by William Eric McFadden

From the Strouds Run State Park 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.



On Friday, December 16, 2022, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Strouds Run State Park (K-1994) as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric's station On a partly-sunny, blustery, 44° December afternoon, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited Bulldog Shelter within Strouds Run State Park for a quick POTA activation of the park.

Eric arrived at Bulldog Shelter at about 1930 UTC, parked his car at one end of the small parking lot, and deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast on his drive-on base. Because of the wind and cool temperature, Eric deployed his Elecraft KX3 inside his car and was on the air at 1944 UTC.

As expected, Eric found he had good cell-signal at this location and he would be able to spot himself on the POTA Spots website and to use POTA Spots to identify possible Park-to-Park (P2P) QSOs.

Eric's station Having been informed by his friend K8RAT that the Earth was being hit by heavy flaring, Eric decided to try to validate his activation on 17m before trying other bands.

Eric began his operation on 17m by finding himself a frequency to run and calling CQ, and was pleased to be quickly auto-spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO came at 1944 UTC with AA5UZ in Louisiana. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's tenth QSO coming at 1959 UTC with WA9LT in Illinois. This run included QSOs with operators located in Louisiana, North Carolina, Minnesota (2), Oklahoma, Iowa (2), Idaho, Washington, and Illinois.

Having successfully validated his activation using only 17m, Eric then checked POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities. At 2006 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with K4NYM who was activating Jonathan Dickinson State Park (K-1887) in Florida. At 2008 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with WB5DW who was activating Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area (K-6574) in Texas. At 2013 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with WI2X who was activating Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge (K-0232) in Florida. Finally, at 2020 UTC, Eric made a P2P QSO on 17m with K5SJC who was activating Caddo National Grasslands Wildlife Management Area (K-4370) in Texas.

In all, Eric made fourteen QSOs, including four P2P QSOs, in just about thirty-six minutes of operating time. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at five watts output.

Eric also submitted his log to the World Wide Flora and Fauna in Amateur Radio (WWFF; link) program for an operation at Strouds Run State Park, KFF-1994.