Sunday, November 4th
Wait, what happened to Day 14 you say? Well, that was the reunion, which was covered in the Day 13 post, so I’m skipping it. Also, there is no map since I really didn’t go anywhere except over to my sister’s house just north of Philadelphia to spend a few days with her and her family.
I had mapped out where I would charge getting to the reunion, but I hadn’t thought much about where to charge once I got there. I did see that someone with a high-powered wall charger lived just a few miles up the road from her. I scoped it out and saw that it was in a state park at a small house. I told my sister and she said, “oh, the white house in the park? Yeah, no one lives there.” But it really looked like someone did live there. It turns out she was thinking of a different house that is much larger where events are hosted in the park. Still, I wasn’t sure if this was a private owner’s wall charger or something the park had put in.
I had been over in South Jersey for the day and driven around a bit looking at my old neighborhood and other familiar areas, so by the time I drove back to my sister’s house, there wasn’t a whole lot of charge left. Range anxiety? Pfff! Apparently it was long since gone. When I parked the car in my sister’s driveway, it had about 20 miles of range. They didn’t have an outside plug, so I figured I’ll just wait until morning and take it over to the charger I scoped out earlier.
The next day after breakfast, I called the number posted for the charger on PlugShare, but got an answering service. I left a message saying that I would like to charge up using the Tesla charger and to please call me if they had any issues with me doing so. My sister and I drove up to the house and I plugged in and let it charge up through the afternoon.
When I got in the car I was expecting it would have close to the 20 miles of range it had when I parked it the night before. It was cold that night, and the car said it had 5 miles of range. It also gave me a message saying “Battery is heating. Power will improve as you drive.” I hoped so because it was limiting my acceleration severely as I pulled onto the main road. I had it floored and was barely accelerating. Here I am in my fancy car that raves about 0-60 in 4.2 seconds, and it’s taking it’s sweet time getting up to 35 mph. Well, it’s my own fault for not charging sooner.
As we pulled into the park and up to the house, I saw that the space was open and I would be able to charge with no problem. That was a relief because I don’t know if I had enough of a charge to make it back to my sister’s house!
I checked the Tesla Connect app on my cell phone and when the car was charged to the daily range setting, we went up to get the car. (I was no longer driving long distances, so I reduced the charging range to ease the strain on the battery when it’s fully charged.) When we got to my car, there was another Tesla Model S parked along side of it and a note on my windshield. Immediately my sister and I suspected the owner was not happy and left me a note stating as much.
To my pleasant surprise (as with many things on this journey) the note said “Did you drive all the way from Washington? How did you get here? Please stop in before leaving.” I peaked around the back of the house since I saw lights coming out of the windows there, and waived to the homeowners. They came out and were so excited to meet me. I told them my story and how I had come all the way from Seattle. The other Tesla was owned by Allan J and his wife, who was originally from the Seattle area. They were so hospitable and excited to see another Tesla owner and hear my story. They had lots of questions, all of which I was happy to answer. I told them I was staying just down the road and that I might need to use their charger again. They were happy to let me use it whenever I needed to, but to call ahead just to make sure it’s available. They were so nice, I gave them one of the four bottles of Washington wine I brought with me to give to folks who helped me out along the way. Since Allan’s wife was from the Northwest, it was especially fitting that they have a taste of “home” with some wine from there.