Saturday, May 19, 2012

Palisades Reservoir Campground, Swan Valley, Idaho


This is a photo from May 2011 of the Snake River as it comes out of the dam on the Palisades Reservoir.  We spent 3 for 4 days here last year in the “hook-up” section.  This time we are in a “primitive” site because we want to give our boondocking skills a test drive for one week.  We arrived and set up Friday about 3:00 pm.  The camping fee here for us Senior Pass folks is $5.00 per night.  That is $35 for the one week we will be here.

It was overcast most of the afternoon and a light shower went through around 6 pm.  Then the clouds parted and the sun came out. until nightfall.  We did not get a lot of sunlight for the solar panels to recharge the batteries.  When we went to bed, the panel display for the solar system showed the batteries were 68% charged.  We set the thermostat for 65 degrees so the fan would not run so much overnight, yet we would not be too cold since the temp was supposed to fall to 35 degrees.

When I arose at 5:45, the display panel showed the battery charge level at 52%, so we did not use a lot of battery overnight.  The sun came out pretty early and by 9 am, the battery level was at 78% and that was after two hours of TV viewing running off the inverters.  By noon, with the TV off and only charging the laptops, the batteries were up to 92%; so it appears the solar panels are doing their job.  We only ran the generator for 5 to 8 minutes to brew coffee and make toast, so the generator charging was not significant.

My morning systems check showed one empty propane tank, so I went to a nearby Sinclair Station and filled it up. Also filled up my 5 gallon gas container for the generator gas tank.  That led into our lunch time and another hour of satellite TV powered by inverters.  Ain’t technology wonderful?  After lunch we leashed up the pooches and headed down to the river bank for a walk and exploration.  Here are some pictures:

IMG_4810  IMG_4813IMG_4815  IMG_4823

A really nice site, but too much shade for our panels.

IMG_4826  IMG_4828

This is us in the center of the picture.                               Rosie focused on Facebook and E-Mail.

As I write this about 3 pm, the solar panel is pumping out 10.1 amps into the batteries and the batteries are 82% charged.  I have two Fantastic Fans going and two laptops are powered up.   The generator has not been on more than 20 minutes total all day.  The solar power installation is looking pretty good. 

Tomorrow, we are going on a day hike to an area nearby called Big Elk Campground.  The road is Big Elk is narrow and gravel, so no way am I going to ever pull our camper up to that campground.  We drove up last year on a day trip and loved it, so Rosie is insisting that we revisit tomorrow and pack a picnic lunch.  Tuesday I have some work to do in Jackson Hole and in Pinedale, WY.   Rosie and the pooches are going along for the ride.  I hope to get in some fishing before we leave here.  My lower back is acting up, so we will see if I can work up the energy to throw out a line.


Sherry and Charley Dilworth said...

You are in a part of our country that we love!! Enjoy!!

Laurie and George said...

Lovely area! Following your solar use with curiosity..we've talked about it too.