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.



Eric's station On Sunday, February 19, 2023, 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.

Having made himself a goal of earning in 2023 the Bear Cave Repeat Offender Activator Award by performing sixty activations of the park, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited the swim-beach area at Strouds Run State Park on a warming (44°) but blustery mid-February Sunday morning to perform his 51st activation of the park. Eric was accompanied by his small dog, Theo.

Eric and Theo arrived at the swim-beach area at around 1425 UTC. Eric found a parking place, walked Theo-dog, deployed his 28½' wire vertical supported on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base, deployed his KX3 in the car. Eric was on the air at 1438 UTC.

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

Theo-dog Although this was the weekend of the ARRL DX CW Contest, Eric chose to ignore the contest and perform a straight-up POTA activation.

Eric began his operation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities. His first QSO was a P2P QSO on 30m at 1439 UTC with KD3D who was activating PA 191 State Game Land (K-8888) in Pennsylvania. This was followed at 1441 by a P2P QSO on 20m with VA2YZX who was activating Parc du Sanctuaire St-Majorique Regional Park (VE-4974) in Quebec.

Because 20m hadn't seemed strong during his initial hunt for P2P QSOs, Eric chose to do his first run on 30m, and his first QSO in this run came at 1445 UTC with W1ZU in Vermont. QSOs came quite quickly, with Eric's twenty-third QSO in this run coming at 1507 UTC with KG5DKG in Mississippi. This run included QSOs with operators located in Vermont, Illinois (3), New York (3), Michigan (3), Virginia (3), Tennessee (2), Maine, Indiana, Texas, Florida (2), Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Mississippi.

Pausing to check POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities, at 1512 UTC Eric made a P2P QSO on 20m with WS7M who was activating Boyd Lake State Park (K-1210) in Colorado. This was followed at 1514 UTC by a P2P QSO on 20m with KA3OCS who was activating Fort Zachary Taylor State Park (K-3623) way out on the end of Key West in Florida.

Hoping 20m was now stronger, Eric finding himself a frequency on 20m that was clear of contest activity, and begain calling "CQ POTA". Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1521 UTC with IW2BNA in Italy. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's seventh QSO in this run coming at 1527 UTC with K9IS in Wisconsin. This short run included a QSO with an operator located in Italy and QSOs with operators located in the states of Nevada, Florida (3), Massachusetts, Wisconsin.

Eric finished his activation by again looking for P2P QSOs. At 1529 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 30m with KC4MKD who was activating Evans County State Fishing Lake (K-7464) in Georgia. Eric's final QSO was a P2P QSO on 20m with W0ABE who was activating Boedecker Reservoir State Wildlife Area (K-9621) in Colorado.

In all, Eric made thirty-six QSOs, including six P2P QSOs. 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.