Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Roughing It

Hoop Lake is beautiful but rustic.   It sits at about 9500 feet in the Uinta Mountains, and the fact that elevation and temperature are inversely proportional holds true – it’s still very cold up here.  We arrived on the Wednesday before Memorial Day, and woke up Thursday morning to snow on the ground.  The weather stayed wet and windy most of the weekend.

The Campground Manager’s site is the only one in the campground with water and sewer hookups.  Great!  But the water wasn’t turned on yet, and we didn’t have enough sewer hose to reach the connection.  We had brought plenty of water, and thankfully the pit toilets were open.  Where were those camp hosts who were supposed to clean them?  Oh, wait – that’s us.
Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally the start of camping season here in the west.  We had our site in good shape by the time our first guests arrived.   On Friday evening two campsites were occupied.  That was it.  Apparently only the die-hards come up to Hoop Lake over Memorial Day weekend.
Our management knows this.  They arrived with our signs, forms and fee envelopes – and our cleaning supplies – on Saturday.  They turned on the water, which comes from a mountain spring, and we watched the rust from the pipes flow out the two taps in the campground.  They’ll be back to test the water on Friday, we were told, but until then we needed to let our campers know to boil the water first. 
A short orientation on the fees and paperwork, and we were ready to go – except for the fact that it was snowing and blowing way too hard to post the signs.  I ran some toilet paper over to the campers on the other side of the dam and we called it good for the day.  I laughed to myself as I carried the toilet paper – my friend Stacy told me that her most vivid memory of camping was the cute little camp host with an armful of toilet paper.  We finally cleaned the bathrooms and carried the fee envelopes over to our campers on Sunday morning.
We were motivated to get water running into the trailer, so we hooked up the hoses and turned on the water heater.  Hot water without heating it on the stove – heaven!  Until the next morning when we woke to discover that the water in the hose had frozen.  Looks like we’ll be disconnecting the hose every night and hooking it up for the afternoons when the temperature is above freezing – until it stops freezing at night. 
And speaking of freezing – our well thought-out plans for powering the trailer with solar power didn’t take into consideration the amount of battery power it would take to keep the furnace running all night and most of the day.  That, and the fact that there is no solar power if the sun is not shining, forced us to use the generator a lot more than we had expected.  As the weather warms up, we expect to use more and more solar (and less and less generator).
Our adventure has truly begun.

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