by William Eric McFadden

From the wildlife area's website:

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Area is a 1,469-acre state wildlife area located 1 mile northwest of Chillicothe. The property is in Ross county.



The Pleasant Valley Wildlife Area sign On Saturday, February 26, 2022, two members of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Pleasant Valley Wildlife Area in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Following an unsuccessful car-shopping trip to Chillicothe, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, and Miles McFadden, KD8KNC, stopped at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Area for quick activation. They were accompanied by Eric's wife Vickie, KC8MAJ, and the two small dogs Theo and Mindy. Arriving at one of the wildlife area's parking areas about 1830 UTC, the trio-plus-dogs ate a picnic lunch and then Eric and Miles set up the 28½' wire vertical on a Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of the just-above-freezing temperature, Eric chose to set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1850 UTC.

As he had hoped, Eric found he 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 operating Eric began his operation by using POTA Spots to identify possible P2P QSO opportunities and at 1852 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 20m with KF5ALL who was activating Love Valley Wildlife Management Area (K-6358) in Oklahoma. This was followed at 1854 UTC with a P2P QSO on 20m with K0DME who was activating Arapaho National Forest (K-4400) in Colorado.

Eric found himself a frequency to run on 40m, spotted himself to POTA Spots, and began calling "CQ POTA". Eric's first QSO in this run came immediately, at 1857 UTC, with K8RQX in Michigan. QSOs came very quickly, with Eric's twenty-second QSO in this run coming at 1918 UTC with K1RO in New Hampshire. This run on 40m included a QSO with Eric's very good friend K8RAT in central Ohio and QSOs with operators located in Michigan (2), Pennsylvania (2), Ohio, North Carolina (3), New Jersey, Tennessee (2), Illinois (3), Maryland, New York, Virginia, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Georgia, and New Hampshire.

Switching to 20m, Eric found himself a frequency and began calling "CQ POTA", interested to see if POTA Spots would automatically update his spot with the new frequency and was pleased to see that it did. Eric's first QSO in this run on 20m came at 1922 UTC with VA2YZX in Quebec. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's fourth QSO in this run coming at 1927 UTC with WB5EVO in Oklahoma. This run on 20m included a P2P QSO with WA7RAR who was activating Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in northern California or southern Oregon and QSOs with operators located in Quebec, Maine, and Oklahoma

Eric finished his activation by checking POTA Spots for additional P2P QSO opportunities and at 1932 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 40m with KB1AWM who was activating Barnwell State Park (K-2885) in South Carolina. This was followed at 1935 UTC by a QSO on 20m with VE2VIA who was activating Parc de la Riviere-du-Moulin Regional Park (VE-0973) in Quebec. Finally, at 1937 UTC Eric made a P2P QSO on 15m with KP4RK who was activating Parque Nacional Balneario Punta Salinas State Park (K-7560) in Puerto Rico.

In all, Eric made thirty-one QSOs, including six P2P QSOs, in forty-seven 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 and did nearly all of the activation photography.