This year, Memorial Day weekend brought the sweet respite of no internet service. I usually get pretty antsy when there is no connection at all from anywhere inside a campground, but it is clear to me that I needed a break. We still found time to check in with home every twenty-four hours, but once we got within about five miles of the campground, it was radio silence, a bottle of Rombauer, and bliss.
Friday, being a not altogether wonderful day for either of us, found us pulling out later than we wanted. We knew we would hit holiday weekend traffic, and we did. Still, we got to the campground with plenty of light for unhitching and a quick TJ’s dinner that was both delicious, and ready in 5 min. The site we got was very nice. One side faced some empty field space, so it felt a bit more private, and it was located under a huge Oak tree, for shade. We used the Caravan Mover to spin Dory to an optimal position and went inside for dinner, an episode of “Lost,” and bedtime.
Saturday was project day. Richard had previously installed a Sun Saver Duo solar controller so that the solar panels could charge the main battery and the coffee machine battery simultaneously. It appears to be a pretty nifty unit and also has the added benefit of bringing in the amps at a slightly higher rate than the original one. Richard programmed it to use whatever solar energy it is getting and send 90% to the main Alto battery, and 10% to the smaller 50 amp battery. He wired up a plug in the battery box for one end of the cable, and Saturday finished the project by wiring a plug in the wall to go to the solar controller. We can verify that the system is working as intended, which means we shouldn’t need to plan long outings to have hookup sites just so we can charge up the coffee battery.
The other nifty thing he did was to install a dual USB charging outlet, pulling from the circuit that used to run the CO/LPG detector. We’d pretty much given up on the factory wired detector. It was excellent at detecting moisture, spilled beer, and sound sleep, but we decided a while ago that we’d rather just die peacefully than need to consistently pull the fuse at 3am. We will instead get a battery operated standalone unit and see how much it detects. But again, dying in our sleep in Dory = not a bad way to go.
My projects were: put in a cup holder on Richard’s side of the bed, and rehang the clothing hook so it doesn’t fall off. Done.
All projects were completed by 2, so Richard went on a bike ride and I wrote the last report of the school year. That took a couple of hours. I then followed his route with the car, and met up with him on the road. This jaunt also coordinated nicely with a daily check in with the outside world. Then it was back to blackout bliss and a Blue Apron meal of Meatballs & Tomato Sauce with Asparagus and Creamy Rice. OMG. That was good. I’m 50 and don’t like brown rice, but that was really delicious brown rice. Perhaps, with the addition of fromage blanc, pan seared asparagus, cilantro, and lime juice, I could learn to appreciate the stuff.
Sunday was the warmest day of the weekend and we planned to redo the hike to the Balconies Trail Talus caves. It turns out, we were not the only ones on Memorial Day weekend to have that thought. We bailed at the last minute after standing in line for the shuttle while feeling crowded. Instead, we went on the South Wilderness trail. That was lovely, though would have been better about five to ten degrees cooler. It was an out and back and we figure we went at least five miles total. That was plenty. When we got back to Dory, we cranked the AC and had ice cold lemon waters. Another “Lost,” another quick trip to see if the world was still there, and back for a grilled dinner of beef satay and skewered veggies. While I cooked, Richard utilized the portable grey water dump tank. I think that may have been the third time it’s ever been used. For a two night stay, we don’t need to dump. If we had wanted to conserve, we could have made it another night, but the thing is really big, so we kind of wanted to feel like it was worth it to bring. Plus, over the summer, Richard wants to see if we could go places during the week where he could work during the day. If we can find a place with strong internet, electric hookups or solar, and a dump station, we could stay M-F. We shall see.
Monday we packed up leisurely, expecting to hit traffic no matter when we left. Sadly, as we were cleaning up, I found out from a ranger that the big flying birds we had been positive were Condors, were in fact Turkey Vultures. Apparently, the Condors have all flown to Big Sur. Oh well. I did not inform the campers next to us because they were pretty excited about seeing Condors. In fact, the evening before, there was quite a gathering in the campground of people looking up with binoculars at the seven circling Condors, exchanging remarks about how they were clearly larger than Turkey Vultures, and look, you can even see the distinctive white coloring that makes it certain they are Condors. And who can say? Maybe all the RV campers know more than National Park Service Rangers whose job it is to know about these things.
We left for home a little after noon and shockingly did not hit very much traffic at all. We even took a break to get some fresh fruit from a stand in Gilroy and still made it home before 4. Lovely weekend! Now back to real life for a couple more weeks and then it’s summer!
Total miles: 125.6, 16.5 mpg, 3 hours 46 min with traffic. Site 87, very nice. Electric hookups with water spigots available in the loop. None of the sites are terribly private, but it seems preferable to get one on the outside of the loop. Nice bathrooms, no cell service for five miles for either ATT or Verizon.