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.



Horses and a horseman -- click to enlarge On Memorial Day Monday, May 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. On a rapidly-warming morning, 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 daughter Kate, Kate's dog Bo, and Eric's small dog, Theo.

Eric, Kate, and the dogs arrived at the Horseman's Area at 1430 UTC to find the area to be already occupied by a pick-up truck and horse-trailer, with two horses already out, being readied for riding. Eric parked his car at his now-usual location at the extreme edge of the parking area, a good distance away from the horses but, because both Bo and Theo were excited about the horses, Eric waited the better part of twenty minutes for the horsemen to take their horses away from the area before deploying 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 1453 UTC.

Starting on 80m, Eric's only QSO there was with his good friend K8RAT at 1457 UTC. After his subsequent calls of "CQ POTA" went unanswered, Eric switched to 40m at 1500 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 40m came at 1503 UTC with N2IGW in New York. QSOs came quickly on 40m, with Eric's tenth QSO on 40m coming at 1513 UTC with N2ZN. During this run, Eric made the first of three Park-to-Park (P2P) QSOs with K0BWR who was activating Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, K-4572. Eric switched to 20m at 1515 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 20m, coming at 1518 UTC, was the second P2P QSO with K0BWR at K-4572. Eric's second QSO on 20m, coming immediately at 1519 UTC, was a P2P QSO with K2LT who was activating Deer River State Forest in New York, K-5199. Eric's fifth and final QSO on 20m came at 1524 UTC with WD5CSK. Eric switched to 30m at 1525 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1527 UTC as a result of Eric's first call of "CQ POTA" on that band and was the third P2P QSO with K0BWR at K-4572. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's sixth QSO on 30m coming at 1533 UTC with K5KJ in Texas.

In all, Eric made twenty-two QSOs, with four P2P QSOs with operators at two parks. 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.