by William Eric McFadden

From the wildlife area's website:

The wildlife area includes rolling hills, woods, open fields, and two water areas. Situated among wooded hillsides is 48-acre Fox Lake. A small pond is on the northeast corner of the area. More than half of the area is wooded. Oak and hickory are the most common tree species, with lesser numbers of beech and maple. Fifteen percent of the area is brushland, primarily sassafras and sumac. Another 25 percent is openland.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Sunday, February 6, 2022, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Fox Lake Wildlife Area in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. Although this was the 20th activation overall of Fox Lake Wildlife Area, it was only the third CW POTA activation of the park, the first being Eric's activation on August 20, 2021, and the second being his activation of February 5, 2022.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited Fox Lake Wildlife Area on beautiful, sunny morning with ice from Winter Storm Landon glistening in the trees like diamonds, arriving at the un-plowed northern parking area at about 1645 UTC. Eric set up his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount and he set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1700 UTC.

As at his prior 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 by using POTA Spots to identify possible P2P QSO opportunities and at 1700 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 17m with WD5GRW who was activating Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site (K-6553) in Texas. This was followed at 1704 UTC with a P2P QSO on 20m with N5BO who was activating Natural Bridge Battlefield State Park (K-3639) in Florida.

Eric found himself a frequency to run on 40m and began calling "CQ POTA". Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1708 UTC, even before he had finished his first "CQ", with his good friend K4SWL in western North Carolina. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's twenty-second QSO in this run coming at 1729 UTC with KA1DBE in Maine. This run included a P2P QSO with K0BWR who was activating Lewis and Clark State Park (K-1770) in Missouri, and QSOs with operators in North Carolina (3), Missouri (2), Ohio (2), Tennessee, New Jersey, Virginia (2), New York, Indiana (2), Pennsylvania (3), Maryland, Kentucky, Michigan, and Maine.

Wanting to get off the roads before the rising temperatures turned the snow on the roads to slickery slush, Eric chose not to continue this activation on other bands.

In all, Eric made twenty-four QSOs, including three P2P QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with five watts output.