Flagstaff – Solar Work

This is our second visit to Flagstaff, and I find it to be an absolutely beautiful area. Windy nearly all the time, but beautiful. Probably not more windy than Chimacum ridge was, but they get very little rain here so you can get a lot of dust with the wind. Yesterday we had 20 to 30 mph gusts and at one point it looked like a scene from The Mummy as dust swirled around the vehicle and came plunging in through our screen door. No one died, but the cleaning we had done earlier in the day was more than undone. Both of us are suffering with some sinus issues from the dust.

Solar Issues

The main reason we came was to get our solar system up and running properly again. We had a breaker that was tripping between the panels and the batteries, so we could generate power but it wasn’t getting to us most of the time. Obviously we decided to camp without power the first few nights. While deciding to rough it with no working solar panels wasn’t our finest planning, Fort Tuthill was very pleasant. It has great hiking, a gorgeous 18 hole disc golf course, and a pine scent you cannot get from a bottle. I wanted to do more hiking and golfing yet when it was time to leave.

Boondockers Welcome

With the top solar repaired I ran updates on some of the devices I could connect to with Bluetooth. Did you know you shouldn’t update the battery monitor unless the batteries are fully charged? Well, I did not, so my monitor started saying I was fully charged, which was a flat out lie, leaving us a little clueless on a very important piece of information.

To fix it we need to fully charge the batteries and neither of us wanted to run the generator for several hours to accomplish this. Off we went to a friendly drive way with a plugin. This was in the mountains West of Flagstaff which is rural farmland mixed among national forest. Was a lovely area and I did some scouting back in the woods. I found an incredibly remote site that we may try on another visit, though it has a 10 yard section of seriously rocky terrain that will be scary to bring Torta across.

Cali is a desert cat for sure. Every time we get into arid areas she wakes us up by 3am wanting out, and rolls in the dust until she looks like Pigpen. She can literally make a cloud by shaking now.

Walnut Canyon

We still have parts coming to improve the solar, but we are doing well enough that we decide it is time. Thirteen days in the mountains East of Flagstaff. We scouted heavily the day before, brought our routers with us and finally found a spot with sun, a view, and a route that we felt we could get Torta into. We didn’t realize it came with dust storms, but for free camping it is glorious. Should get three of the four parts we are waiting on today and should be generating around 700 watts tomorrow. That is more than enough for me to work all day and us to cook with electric and never need a generator. It is exciting to be this independent.

May peace find you.

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