Friday, September 4, 2009


With a new battery hooked up and ready to go, we hooked up the Airstream and headed out to Stillwater campground on Lake Groton. It’s a Vermont state park with no hook-ups (like all Vermont state parks) so we are “boondocking” for the first time. And right now, we have 115 amp-hour battery and no supplemental systems like solar or a generator so it’s “watch the amps” time.

This is the last week that state campgrounds operate in Vermont and with school now in session, there are just a handful of campers here. We like it that way -- and it is one of the benefits of being semi-retired -- we can go mid-week and late in the season.

The site we reserved (#53) is nice -- level and relatively secluded -- and just a few hundred yards from the nice beach. The back-in process was the best so far -- perhaps I’m getting better with experience. After setting up, I walked the dog, checking out the other sites, and took a short bracing swim in the September water.

In addition to no hookups, there's no cell phone coverage (or 3G for the iPhone) and no wifi anywhere near. So it's the first time we've been "unplugged" for a long while and it's quite nice. We know we can drive about seven miles and pick up a cellphone signal (one short stretch on Route 2 where people pull off to call.) Instead of telemarketers calling all evening (in spite of Do Not Call), we hear loons and cicadas.

We've needed the gas furnace in the morning to take the chill off -- it's been in the 40's overnight -- and the gas-run appliances are running fine. I decided to use some fresh Vermont blueberries for muffins, trying out the gas oven for the first time. I used a Bisquick recipe off the web that was very simple but the muffins, while tasting great, were flat as pancakes. I blamed it on the oven setting until later, Mary checked the box and found that it said "Best if used by October, 2004. Guess I should have preflighted our pantry ingredients a little better.

We got the awning out for the first time yesterday and it looks in great shape. I've used the Springer system to exercise the Vizsla and Mary and I took a short bike ride on the old Montpelier-Wells River Rail Trail yesterday. The weather is spectacular and the forecast is good. Email and blogs can wait, it's time to get outside and enjoy this beautiful setting. I'd recommend it for your travel plans next season. Reserve well ahead -- these parks fill up fast during the summer.

Above are some shots I took yesterday morning with the iPhone on an easy morning walk with the dog. It's neat to watch the fog burn off on these pretty September mornings. Safe traveling.

P.S. We made it 3 days with no battery problems. I suggest sites 53, 63, 41, or 14 if you're planning to make reservations for next season. Here's a map of the park layout.

1 comment:

growcompost said...

Airstream living suits you both so well. I am glad you are finding rest and relaxation - off grid!!!