by William Eric McFadden

Support-Your-Parks Summer 2021 RATpedition, Day 2; park eleven of eleven

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.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge 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.

Following a successful two-fer activation of Shawnee State Park (K-1991) and Shawnee State Forest (K-5450) (link), a successful activation of Lake White State Park (K-1971) (link), a successful two-fer activation of Scioto Trail State Park (K-1990) and Scioto Trail State Forest (K-5448) (link), a successful two-fer activation of Tar Hollow State Forest (K-5452) and North Country National Scenic Trail (K-4239) (link), a successful activation of Tar Hollow State Park (K-1996) (link), and a successful two-fer activation of Lake Hope State Park (K-1968) and Zaleski State Forest (K-5455) (link), Eric's seventh and final stop for the day was Waterloo Wildlife Area (K-8633).

Eric arrived at Waterloo Wildlife Area at about 2245 UTC following a long day of driving and POTA activations. Eric quickly deployed his 28½' wire antenna on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base. Eric set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 2253 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 checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and within minutes had succeeded in making a QSO on 40m with W9AV who was activating Lower Wisconsin State Riverway State Park (K-5643) in Wisconsin.

Finding his own frequency on 40m to run, Eric made four QSOs in about four minutes. This run ended with a QSO at 2302 UTC with KC8HZ who was activating Skegemog Lake State Wildlife Area (K-6783) in Michigan.

Pausing to check POTA Spots again, at 2307 Eric made a P2P QSO on 30m with NK4DX who was activating Holey Land Wildlife Management Area (K-6310) in Florida.

Returning to 40m to run a frequency, Eric made fifteen additional QSOs in about twenty minutes.

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