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YEAR #3 - STOP #28

A very short drive north from Winhall Brook Campground (ACOE) you'll find Hapgood Pond Campground (USFS) in the Green Mountain National Forest. There are only 28 sites here and Sites 1-8 are First Come First Serve (no reservations accepted).

We were fortunate enough to reserve one of only two sites here that will fit our sized trailer. We are also here for the June 26th Re-Opening Day of the campground after the CORONA Virus closures and this place is sold out for the upcoming Fourth of July Weekend.

Hapgood Pond

SATURDAY - Well the Fourth of July is here and as predicted the campground is full. Not only that the Day Use parking lot down by the pond is also halfway full. If you're not camping here there is a $5 day use fee per car to enter the park for hiking, swimming and picnicking. Also included is use of the bathrooms and free hot showers.

With everyone hanging out down by the pond today we thought it would be a good day to walk the Hapgood Nature Trail. It's a 1-mile trail without much elevation change and meanders it's way through the woods and completely around the pond. There were several bridges and lots of shade to keep us cooled.

At the end of the trail you can choose to return to the pond or there is a spur trail that will return you to the campground, conveniently very near our campsite.

The red dotted line in the map on the left is the Hapgood Nature Trail.


Fourth of July morning at Hapgood Pond
The beginning of the Hapgood Nature Trail
The spillway bridge
Where pond water turns back into brook water
A view from the backside of Hapgood Pond
The trail was easy to follow and well marked with blue blazes
Pond view from in the woods
It was nice and cool under the canopy of trees
This is Flood Brook which creates Hapgood Pond
Another bridge along the trail
The bridge to get across Flood Brook
Back near the parking lot

TUESDAY - Today is our final day at Hapgood Pond Recreation Area in the Green Mountain National Forest of Vermont. We have spent 11 nights here unplugged from electricity and yet we managed to continuously charge two laptops, two cell phones, two MiFi 6620L devices. Twelve hours each day we also powered one Weboost 4GX cell booster, two 12V fans, our water pump and all of our LED-lights anytime we needed them. Twenty four hours a day we powered the thermostat on our refrigerator and our two weather stations.

We did all that with our 600-AMP hours of lithium batteries. The weather here was overcast and raining for four days and the seven sunny days we spent under a dense canopy of trees that shaded THE POD and also the solar panels on the roof. We never got more than 112 watts of charging power from our 580 watts of solar panels and most days were in the 50-70 watt range.

What does all of this mean? It means our goal of being able to live comfortably off-grid for two weeks at a time is obtainable under even the worst of conditions. Our batteries never went below a 35% charge and lithium batteries are capable of being depleted down to 20% without doing any harm.

But now it's time to change campgrounds, to plug back in and charge our batteries back up to 100%. We'll also be able to dump our tanks and fill back up with 39-gallons of fresh water for doing dishes, spot-cleaning ourselves and flushing the toilet. We will still depend on campground showers for shampooing hair and overall cleansing. We also still purchase bottled water by the gallon for drinking and cooking, but we try to refill and use our three 3-gallon bottles as often as we can.

So after a few days at a full service campground we'll be ready to once again go unplugged for a couple of weeks, this time in Northern Vermont.

Our final morning at Hapgood Pond

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