Indian Springs POTA Activation, Round 2!
The first weekend of March has come and gone, and it was a great weekend to complete another POTA activation! This activation took us back to Indian Springs State Park (K-2186, Flovilla, GA). Why go back to a recently visited park? Other than it being a nice day to be outside, repeatedly activating the same park allows us to make progress toward the “Repeat Offender Activator” award, and I personally have a lot of fun making progress toward contesting awards!
We quickly made our way to the same picnic table we’d previously “POTA’d” at as a) it had many options for hanging our EFHW antenna and b) it was out of the way from others also enjoying the park. As we’d planned for a quick activation, we chose to operate only on 20m. I volunteered to set up the antenna, as my “throw-the-Nalgene-bottle-in-the-tree-to-hoist-the-antenna” skills needed work (see video from my 40m antenna build) and definitely needed the practice. Frustratingly, I still cannot get the Nalgene into the tree with an overhand throw, but at least the “Granny Shot” never fails me!
With the FT-818 powered up and ready to go, we began our search for QSOs.
Ben (KO4KVH) and I have developed a routine where we first check POTA spots for potential park-to-parks (P2Ps) before putting out our own spot. Our routine paid off big time as we scored some amazing P2P QSOs. We even got a “wild card” with a QSO in Washington, DC, which counts toward the “Hunted US States” award. I was so ecstatic about making this QSO that I nearly forgot how to talk on the air! Thankfully, I managed to pull it together and provide him important POTA information, such as my callsign, signal report, and park reference. Once I quit laughing at myself over my momentary lapse of reason, I was also able to make a DX contact in Cuba. While not a P2P, I’m very much fascinated with DX contacts: it never ceases to amaze me that with one little wire in the air plus 5W of power, we hams have the ability to speak with people all over the world!
After making 3 P2Ps in less than 20 minutes, we put out our spot at 14.337 MHz and continued our quest for activation. Within about 45 minutes, we made 28 additional QSOs, completing our second POTA activation of Indian Springs. These last QSOs gave us another DX contact in Canada, as well as a few more P2Ps. A notable P2P was from a station in Florida, where we were working very hard against high QRM, but we all worked through it together and made the QSO happen: the sense of teamwork was incredible!
Before exposing ourselves to too much sun, Ben and I packed up the radio and antenna, calling it a successful activation. We had another great time at Indian Springs, where we have now established a solid routine for both where we set up and how we set up for working 20m. I can’t wait to make future trips back to the park, where maybe one of these days, we can bring our mountain bikes and reacquaint ourselves with the trails!
Until next time,