Thursday, July 27, 2006

Camping on the Information Supper Highway

Being connected to the Internet at the campground is great. All you need is a reliable electrical source.

Sunday as we approached Harris Beach State Park turnoff, I noticed a sign that said, "Wireless Internet." The ranger at campground entrance confirmed that the campground had a wireless connection.

She cautioned that the signal didn't reach all 149 campsites. "You may need to park in the campground office parking lot to find an adequate connection." Just park your car in the employee parking lot and connect, she added.

Sunday evening I opened the wireless connection dialog box on the laptop, located the signal and logged in to Road Connect -- Oregon's roadside Internet provider. Access for seven days cost $6.99.

Being connected is great. It allows me to answer email, blog on last night's dinner and checkout (we've planned a visit there Friday).

But campsite C5 has one drawback: It's classified as "No hook, typical site." That means no electricity.

The batteries on my connectivity devises -- laptop, Palm Pilot, cell phone and digital camera -- require frequent charging. The phone and PDA can be charged via the cigarette lighter in the truck. The other two require an electrical outlet.

But I've only found one outlet at Harris Beach to charge the laptop and camera batteries. I've resisted the urge to sit in the men's rest room and baby sit the laptop (and serf the Internet) while the batteries charge.

Fortunately, we're headed to my sister-in-law's house this evening to fill up on conversation, grilled chicken and electricity.

I'll be connected through Sunday at motels, roadside rest stops and coffee houses. Then we're heading into dark territory (remember Steven Segal in Under Siege 2?).

Any one have an extension cord and satellite Internet connection?

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