Life is Hard Dept.
[I’ve found that I can get a marginal cell signal at points during the day, so after enough unsuccessful tries, I was able to assemble and publish this.]
Can life be hard? It most surely can. But this is certainly not one of those times. Open only from Memorial Day through one week after Labor Day (for RVs, anyway), Hanna Campground is run by a concessionaire for the Forest Service. Normally $18/night to stay plus $2 for each yapping mutt on board, an America the Beautiful Pass chops this rate down to a base of $9/night. I can hack that for a week. A very tenuous cellular signal is the only reason I can think of why Hanna Campground is cheaper than the others in the general area. It’s very highly rated, and there’s a reason for that. I’ll let you figure that out from the photos.
I must say, with my last camping site towering over Spearfish, there was no difference in temps. A forecast of 91º would pan out such that it would happen at my 5,050′ elevation (according to my iPhone) just as it did below. This week’s temps are expected be from 89-95º, so I high-tailed it back to where I was before. There, it seemed cooler than forecast instead of hotter. Hanna Campground is at 5,500′, not all that much higher. Example: Yesterday’s forecast for Spearfish was 91. Here at Hanna, just 24 or so miles south, the high briefly peaked at 81. And I’m parked in the shade with the ground panels out, so that my heat gain inside the Intrepid is occasionally just 1º. I can do 81 with my eyes closed, (which I often do). Forecasts for later this week are more like 95, so my outlook here is justifiably optimistic, wouldn’t you say?
Then there’s my timing. The camp host here went to Spearfish yesterday and told me that he was glad to escape the smoke. Smoke? Yep, there’s a forest fire somewhere, and both Spearfish and Rapid City are blanketed. It hasn’t come here at all.
My only quarrel with myself is which particular spot to choose. This a fairly small campground as a reservation-free setup, so as long as I’m in my “final” choice by early Friday, I pretty much have the pick of the litter. This camp is very lightly used, normally. With the Labor Day weekend approaching however, that can be expected to reverse.
The site I’m in is, as you can see, right next to a fast-moving brook. And my site is all in the cool shade. At its edges next to the drive, the shade ends, which is where the ground panels come in. 200 watts to charge 420 amp-hours of battery capacity is not likely to turn out well for a week-long stay, particularly if the sky gets less than perfectly clear. My debate is whether to move into one of the many full sun slots and end the uncertainties in getting a full daily charge – which greatly affects battery service life.
Then again, that’s what desulfators are for, and I’ll be switching mine on in another day or three. That’s also what all that battery capacity is for. I’m not trundling along with the extra weight of 4 deep cycle batteries just for looks. This is the kind of situation where “the system” will just have to do what I shoehorned it in for, because I ain’t movin!