Support-Your-Parks Summer 2021 RATpedition, Day 1; park one of ten
From the wildlife area's website:
Abundant native game species include the gray squirrel, wild turkey, and white-tailed deer. Lesser numbers of fox squirrel and ruffed grouse are found on the area. Cottontail rabbits occur in small numbers in the reverting fields. All of the furbearers common to southeastern Ohio are found on the area. Approximately 80 species of birds can be seen or heard on the area in a year’s time. Included are cedar waxwing, white-eyed vireo, red-eyed vireo, blue-winged warbler, prairie warbler, yellow warbler, hooded warbler, indigo bunting, Northern mockingbird, wood thrush, Acadian flycatcher, mourning dove, and red-tailed hawk.
For the Parks on the Air program (POTA; link) Support Your Parks Summer 2021 Plaque Event on the weekend of July 17-18, 2021, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed an aggressive two-day activation schedule with an overnight stop in Portsmouth, Ohio. The route of Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, would cover over 300 miles, would include fifteen stops in two states, and would lead to twenty-one successful POTA activations with 421 QSOs made. Over the weekend, Eric would encounter rain, thunderstorms, and brilliant sunshine.
Waterloo Wildlife Area (K-8633) was Eric's first stop of the day.
Eric arrived at Waterloo Wildlife Area at about 1200 UTC on day a day that promised rain and thunderstorms. Fortunately, Eric was able to deploy his 28½' wire antenna on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base without being rained on. Because of the chance for rain and because of his aggressive time schedule, Eric set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1215 UTC.
The cell-signal at this location allowed Eric to use the POTA Spots website (link) to spot himself and to look for possible park-to-park (P2P) QSOs.
Eric began operations by finding a frequency to run on 40m, spotted himself to the POTA Spots website, and in twenty-one minutes succeeded in making twenty QSOs. Eric then checked POTA Spots for P2P opportunities and made a P2P QSO on 20m with K4NYM who was activating Hilochee Wildlife Management Area (K-6309) in Florida.
Because his aggressive itinerary didn't allow for much time at any of the parks, Eric tore down his station in order to proceed to his next location.
In all, Eric made twenty-one QSOs, including one P2P QSO. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.