I recently retired (as in a week before I left) and decided to take two months and do a long road trip. I needed to be in Michigan by Saturday, September 26th, but other than that, I had no definite timeline.
So, I left Cardiff by the Sea, California around noon on September 20th with the car loaded with snacks, clothes, my Tesla sweatshirt, a jacket and hiking boots.
I could log 200 miles before I need to recharge, but the superchargers are placed about every 50 to 150 miles apart, so I stop more frequently. I love having an excuse to see a new place, stretch my legs, and wash the bugs off my baby. I’m the type of driver who used to get on the road and then never stop (except for gas, or to grab a burger to eat behind the wheel), even on long-distance trips. Traveling with the Tesla isn’t like that. The car is quiet, the driving is relaxing, and stopping is just an excuse to stop to talk to other Tesla owners or people who have questions about it.
After leaving Cardiff, I stopped at the Rancho Cucamonga SC (supercharger) for about 10-15 minutes mainly to check it out for future reference….I like to see what there is to do around any chargers that are fairly close to my home. Then, off to Barstow, Primm and Las Vegas chargers. Since I stopped at all of them, I didn’t have to stop for more than about 15 minutes at each one. I ended up in Mesquite, Nevada for the night. I was going to go on to St George, but the Hampton Inn was sold out, and I had stayed at the Virgin River in Mesquite years ago and it’s a nice, clean, basic motel and it’s only $27/night. I checked in and saw that the place across the street advertises that they have Tesla chargers available. I may check that out on the way home.
The driving has been so much fun. I absolutely love driving my Tesla. I decided to make this a relaxing, leisurely trip, so I took every opportunity to pull over, check out the sights, take a short walk or hike and then cruise on.
I pulled over at a scenic viewpoint in Utah and met a couple from San Francisco, Cecile and Daryl, and their mini golden doodle Benji. Cecile has a Model S, but they weren’t driving it on this trip. They had seen me on the highway and wanted a picture of me, the car, and my OMGP85D plate. They had questions about how easy or difficult it was to charge it up on a long roadtrip. I told them that it was soooooo easy. Even more convenient that I had imagined.
I stopped in St George to charge and the Supercharger is behind the Starbucks. Perfect for breakfast and my decaf espresso! I met a couple who was driving an ICE car from California to Maine, so we compared notes. I also met a psychologist who owned some Tesla stock but had never seen a Tesla, so of course I gave her the tour of the car!
Beaver and Richfield, Utah were also stops to charge. Driving through Utah is so amazing. I love the red rock formations. I stopped to charge in the parking lot of the JW Powell River History Museum. Saw a great license plate on a black Model S – ELECSLDE……love it! Wandered around the museum for about 15 or 20 minutes while the car charged. Talked to the guy behind the counter – really nice guy who said that the town council debated about whether or not they should put the chargers in, but that it’s been great for their business. He also let me know that it’s the cheapest place in town for postcards – 25 cents!
I stayed overnight in Moab, Utah. The supercharger was in the Best Western hotel parking lot, which made charging very convenient. The hotel was a great place to stay. Very clean, up to date, great pool and hot tub. Met a guy in the hot tub who lived in the same neighborhood as me in Detroit. He went to the same elementary school that my younger brother and sister – small world! I drove around Moab and then out to the edge of town after I settled into the hotel. The light on the hills and the red rock at sunset was spectacular! The next day, I hiked Arches National Park—amazing! It was in the 60s, perfect hiking weather. There is a great road that goes all the way through the park with lots of pull outs and opportunites for pictures and hikes. Then, back to the hotel for a hot tub, shower, and a top off charge for the car before hitting the road again.
I headed out the Old Colorado River Road, on Hwy 128, which is a scenic highway…..asbsolutely breathtaking….it was so beautiful I didn’t want the road to end. Huge red rock formations, green pastures with horses. Passed a ranch that had wood cabins lined up along the Colorado River and paddocks full of horses. Looked like a great place to take a vacation. I stopped to take a picture of their entrance for a possible future trip. (Big thanks to Marc Lonier, who just did a Tesla road trip from California to Michigan and back, for the tip to take this road instead of the main road back out to 70!)
Then, on to my sister’s place in Denver. The Tesla charged in her garage at four miles of charge per hour, slow but perfectly adequate. Parked the car around 8 PM and head out for lunch until about 11 the next day, so I added 44 miles of range and was almost topped off. She has friends who offered up their 220 plug that they use for their Nissan Leaf, and there is a Tesla service center close by where I can add charge faster if I needed it, but wasn’t necessary.
Next – Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wall Drug, and the Corn Palace.