POTA at Hopewell Furnace

Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site - Entrance Sign

I had another quick activation this morning at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site (K-0834/KFF-0834). It was a short, but very productive, session. 

The last time I activated Hopewell Furnace was back during the NPOTA event in 2016. This park is only about 30 minutes away from home, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to get back here. 

I pulled into the parking lot near the Visitor Center and set up my 19-foot vertical on the back of the truck and my TR-35 in the truck’s cab. A group of hikers were gathering at one end of the parking lot, so I stayed well away from their activity.  

Before getting on the air, I walked down to the Visitor Center for a “comfort break.” On my way there, one of the hikers came up to me and asked if I could satisfy his group’s curiosity about my antenna. I gave him a quick run-down on ham radio and the Parks on the Air activity. He figured it was ham radio, but was curious about why I was in the park. 

WB3GCK at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site
WB3GCK at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site (K-0834/KFF-0834)

One thing I remembered about this park from 2016 is the spotty cell coverage. It hasn’t improved much since then. I tried to spot myself, but I wasn’t sure if it went through. Stations started calling me, so it must have worked. 

It wasn’t long before I started getting some pile-ups on 40M. I did my best to pick out the callsigns, so I hope I got everyone. Things slowed down a bit after 30 minutes, so I moved up to 20M. It was less hectic up there, but I quickly put a dozen more contacts in the log. 

I pulled the plug after about 50 minutes, because I had a few things to take care of back home. I ended up with 41 contacts in the log, including one park-to-park contact (that I know of) and a QSO with F4ILH. 

As I was packing up, a man across the parking lot yelled, “That’s the biggest antenna I’ve ever seen. I bet you can reach Europe with that thing.” I happily told him I had just talked to a station in France.

It was a fun morning. I won’t wait another 6 years to come back.

73, Craig WB3GCK