So it’s starting to look like I only ever go to one spot. That’s not really the case, but I am trying to get the Repeat Offender Activator award for Cuyahoga Valley National Park – K-0020. There will continue to be posts of this park with a few scattered in from other places in upcoming posts if all goes to plan.
We’re getting to my favorite time of year. The parks are all but empty. Peak color for trees in this area was probably mid-week. By the time I was at the park doing this activation, most of the leaves were brown or gold. What difference does that make? Well, if it’s windy and 45F-55F there are far fewer people on the bike trails or at the park itself. It makes it a little quieter. I will admit that I enjoy it far more when there’s a touch of solitude. I think POTA bit into me when I started it because I started in the winter when there was snow and no one around to see how many ways I screwed up my activation. Maybe that’s just me, but the quiet is also really nice.
My wife was camping with the Scouts, so I rode out there on my own. I got set up at my favorite picnic table and got to work.
Anyone checking the date will know that this fell on the Autumn Support Your Parks event weekend. I had 10 contacts in about 10 minutes. Later I would learn that several of those were Park to Park and those other parks were multiples. It was a good day to up your park count for sure!
I was smart this time and took along a thermos of coffee. That kept the chill away for the time while I was operating. The thing that day was the wind. It was one of those times where having my antenna on a mast was better than having it in a tree simply because of the amount of motion due to wind.
It wasn’t just Support Your Parks weekend, it was also Jamboree On The Air for the Scouts. Now, my wife and daughter were off camping with our troop and my dad was up running JOTA at Camp Manatoc for any Scouts who were interested. I usually do something, but this year it sort of fell through the cracks because we needed to divide and conquer the different activity schedules of the kids. But as I was sitting at the table, a troop hiked by. One of their adult leaders is a ham and he stopped to ask me how it was going and if I knew of any JOTA activities. I told him that there was something at camp, but his group was hiking a long loop and was just getting started. He doubted that they’d make it back in time. That’s a bummer, but it’s hard to say you’re missing out on anything when you’re hiking those trails with your buddies. I did grab at least two contacts that were labeled as JOTA on FT8. Good to have them in the log.
Here is what the QSO Map looks like for the activation.