Wow, I really like lakes. A big huge thank you to our Altoiste buddy, Linda, for the recommendation of Camp Edison at Shaver Lake! This may have been one of my favorite places, though it was a long drive and I would have preferred a longer stay. But isn’t it always the case that we’d like a longer stay?
As it was, we were able to get out pretty early on Friday and were on the road at 2. The drive according to the navigation system was under four hours, but we always know to add time to those estimates. It turned out to be about 5 with some trafficky spots, but we still pulled in and got set up before dark.
What a site! We had a beautiful and unobstructed view of the lake, but I will say it was rather unlevel. Perhaps if we’d repositioned closer to the power pole, it might have been better. But we pulled out the trusty BAL leveler and raised it to its max. Good thing we always carry that just in case. Also a good thing we carry a step stool. Linda was just across from us in a rockstar site right by the water.
Saturday was a big day. Richard went out for an impressive bike ride, while Linda and I and her three doggies got to paddle the lake. Lake kayaking is my official favorite thing. There is no current, no tide, just easy, peaceful floating. Linda’s doggies were pros, even the puppy. We spent a good several hours paddling all around Shaver Lake. Once we decided to go back on land, we left the kayaks inflated on the chance we might want to hop back in the water later on. Then we relaxed in our respective Altos until Richard got back.
His ride covered forty miles and climbed 5,702 ft, so he was understandably tired and ready for food. First though, we had brought along all the fixins to install a Trimetric battery monitor for Linda, so we started on that.
To install a Trimetric on an Alto battery, often the most difficult part is fishing the thin wire that goes from the battery area, to the inside where the monitor needs to go. We got immediately confused when we looked at Linda’s Alto because hers was lacking the plastic tubing that houses the bundle of wires coming out of the battery on the port side. We found another tubing bundle on the starboard side and realized we were going to need to run the wire up through the floor on that side (*ok, it turns out we also have that same tubing on our Alto, we just never noticed because the one on the port side is so much more obvious. It also turns out the port side tubing is for the Caravan Mover, which Linda does not have. So there you go). I got to be the one on the ground with pine needles in her hair, carefully pushing the wire along from bend to bend. This process is not unlike when you accidentally pull a tie string out of something like pants or a jacket hood, and have to shove it back through, inch by inch, until you can pull it out the other side.
Eventually, Richard was able find the end and pull it up into the inside of the Alto. This was after we had to unscrew her little storage shelf in order to get access to the very front of the interior area. There sure are a lot of wires under there.
The next step was to install the “shunt” onto the battery. This is what actually reads the activity on the battery. Richard had made a fancy copper connector to go from the shunt to the battery terminal. Only problem: the terminal screw was too short. This stopped us dead in our tracks for a while until I asked if it could possibly be mounted upside down. Richard saw no practical reason that couldn’t work, so we were back in business.
Once we’d gotten this far, we sort of thought the hard part was over and Richard was very hungry. We made the call to pause and go get pizza, but Linda and I realized this would mean we really needed to retrieve and put away our kayaks. Plus, I had to change into more presentable town clothes. Plus, we had to put tools and stuff away if we were going to leave the campground. After all of this, I was regretting the decision to go out and knew we’d probably be finishing the project in the dark. Richard got to hear about my frustrations over that decision later in the evening, but in the meantime, we checked out a seriously great pizza joint in the town of Shaver Lake.
Upon our return, Richard started the process of hooking up the monitor. It turned out to be far more time consuming that he anticipated because he’d brought the wrong wire stripper. So…. he would go at it with a pair of clippers for a while, and either get it, or mistakenly snip the wire and have to start all over again with all four tiny wires. Poor Linda all this time, was standing outside in the dark with her doggies. Can you just feel the fun? So, cut to the chase, between his fiddling and my fiddling, we got it hooked up, tested, and mounted. I think it was around 9pm when we packed all the bits and tools away. That was a long day, requiring some follow up discussions for how to avoid similar situations in the future. We now have a “signal” I can give in moments when I think something is a bad idea but can’t explain all the reasons why. I also made reservations for this same site in October so we can have a do over. I really would like, someday, to go for a sunset paddle on a lake.
Sunday we enjoyed a nice, lazy morning. We headed back a little after noon, stopping at a vista point for lunch and coffee. The drive back only took around 4 hours and we got back at 6ish, gave an Alto tour, and collapsed for the night.
Total miles: 209.1, 16.3 mpg, 5 hours 8 min. Site: 120 (awesome). Other nice sites with a lake view and some privacy: 122, 124, 125, 119. Nice sites with lake view and solar: 120, 121. Potential nice group sites: 107 & 108. We didn’t check out the other loops though, so there might be some good sites there. Strong LTE for both of us. Electric hookups for most (if not all?) trailer sites. Water spigots plentiful. Sparkling clean bathrooms with showers, dump station. Great place.