Monday, March 06, 2017

The Road to Solar Power, Chapter 1

Good morning!  And so here it is, the main reason I've revived our old blog!  Really, I probably could have written about other things before now but this is a topic perhaps a little more helpful for others.  So here it is!

This whole story gets started with our plan to book a seasonal campsite at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park.  SaskParks takes applications in January and then holds a draw in each provincial park in early February to assign the sites.  We had a powered site in 2016 and assumed we would do the same this year.  Much to our surprise, Saskatchewan Landing park decided they would not offer powered sites in 2017!  They had removed Nighthawk campground from the seasonal draw, and only offered sites in Bison Hollow, the unpowered campground.

So...what to do?  Carla and I weigh the options.  Unpowered seasonal camping fees are $1100.  That covers camping from the May long weekend through to the end of September.  Another option would be to apply to another park with powered seasonal camping.  Powered seasonal fees are $2100.  The third option is paying the full daily rate for powered camping.  That is $30 per night.  We quickly dismissed going elsewhere.  We love the Landing and we have a lot of friends that camp there too.  And it didn't take long to dismiss paying the nightly rate as that would either quickly approach $4000 for the full summer, or we would have to cut back a lot on our camping experience.   Bison Hollow, here we come!

To be honest, it wasn't a super-hard decision.  Carla has a coworker friend who has camped in Bison Hollow before and loved that part of the park.  It is close to the water of Lake Diefenbaker, and not far from the main beach and playground area.  Our site last year was nice but somewhat far from most of the fun areas.  So we got our application in and started planning how we would manage unpowered camping!

Our first ever application for seasonal camping was last year, and we got extremely lucky being first drawn and got our first choice of sites.  Our luck held this year, too, and we got our second choice of sites.  We're headed to site #2 this year!  It's going to have some nice morning sunshine, late afternoon shade, and it's close to washrooms and a water source.
SaskParks photo of Bison Hollow #2.  This is an older photo.  The firepit has been upgraded to the culvert style.  Lake on the left, washrooms and water source in back to right.

Anyway, that's Chapter 1 of the story, kind of how we got here.  My next post will be more technical, and go into detail of our solar power plans!

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