I wanted to throw up some photos from our Alvord Desert trip over Memorial weekend. Bob and Merran invited us and any folks that wanted to join down for their usual landsailing/camping trip out on the playa. Emily had been to this area prior but no landsailing or camping out on the open playa. This would be my first visit to this area of Oregon for a campout.
We departed Milwaukie at a leisurely pace, leaving Thursday AM rather than Wednesday PM late. Some minor murphy moments with the grey water tank and some finishing touches on the various systems meant a good bright-and-early departure would be better advised. I tidied up the temporary 24V system (directly charged from the solar panels) and connected the converter to 12V (which we would later end up using to power the bus for our entire trip home!). A quick load check of all roof items meant we were good to depart. The trip down was mostly uneventful. We stopped an fueled the coach near Burns, OR after having a nice stop by some local county law enforcement, concerned that we were trafficking large quantities of drugs. Their search turned up nil (of course) and after learning of my Search and Rescue affiliation, realized they were barking up the wrong tree. My 65MPH in a 55MPH zone was not even mentioned once they made it clear it was their probable cause for stopping us. We parted ways on good terms, with a warning that the wind on the upcoming roads would present a challenge.
We hit the playa an hour and change before dark, right about as the sun disappeared behind the steens mountains. Kelly arrived in his newly acquired school bus just before us and we made a caravan down to the playa with Bob and Merran leading the way.
The solar panels gave us enough power that combined with a proper sized inverter from Eric, and some cables from Kelly, we ran the ice machine, radio, and lights without worry.
Some photos (credit to Kelly for a couple of his!):
The trip home was uneventful, but not without an interesting twist. Our dual-field regulator for the 100A generator original to The Ghost decided that 16.5V was better than the factory 14.2V charge rate. This, being extremely hard on batteries, led to me to disable the regulator for the entire drive home. We departed in the late morning/early afternoon, stopped by fields for a milkshake and a hamburger, and continued on. We stopped in Bend along the way to enjoy a campground for the evening and to break up the trip. We decompressed, watched some programs on the laptop, played with Marley, and got to talk with some folks in the campground. A nice solar powered showerhouse gave us some much needed cleaning, although the light electrocution from the shower console was not appreciated. We departed in the morning (with a nice solar charge on the 12V starting batteries) and headed home.