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 Friday, March 31, 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 miserable, cold, and very rainy last-day-of-March to perform a 56th activation of the park.

Eric's station On a day of use-or-lose vacation, during a lull in the heavy rain, Eric arrived at the Strouds Run State Park swim-beach area at 1656 UTC and, after taking the dogs on a quick walk, deployed his 28½' wire vertical supported on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base, set up his KX3 in the car, and was on the air at 1705 UTC.

As he had 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.

Eric began his operation on 40m by finding himself a frequency to run and calling "CQ POTA", and he was pleased to be quickly auto-spotted on POTA Spots. Eric's first QSO came at 1707 UTC with W5GDW in North Carolina. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's sixth QSO coming at 1712 UTC with KC3TAU in Maryland. This run included QSOs with operators located in North Carolina (2), Maryland (2), Illinois, and South Carolina.

Switching to 20m, Eric found a clear frequency and began calling "CQ POTA". This time he was not auto-spotted to POTA Spots, so Eric manually updated his spot. His first QSO in this run came at 1717 UTC with WK8S in Colorado. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's ninth QSO in this run coming at 1729 UTC with N3EQF in Florida. This run included a QSO with IW2NXI in Italy and QSOs with operators located in Colorado, Texas (2), Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and Florida (2).

In order to give his friend K4SWL in North Carolina a chance to work him, Eric returned to 40m, began calling "CQ POTA", and was quickly auto-spotted to POTA Spots. Eric's only QSO in this run came at 1733 UTC and was with K4SWL.

Switching to 30m, Eric found a frequency, began calling "CQ POTA", and was quickly auto-spotted to POTA Spots. Unfortunately, several minutes of calling resulted in no QSOs.

Eric finished his operation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and made three P2P QSOs as a hunter:

Band Time UTC Station Park
20m 1740 K5LE Bernice State Park (K-2772), OK
30m 1743 K0EMT Table Rock State Park (K-1787), MO
20m 1747 K4QD David K. Nelson Wildlife Management Area (K-3686), AL

When it came to tear down the station, the heavy rain had returned and Eric got quite wet.

In all, Eric made eighteen QSOs, with seven 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.