Contact was made with the great folks at George Rogers Clark and as long as I operated from my vehicle I did not need a special use permit. So all was set for the activation and as long as it didn't snow that day the activation was a "go".
Got on the road at 8 AM figuring I would arrive around 11:15 AM with some time to setup and eat lunch. I stopped in at the visitors center to let them know my plans and that I was planning to take the tour after I was done with the activation. They suggested that I wait no longer than 3:45 PM to start the tour.
The setup and lunch did not take long but then I noticed the time on my phone said 12:45 PM. I failed to factor in the time change when crossing from Illinois into Indiana. So now it was 1 PM and I needed to tear down at 3:30 PM so I could make the final tour so my operating time was cut short.
I started on 40 meter phone at 1 PM and made around 60 contacts and then the contacts slowed down. I scanned the cluster and made a couple park to park contacts. At 2 PM I got started on a 20 meter phone run making 74 contacts until another QSO slowly kept changing frequency until they were almost on the same frequency. At that point I could not hear any chasers anymore and it now was 3 PM and I wanted to finish out on 40 meters so I switched to 40 meters and ran until 3:30 PM. Tear down started and I was in the visitor center by 3:50 PM.
197 contacts made including the following:
42 different states contacted
Mexico and Azores countries contacted
Ontario and Saskatchewan provinces contacted
Point Reyes National Seashore
Frederick Law Olmsted
Wekiva National Wild and Scenic River
Something that impressed me was that when I went in for the tour they produced a NPOTA binder that had questionnaire sheets that asked for number of contacts made, states, countries and parks contacted. The are keeping that info as historical data for future park anniversaries. I followed up with the park the next day with an email with a breakdown of my contacts.I also gave them one of my laminated NPOTA signs that I put in the truck windows during the activation.
Arrived home around 7:45 PM and started uploading logs. Had around 90 immediate confirmations. This year long event had definitely made people proficient with LoTW!
If I had to make a change to this activation it would have been to leave home earlier to account for the time change therefore allowing more operating time.