This biking thing is getting fun. A quick zip out the the Cuyahoga Valley National Park [K-0020] and back isn’t a big deal. On the Saturday in question, my wife and I decided to head out. It was a pretty nice day and I expected there to be quite a few people at the park given it was Labor Day weekend. And I wasn’t wrong. There was a good amount of traffic heading into the park and when we got to the Ledges area where I’d figured we’d stop and set up my gear, we found that it was overrun. So we went down the road a bit to the Octagon shelter area. Now, this area is not on a trailhead. What a lot of people don’t know is that you can jump on the trail from that parking lot, but it’s not The Trailhead, so maybe folks don’t get it? Their confusion was our big win because there were picnic tables free and the parking lot was nearly empty.
I set up on a table in the shade. It turned out that the sun moved just enough in the 30 minutes or so that we were there that it wasn’t the shade for long. I wound up covering my tuner with my antenna bag and my IC-705 with a pannier to keep them shaded.
The operating position wasn’t bad. It’s on a high side of the valley, not down in it where I’ve done activations in the past. The area in question is a goup use area where there’s a nice shelter and then a big, open field.
It only took about 30 minutes to get the activation on FT8. That’s just about right when it’s humid and there’s little breeze to keep you from feeling gross. I had meant to try some quick SSB contacts, but it didn’t seem like adding time to the operation was going to be a great idea. Besides, it was our anniversary and we had a dinner to go to that night!
Here’s what the activation looks like on a QSOMap from qsomap.org.