There are so many facets to Ham Radio, and that’s one reason I love this hobby so much. You can chase DX, storm spot, work digital modes, contest, the list goes on and on. Like me, you can have more than your fair share of ADD (which I am NOT making light of—it’s true, I do) and still find enough in the hobby to keep your interest for years and years.
Recently, I became aware of a program called Parks on the Air, and I’m hooked. It’s pretty simple, you can earn points and awards by both chasing parks (talking to folks operating from parks, from your home or car), or earn points by going to a park, setting up and activating within the boundaries of the park.
For those who know us, you already know that The Whitewater Canal is one of our favorite spots anywhere.
Located in Southeast Indiana, the Canal was the main route for transporting goods before the railroad came through. It’s now operated as a state historic site, and in season, you can ride the canal on a horse drawn canal boat, and explore the historic town of Metamora, which has kind of become a 2nd home for us.
The grist mill is still in operation (and is scheduled to reopen early July) and you can get fresh ground cornmeal there!
The Gordon House is the oldest house in Metamora, 1860, and is one of our favorites.
Here’s the horse barn, where the draft horses that pull the canal boat are kept.
We did our set up next to the canal, and my wife, Holly, KC9SPT took on logging duties. Equipment used for this activation was a Yaesu FT100, on battery power, and I ran 50 watts, into a hamstick antenna mounted on our Kia Soul.
In the span of our short operation, we worked (ham speak for communicated with) station in Ontario, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Alabama, Iowa, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, and others.
In order to get credit for an activation, you need to complete 10 contacts, and we blew through that in just a very few minutes. We had quite the pileup going for a while!
This was my first time doing a portable operation in quite a while, and I had SO much fun. Can’t wait to do it again!
If you want more information about Parks on the Air, you can visit https://parksontheair.com/ If you’d like to find out about the Whitewater Canal, you can visit https://www.indianamuseum.org/whitewater-canal-state-historic-site
Thanks for reading! This is my first blog post, so I certainly welcome any comments or suggestions.