by William Eric McFadden

From the West Virginia Explorer entry:

The 2,587-acre Frozencamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) protects wooded slopes, open bottomland, and open ridge tops on the left and right forks of Frozencamp Creel. Game traditionally hunted in the management area include deer, grouse, squirrel, rabbit, turkey, and waterfowl. Left Fork Lake, at 22 acres, and Right Fork Lake, at 20 acres, accommodate fishing for bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. Right Fork Lake is equipped with a boat ramp. Left Fork Lake is accessible only on foot.



Eric's station overlooking Right Fork -- click to enlarge On Saturday, August 8, 2020, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Frozen Camp Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. This was the first-ever POTA activation of Frozen Camp WMA.

On a beautiful summer day, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation overlooking the Right Fork of Frozencamp Creek while maintaining proper social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Eric was accompanied by his daughter Kate and Kate's dog, Bo.

Eric, Kate, and Bo arrived at Frozen Camp WMA about 1435 UTC and, after checking out the boat-ramp and parking area, Eric chose to set up at the northern end of the Right Fork of Frozencamp Creek, overlooking the lake. The only other people in sight were a pair of anglers in a boat on the lake. Eric deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast which he supported on his drive-on mount. To take advantage of the shade offered by the car's roof, Eric set up his KX3 inside the car. As Eric was setting up, Kate walked Bo around the area and found several large puddles full of tadpoles. Eric was on the air at 1458 UTC.

Right Fork -- click to enlarge Eric was not surprised to find he had insufficient cell-signal to view the POTA Spots website (link) or to spot himself, but he was pleased to find he had just enough cell-signal to text his friend K8RAT his frequencies. With Mike's help, Eric was continually spotted on the POTA Spots website.

Eric began operations on 80m and his only QSO there was with K8RAT at 1500 UTC. Eric switched to 60m at 1507 UTC but no QSOs were made there.

Switching to 40m at 1511 UTC, Eric's first QSO there came at 1515 UTC with VE3LDT in Ontario. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's ninth QSO on 40m coming at 1533 UTC with WI1G. This run of QSOs included a Park-to-Park (P2P) QSO with K0BWR who was activating Thurnau Conservation Reserve (K-6523) in Missouri. Eric switched to 20m at 1535 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 20m came at 1542 UTC with NG5E in Texas. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's fourth QSO on 20m, a second P2P QSO with K0BWR, who was still at K-6523, coming at 1546 UTC. Eric switched to 30m at 1549 UTC.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1553 UTC with W0YES in Minnesota. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's sixth QSO on 30m, a third P2P QSO with K0BWR, who was still at K-6523, coming at 1558 UTC. Because of the need to get to the next park, Eric shut down operations at 1600 UTC, made some photos, and tore down his station. Before leaving for the next park, Eric and Kate picked up litter left by previous visitors.

In all, Eric made twenty QSOs, which included three P2P QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.