by William Eric McFadden

Support-Your-Parks Summer 2020 RATpedition, Day 1

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.



Horseman's Area sign and trail-map -- click to enlarge On Saturday, July 18, 2020, on the first day of the Support Your Parks Summer 2020 Event, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed activations of four POTA units in southeastern Ohio. Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed activations of Strouds Run State Park (K-1994), Wayne National Forest (K4521), North Country National Scenic Train (K-04239), and Burr Oak State Park (K-1939) as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

The first stop was Strouds Run State Park, K-1994, Eric's local park, a park he had previously activated twenty-one times.

Eric arrived at the Strouds Run State Park Horseman's Area at about 1330 UTC to find devoid of horses or horse-trailers. Eric set up in usual spot on the edge of the gravel parking area, deploying his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast which he supported on his drive-on mount. To help ensure proper social distancing during the continuing coronavirus pandemic, Eric set up his KX3 inside his car, and was on the air by 1344 UTC.

Starting on 40m, Eric's first QSO came at 1348 UTC with VA3TTB in Ontario. QSOs came at a blistering pace, with Eric's forty-fifth QSO coming at 1454 UTC with KK8A in Ohio. This run of QSOs included a park-to-park (P2P) QSO with K0BWR who was activating Milford State Park (K-2345) in Kansas and a P2P QSO with K5KHK who was activating Hamilton Beach State Park (K-2068) in New York. Eric switched to 20m at 1455 UTC.

Eric's station -- click to enlarge Eric's first QSO on 20m came at 1457 UTC with N2OT/QRP. QSOs on 20m came quickly, with Eric's fifth QSO on 20m coming at 1507 UTC with K1PUG.

Eric diverted back to 40m to make P2P QSO at 1511 UTC with W4JL who was activating Buffalo Cove State Game Land (K-6886) in North Carolina.

Returning to 20m, Eric made two more QSOs on that band, including a P2P QSO at 1515 UTC with WB2SMK who was activating Schodack Island State Park (K-2136) in New York. Eric switched to 30m at 1518 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1521 UTC with KU4R in Tennessee. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's tenth QSO on 30m coming at 1536 UTC with K4KBL in Georgia. This run of QSOs included a P2P QSO with K4YTZ who was activating Poinsett State Park (K-2910) in South Carolina.

Needing to return home for lunch before venturing farther afield for his next set of activations of the day, Eric shut down at 1538 UTC, tore down his station, and went home for a quick lunch.

In all, Eric made a remarkable sixty-four QSOs including five 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.