by William Eric McFadden

From the Strouds Run State Park website:

Located outside of the city of Athens and within easy driving distance of Ohio University, Strouds Run State Park surrounds Dow Lake and draws a mix of trail and lake users. Miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding provide scenic views from rugged trails. The lake offers boating, paddling, swimming and a shaded campground.



On Wednesday, December 28, 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 overlooking a frozen Dow Lake On his quest to earn the Fox Den Repeater Offender Activator Award for forty activations of the park, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited the swim-beach on a frozen Dow Lake for his thirty-ninth POTA activation of the park.

Eric arrived at the swim-beach at around 1510 UTC. Parking his car near near the closed-for-the-season boat, canoe, and kayak rental bulding, Eric quickly deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his 31' Jackite fiberglass telescoping mast on his drive-on base and deployed his Elecraft KX3 inside his car. Eric was on the air at 1517 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 began his operation by finding a frequency to run on 20m and calling CQ, and was auto-spotted on POTA Spots after his second CQ. Eric's first QSO came at 1523 UTC with K5BRY in Texas. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's fifteenth QSO coming at 1541 UTC with W0LRF in Colorado. This run included QSOs with operators located in Texas (2), Georgia, Kansas, Idaho, New Hampshire, Iowa, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, New York (2), Florida, Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Colorado.

Pausing to check POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities, at 1546 UTC Eric made a P2P QSO on 40m with KB9RPG who was activating Fort Harrison State Park (K-2256) in Indiana.

Finding a frequency to run on 40m, Eric began calling CQ and updated his spot on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1549 UTC with AE4FY in Florida. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's sixteenth QSO in this run coming at 1605 UTC with K2DDK in New Jersey. This run included QSOs with operators located in Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio (3), North Carolina (3), South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia (3), Illinois, and New Jersey.

Eric finished his activation by again consulting POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities. At 1609 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 40m with WG8X who was activating Kessler Swamp State Nature Preserve (K-9417) in Ohio. Finally, at 1612 UTC, Eric made a P2P QSO on 40m with K4OCY who was activating Cordell Hull Wildlife Management Area (K-7580) in Tennessee.

In all, Eric made thirty-four QSOs, including three P2P QSOs, in just under an hour 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.