Friday, September 17, 2010.
We are on schedule! Another 460 miles down the road today, and we are in Jerome, Idaho, at "Camp Walmart." Tomorrow on to Richfield, Utah, and then on Sunday the short hop on down to Bullfrog Marina to launch.
Today's travels took us past the scene of last year's debacle, including the Pendleton, Oregon, reststop where Jim Martinson pointed out to us that we only had three wheels of our boat trailer on the ground, and the LaGrande reststop where Jim put all the stuff we had bought together so we would could continue on. Today, mercifully, no crises! Jim just called a few minutes ago to tell us while we were sleeping in Yakima, he saw us in the Yakima Walmart while driving his FedEx truck on I-82. He actually saw us twice, once on the way down to Herimston to pick up a load and then again bringing it back.
Last week I put a 15 watt solar panel on the roof to power the fan for the Airhead composting toilet. At lunch today, it occurred to me that with very little work, I could jury rig it so I could use it to charge the house battery as well. I will do it all up proper when I get home and run the wires around behind the head but for now they are coming in through the window the same as the cable from the Harbor Freight solar PV panel. A 15 watt panel at a nominal 12 volts outputs a little less than 1 amp in ideal conditions, so I imagine that I probably put 4 amp hours back into the house battery on our drive today - at sunny Powell, it should really help keep the battery up. I am already plotting changing it out for two Solartech 30 watt panels - those puppies will run my Norcold fridge!
We had a very pleasant evening sitting out in the parking lot in our folding chairs chatting with a couple from Sidney, BC, who are on their way to Sante Fe in their fifth wheel. Dennis and Linda, it turns out, have an older 24' Bayliner, and spend a fair amount of time on the west coast of Vancouver Island. We have often thought that we need to get to the west coast of Vancouver Island - so many places to go, so little vacation! I need to get retired!