POTA at Alapocas Run State Park

I haven’t been on HF much lately, so I made another trip down to Delaware for a Parks on the Air activation. My destination today was Alapocas Run State Park, just north of Wilmington.

I parked in a section of the park that has some multi-use trails, a picnic area, a large playground, and a couple of athletic fields. I chose a parking spot between some trees to avoid problems with my antenna. More on that later. 

The trail and picnic area at Alapocas Run State Park
The trail and picnic area at Alapocas Run State Park

After paying the $8.00 parking fee for an out-of-state vehicle, I set up my KX3 (5 watts) and 19-foot vertical. I started on 40M and logged 31 contacts with one park-to-park QSO. Needless to say, the band was in good shape. 

The 20M band wasn’t bad either. I logged 20 contacts there, including CU3BL and G3WPF. I also made it out to the West Coast, working a station in Oregon. Finishing up on 30M, I made five more contacts there, bringing my total to fifty-six.

On the drive down to the park this morning, I talked to my friend Frank N3FLL on the local repeater and told him where I was going. Frank was listening for me and worked me on all three bands. 

Although I had a successful activation, there was some drama as I was taking down my antenna. Remember when I said I parked to avoid the trees? Well, somehow I got my antenna wire caught in one of those trees. I pulled and pulled until my wire finally came loose. I thought for sure that I had broken the wire. The wire is #26 stealth wire, which is made of copper-clad steel. Fortunately, the branch gave way before the wire, and the wire came down intact. That sure is some tough wire.

My parking spot at Alapocas Run State Park. The tree on the right is the one that tried to eat my antenna.
My parking spot at Alapocas Run State Park. The tree on the right is the one that tried to eat my antenna.

Delaware parks have always been good to me, radio-wise. I have a few more parks in the First State that I want to activate in the near future.

I wish all those who celebrate a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

73, Craig WB3GCK

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