by William Eric McFadden

From the nature preserve's website:

Rockbridge's natural arch or bridge is more than 100 feet long and 10 to 20 feet wide, and gracefully arches 50 feet across a ravine. It is considered the largest natural bridge in Ohio.



Eric's station On Saturday, August 6, 2022, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Rockbridge State Nature Preserve in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, stopped at Rockbridge State Nature Preserve while enroute home from the Voice of Aladdin ARC Columbus Hamfest on a warm day that threatened rain, arriving at the nature preserve at about 1845 UTC. They were accompanied by little dog Theo. Eric and Miles set up the 28½' wire vertical on a Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of the threat of rain, they set up Eric's KX3 inside Miles' Subaru. Eric was on the air at 1903 UTC.

As at his previous activations of this park, Eric had good cell-signal at this location and he was able to spot himself on POTA Spots (link) and to use POTA Spots to identify possible park-to-park (P2P) QSO opportunities.

Eric began his operation on 40m, finding himself a frequency to run and calling "CQ POTA". Eric's first QSO came at 1906 UTC with W4TRA in North Carolina. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's fifteenth QSO coming at 1922 UTC with VA3IIF in Ontario. This run included QSOs with operators located in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida, Ohio (3), Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Ontario.

Eric ended his operation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities. At 1925 UTC he made a P2P QSO with N2TQT who was activating Griffin House National Historic Site (VE-5364) in Ontario, Canada.

In all, Eric made sixteen QSOs, including one P2P QSO, in twenty-two minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with five watts output.

Miles did not operate but helped with set-up and tear-down, walked Theo-dog, and did all of the activation photography.