSOs came steadily on 30m, with Eric's fifth QSO on 30m coming at 1725 UTC with KG5CIK in Texas.

In all, Eric made twenty-three QSOs, with one 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.