A hot day on the grass doing radio while many splashed in the lake
Parks on the Air
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I skipped a day from doing parks on the air so I felt like I needed to get out there today to activate a new one. For today’s adventure I selected Elk/Beaver Lake Park. It was a new one on the list and had only one prior activation. I left the hotel room around 1pm and made for the south end beach area of the park. Upon arrival I saw that there were lots of parking spots open and so I selected one near an opening to a trail leading to the picnic/beach area. After a short look around, I selected a grassy area not far from the parking lot but which had some shaded areas.
Having selected the location, I moved the car to a closer spot and then started to set up. Setting up went quite smoothly and soon I was hearing stations on the band. It looked encouraging as the propagation reports were encouraging. The first station I heard was a strong one from Slovenia. He was quite strong and clear and looking for west coast stations. I called him but he couldn’t hear me. After several attempts I reluctantly moved on. Moving up band I heard a load park activator in California. This one I did manage to work and I had my first contact. Over the next hour I slowly added 9 more contacts to my log. I had reached the needed number but I generally try to have a few extras.
I kept calling and calling for that eleventh contact but no one came back to me. I tied contacting some other park activators that I could hear but none could hear me well enough to get a contact. For another hour I kept trying different frequencies and even bands but it just didn’t seem to help. I heard a loud station from Spain but he didn’t hear me. I retried the Slovenia station but still nothing. It was very frustrating as I could hear operators contacting other activators but it seems that none could hear me. Fortunately, I did have 10. It was getting much hotter even in the shade and as time was getting on, I decided to end the visit. I packed up and set off for the room. Traffic was heavier on the way back and the navcom routed me through the city core which seemed odd. Surprisingly, I managed to arrive home just as Carolyn was also arriving.
It was a tough activation in the heat but I managed to get it done. Now I need to decide if I want to try again tomorrow.