by William Eric McFadden

Support-Your-Parks Summer 2021 RATpedition, Day 1; park five of ten

From the wildlife area's website:

Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area is a 5,744-acre state wildlife area located 4 miles northeast of Oak Hill. The property is in Jackson county.



The wildlife area sign -- 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 activation at Waterloo Wildlife Area (K-8633) (link), a successful two-fer activation of Lake Hope State Park (K-1968) and Zaleski State Forest (K-5455) (link), and a successful activation at Lake Alma State Park (K-1967) (link), Eric's fourth stop of the day was Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area (K-8634). This would be only the second CW POTA activation of Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area, the first being Eric's activation of April 23, 2021.

Eric's station -- click to enlarge Eric arrived at Cooper Hollow Wildlife Area at about 1615 UTC. Eric quickly set up his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of the threat of rains and thunderstorms, and because of his aggressive time schedule, Eric set up his KX3 inside his car. Eric was on the air at 1630 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 and by 1658 UTC he had succeeded in making fifteen QSOs, the last QSO in the run being with Eric's father, W8EOG.

Switching to 20m to run a frequency, Eric made three additional QSOs by 1709 UTC.

Pausing to check POTA Spots for P2P opportunities, at 1714 UTC Eric made a P2P QSO on 20m with W9AV who was activating Lower Wisconsin State Riverway State Park (K-5643) in Wisconsin and at 1716 UTC he made a P2P QSO with WD5GRW who was activating Fort Washita National Historical Site (K-8142) in Oklahoma.

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 QSOs, including two P2P QSOs, in about forty-six minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.