Monday, May 21, 2012

Our First Hike

Not our first hike ever, but our first hike as full-timers.  When we were at this campground last year, we discovered a place called Big Elk Campground about 10 miles from here.  It is too challenging to get to with our trailer, but we just took the truck up there on Sunday morning to see if there was a trail.  Sure enough, at the end of the road was a trailhead for Big Elk Creek Trail #097.


                                 Rosie is chomping at the bit.  She loves hiking.

This was a nice hike on a well defined trail through the woods.  Down below we could hear the roar of the water from Big Elk Creek.  Here are some pictures taken along the way:

IMG_4837  IMG_4841IMG_4846  IMG_4850IMG_4851  IMG_4855

Unfortunately, I am very “out of shape” (unless you consider round a shape) and couldn’t continue on for more than 45 minutes.  As we started up a fairly steep grade, my ole bod just screamed at me “Stop.  No More.”  So we rested for awhile and started back (thankfully) down the hill.  Almost back at the trailhead, we encountered a group of horse riders coming up the trail.  Of course with every group of horse riders there is a big friendly dog running ahead to clear the trail.  So of course Annie started barking like crazy and Sammy went into attack mode.  Fortunately, I had Sammy on a short leash and under control.  So we stepped off the trail about 20 feet and let everyone go by.  That got my ole heart going again.  Sheesh, I gotta get in better shape.

Technology Update:

The Verizon Samsung Galaxy Tab MiFi is working very well here.  We have 3 bars on the pad and on our phones and are getting good speeds for internet access and sending/receiving e-mail.

The solar panels continue to kick out amps to the batteries.  However, the batteries don’t seem to be holding a charge like I think they should.  I ran the generator for 45 minutes Sunday evening to get the batteries up to 72%.  Went to bed last night with 56% battery charge reading and woke up 8 hours later with 26% charge reading.  I purposely did not run the heater to avoid the fan drawdown and turned off both laptops and did not leave either my phone or the Samsung unit plugged in.  The only thing I can figure is the DirecTV receiver came on at 4:00 am to record a show we like to watch later in the day.  I had a phone conversation with Tim, the RV Guy, and he contemplated I could have one bad cell in one of my four batteries, or they just needed a good, long “slow” charge to get fully charged.  Anyway, just things to keep in mind for the future.

This morning (Monday) we had a light breakfast and took the dogs for a long walk (on flat ground) along the river.  I have rigged up two fishing poles with the intention of trying my luck in the river after dinner if the winds calm down.  I will update with the fishing success, or lack thereof,  in my next blog.


Me and My Dog said...

Looks like you guys are having a great time. Beautiful hiking area! When I first started losing weight, I needed to drop about 25-30 pounds, I could hardly walk up my slightly sloped street in San Diego because I never exercised. Keep with it, a short walk every day will grow into longer walks. Having the dogs will be a big help, because you HAVE to take them for at least a short walk 3 or 4 times a day. That's the way I keep my weight down now. :)

I'm very concerned about your batteries. I was told they should never be below 50% charged, or they won't last as long. You might want to have them checked out. I never let mine get even 50%, I like them pretty topped off when I go to bed.

You can also check out some of the forums, I think the Escapees one is best and you don't have to be a member. Do a search - someone else has had the problem and there are probably lots of responses that will help.

Rick and Kathy Rousseau said...

Your friend is correct about possibly having a bad cell in the batteries. But did he also mention using the generator to charge the batteries is non-economical. If you are using solar to charge your batteries make certain they are getting proper coverage, the right angles and your batteries. If you are plugged in and not charging check first the batteries then the converter. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It's about time.

Jim and Rosie Sathe said...

Thanks for all the tips everybody.

When I am plugged in to shore power, my batteries are always at 100%. I will continue to monitor the solar system functions. I will have my batteries load tested on June 7th when I get the wheel bearings packed.

Laurie and George said...

Keep up the slow short walks. Got lots of time to get in shape!