Day 1

Sunday, October 20, 2013
430 Miles.
Charging stops:

  1. Centralia, WA – Tesla Supercharger
  2. Woodburn, OR – Tesla Supercharger
  3. Grants Pass, OR – Tesla Supercharger
Day 1 map

Day 1 map

Having only two days to pack and prepare everything for my two week road trip, I have a lot of anxiety about how smart this whole trip really is. But, as I said, if I don’t at least try to do it, I’ll regret it forever. With that in mind, I set off down I-5 with the goal of getting to the Tesla Supercharger at Grants Pass. I was hoping to leave between 8 and 9 AM, but ended up leaving closer to noon. This put me behind several hours, but I hoped to make it up later on in the trip. Before I set out on my journey, I had to make a quick stop to wash the car. I just couldn’t fathom the idea of making a cross country road trip in a dirty car.

Car wash

After 93 miles I made my first charging stop at the Tesla Supercharger in Centralia, WA.

Tesla Supercharger, Centralia, WA

Tesla Supercharger, Centralia, WA

I met two other Tesla owners here and had a great time talking with them and sharing stories about our cars. Having fully charged, I headed for my second charging stop 120 miles south at the Tesla Supercharger in Woodburn, OR. So far, everything is going well. Good weather and the car is running perfectly. I set the car to “Range Mode”, which reduces the energy that the HVAC system uses, and I set the regenerative braking to low on the suggestion of another Tesla owner I know who has taken a lot of road trips. I think that last tip might have been a mistake. My third and final charging point for the day was 215 miles away at Grants Pass, OR. About 40 miles away I started going through the mountain passes and the rated range was getting very close to the number of miles I had left to go. With about 40 miles to go, I turned off the stereo, the heat, the heated seats, and slowed down from 65 to around 40 mph. I didn’t know how much buffer I actually had and I had never driven through this area, so I had no idea if I would be going up a steep hill for 20 miles at the end and run out of juice. It was white knuckle driving for the last hour.

Finally, I made it to Grants Pass, found the charging station, and plugged in with only 11 miles of rated range left. Whew! Now I need a drink to calm my nerves.

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