2 October 2021
This was the start of a long POTA weekend for me! I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get out because the weather forecast showed thunderstorms all weekend. I took the chance and headed about an hour away from home to Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton Illinois.
Pere Marquette State Park is a really beautiful park that overlooks the junction of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. I spent more time than I was planning on just driving around. By the time I got to setting up I had to rush a little bit to get everything done before zero hour. There were several camping lodge sites, some of which were closed for camping, but open to explore. There was also an interesting looking closed off site with a guard shack that might require further exploration in the future.
I had originally planned on setting up at the most remote part of the park, which from the map looked like Camp Piasa. When I got there though there was a gathering of people, and it wasn’t the high spot on in the park.
The day before this activation I got my new Buddistick Pro Deluxe in the mail so naturally I wanted to give it a try.
Ruby and Bruce helped me do pre-deployment equipment checks the night before.
By the time I got to actually setting up it was getting late in the day. I spent longer than expected just driving around the park. I also couldn’t find the right adapter to hook up the rig expert and tune the coils, so instead I just used the two vertical sections and the 10′ shock-cord section that I already had, and ran it all into the AH-705. This combo tuned easily on everything I tried from 10-80.
I should of brought my folding chair, because there was nowhere to sit. I ended up doing everything from the tailgate of my truck which worked just fine.
Pack It UP
I was losing light quick and I hit my last few contacts that I needed so I decided to pack it up. There was a lot of competition with the California QSO party and several other events. I also didn’t expect the CA QSO party to ask for a serial number so when K6O asked, it caught me off guard. Still 11 contacts with 5w in about 30 minutes wasn’t too bad.
I had a fun time in the park even if it was a short activation. I think that’s the point of the whole Parks On The Air program.
I tried this payphone and it didn’t work. My cell phone didn’t work very well here either. One of those times when ham radio and cw really do get through when nothing else will.
-73 – KK9U