After filling our water tank, dumping our garbage and recyclables, and eating breakfast, we hit the road from John & Jess’. We didn’t have anywhere we needed to be until Tuesday when we get to stay with another old friend in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. So we took our time getting out of town, stopping first at Trader Joe’s to get some of that really good soft blue cheese that our friends Dave & Marge turned us on to when we visited them in Stockton last year. There was a JoAnn’s in the same strip mall so Lulu replenished her yarn supply.
Next stop was Best Buy. We have a Sirius radio subscription and have our radio and antenna with us. We don’t listen to much music while driving as the cab is kind of noisy. However, it’d be nice to be able to tune in to Outlaw Country or Willie’s Roadhouse or maybe Margaritaville Radio while we’re parked. But, in order to use the Sirius radio, I have to plug it into the truck’s stereo which I don’t want to do as that runs off the starting battery instead of the house batteries. Besides that, I’d have to crawl into the cab every time I wanted to change the volume or something. So, I was thinking we’d get an inexpensive car stereo and mount it in the camper, or as the RVers call it, the coach. Even better if I could get one that was “Sirius-ready”. Then I could leave my Sirius radio on the boat and be able to enjoy satellite radio w/o having to move any equipment. Turns out it’s not quite that simple. “Sirius-ready” doesn’t mean the stereo can be a Sirius radio receiver just by plugging in your account number. No, it means that it’s all set up to take a special Sirius receiver (cost not included in the price of the stereo) that plugs into the back of the unit. You then have to have the receiver activated (at an extra charge by Sirius). Once that’s done, we could leave our original radio on the boat but we’d then be paying for two units. No thanks. I can always buy a cheaper non-Sirius-ready stereo and just plug the unit into the “auxiliary in” port. But then the salesman suggested another alternative. Why not buy a Sirius boombox? Our existing Sirius reciever would plug right in and the boombox would supply the volume. It’s a single unit, runs on 120VAC or batteries, and is portable. And, best of all, there’s no installation. Of course, he didn’t have any in stock so we still have time to mull it over but I think that’s the route we’ll take. We already have a battery-operated mini-boombox that we use with our iPod. Unfortunately, the volume control doesn’t work so we can’t use it with the Sirius which lacks a volume control.
OK, so now I’ve got myself thinking. Why not just buy a better amplified speaker setup with a mini headphone plug input and volume controls that do work? Then I could run either the iPod or the Sirius and have only one unit. Of course I’d still have the exisiting mini-boombox to do something with. Hmmmm…. what to do? what to do? Guess I’ll ponder it a bit longer but I’m leaning towards the “less is more” option.
Anyway, with the rest of the day to kill and needing to be somewhere for the night, we headed to Farragut State Park, a few miles north of Coeur d’Alene. It’s a nice enough park at the southern tip of Lake Pend Orielle but I can’t say that I’d recommend it off-season. Even though it’s hitting 80 degrees during the day, they are already in off-season mode. What this means is that several of the campgrounds are closed already and all of the flush toilets and showers are closed. The campgrounds have very nice pit toilets and there is a shower located down at Beaver Beach which campers can use free-of-charge. However, Beaver Beach is a long way from any campground and the shower is a big open room with 5 shower heads, just like in high school gym class or Navy boot camp. Lulu and I rode our bikes down there yesterday and decided that, even if we were willing to do group showering, which we’re not, the long uphill trudge back to our campground would necessitate another shower once we got home. All of the still-open RV-type campgrounds had at least water and electricity for $28 a night (with remote showers and a pit toilet). Water, electricity and sewer was more. We didn’t need any hook-ups so we asked for a dry site. The only thing that is still open for tents is one of the group campgrounds. This is a “park in the parking lot and carry your stuff to your site” type of campground. If we wanted no hookups, our only choice was to park in the group campground parking lot for $19 a night. The bathrooms are closed, just like all the other campgrounds but there is a nice, clean pit toilet. And there are garbage cans. So, for $19 we’re getting what the USFS charges $8 a night for. Nope, not recommended. Or maybe the Forest Service has just spoiled us, pricewise, since $20 or so seems to be pretty common for dry camping in state parks this time of year. I guess we were mainly disappointed with how few facilities were left functioning.
Oh yeah, and the museum is closed for the season as well.
That said, we managed to have a pleasant afternoon and evening and a good night’s sleep. Just now, as I’m sitting writing this, I looked outside and saw a very large flock of wild turkeys.
Spokane to Farragut State Park: 55 miles
Total to date: 1218 miles (45 miles per day)