Sunday, May 31, 2015

Atherton Creek Campground, Wyoming

Update on note: I like to use Microsoft Live Writer to create my blog entries. This software will push the content right into Blogger that is owned by Google. Google made a change to their Blogger software about a week ago and that has caused Live Writer to not work. I do not know when or if it will get fixed. In the mean time, my posts will not look as good and will not happen when we are without a solid internet connection. Sorry about that.

We left Calamity Creek Campground on May 26. The crowds were gone and we were the only ones in the campground or staying down by the river. We headed south along the Palisades Reservoir for about 20 miles then turned up the Snake River Canyon to Jackson, Wyoming. That was an easy and beautiful drive. Jackson is a cool little town, but I will write more about that in the future. We then went north and entered Grand Teton National Park. The peaks were socked in with clouds, so we did not get a good look at them. We then turned on Gros Ventre Road and went east. We left the NP at the little town of Kelly and then drove up a very good paved road for 3 of 5.5 miles. The last 2.5 are paved, but are filled with pot holes. We just went slow and made it to the campground. We got set up in this awesome spot:

Here is a shot of Slide Lake that is just behind the rig:

It is a beautiful spot and is a USFS campground at a cost of $12. Can you believe that they are charging $50 per night for a site with electric in the NP. It is just us and 3 others in the campground. Check out the glass smooth water. You can see in the picture above, we decided to go paddling right after we got set up. Here are a few shots of the outing. It was very enjoyable.

Kim really likes the boat.

Here is a shot back to our campground.

Our rig is the white speck in the center of this shot.
We paddled all of the way down to the south end of the lake and then the wind came up, but the good news is that the wind was blowing north, so we did not have to paddle as much heading back to camp.

As you can see by the sky in the shots above, we have been in and out of rain for what seems like weeks. I guess that is the same as our friends in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. We are not sure how long we will stay here, but I am good with waiting until the weather clears to get a good look at the Teton Range.

I have been asked by a couple people about my solar system and how it is working. To recap, I have one 100 Watt solar panel that is not mounted to the roof of the rig. I have it on a stand that I made, so that I can move it around to get maximum charge. I have a 60 Watt charge controller to manage the charging of my 2 12 volt batteries. I recently purchased a separate NICAD battery for my CPAP machine because running the inverter all night was killing the batteries completely. Now that I have done that, if the coach batteries are charged completely, they still have good charge in the morning to run the heat to bring the trailer up to acceptable temperature. We do not run the heat at night. We like to sleep when it is cold, but run the heat one cycle in the morning to bring the temp up to about 55 degrees. We do have to run the generator more when we have cloudy days. We try to get a bulk charge in the morning with the generator and then let the solar trickle charge all day, but some days we have to run the generator in the evening to finish charging the batteries. All in all, I am pretty happy with the system I have now. Keeping things charged is kind of a pain, but if we go for a drive, we just bring an inverter with us and do our charging from the truck. If we are having a good solar day, we can just turn on our coach inverter and charge the CPAP and computer batteries during the day. The best thing about this system is that it allows us to stay in complete comfort in places like where we are now.

Let me know if you have any other questions and I would be happy to answer them .

We went on our first Grand Teton NP adventure on Wednesday. That did not go as planned. I will fill you in on what happened in my next entry.


  1. I like the camp area you found. Since we'll be there next month, I'm watching your blog for good tips, thanks! I've seen quite a few free/almost free spots somewhat near Tetons. How far of a drive is it from your camp to the Tetons? Is there room for a 40 foot 5th wheel? We also just bought some of our solar system. We aren't ready to put out the big bucks for a full rooftop system and we know many others who are happy with a portable system. So we're starting with that. What inverter do you have? I also am interested to know more about the NICAD as my husband also uses a CPAP. Since you're using the NICAD, what is draining your batteries during the night? Just using the heater? Can you run your tv with your current system?

    1. Debbie,
      Atherton Creek is about 10 miles from the main highway. You can be at the south Visitor Center in about 15 miles. It will take about 30 minutes, but boy is it worth it. We were in site 19, which fit our 40 footer with ease.
      solar - We just have a 400 watt inverter that will run the TV and charge the batteries on the computers, phones, etc. Just running lights and the water pump and stuff like that pull down the batteries a little during the night. We rarely run the heater at night.
      We bought our NICAD battery on Amazon and got it for $279. So far it works great and will give us some additional freedom.

  2. Going to check it out next week!