- Office Building, 166 Roadrunner Pkwy, Las Cruces, NM
Having successfully charged up at the RV park, I headed on to Las Cruces, NM. A beautiful, uneventful drive…
…until I got to the Office Building in Las Cruces where I was planning on charging. I found the location easily enough, but I couldn’t get the unit to work. There is only one charger at this location, and it’s the only one around for miles. I thought maybe I need to have someone in the office turn it on, or at least tell me how to get it working. The allergist’s office on the first floor closed at 4:30. It was 4:45. So, I went upstairs to the aerospace office. They said that the station belonged to the allergist on the first floor and they had no idea how the charger worked. They did tell me that there was an ATF office down the hall and that they might know. I asked the ATF folks, but they didn’t know either.
I went back down to the car and fiddled with the charger a while longer before giving up. I tried calling the allergist and got their after hours answering service. I told them my situation, but they said they couldn’t contact him because it wasn’t a medical emergency. So, I tried calling the charging station company, PEP Stations. They also have an after hours answering service, but I told them that I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to talk to someone; I had to charge up overnight. They told me they would contact the company and have someone call me back within a few minutes. I had my doubts about that, but sure enough within 10 minutes someone from the company called me on my cell phone. Nice! He said that the display on the unit should be on if it’s working, which it wasn’t. I asked if he could somehow connect to the station from his end to see if he could get any status information on the unit, but he told me that they simply sell the units to their customers and that PEP Stations doesn’t monitor the units. He said sometimes owners turn off the stations when they’re not in use, so if I could get in touch with the owner he or she might be able to turn it back on. Well, I already tried that, so it looked like I was out of luck
I thanked the PEP Stations technician for his help and began to look online via PlugShare.com to see where I could charge for the night. I had enough juice to get me to El Paso, but most of the stations there looked like they were attached to low income housing buildings, so I wasn’t too keen on leaving my car in a sketchy area overnight.
As I looked, someone from the office building was leaving for the day and spotted me at the charger. He walked over and asked if I got it to work and I told him I wasn’t able to. His name was Mark and he said he knew the owner who also has a Tesla Model S. Mark said he had the allergist’s phone number and would give him a call to see how to get it to work. Great! So Mark called the owner and after talking with him for a few minutes he hung up and told me what was up. The owner is the allergist, Dr. Nattakom and he told Mark that a lightning storm that went through a week or two earlier had knocked out the breaker in the charger, so it wasn’t working. Bummer. However, Dr. Nattakom has a charging station at his home just a short ways away and would be happy to let me charge up there. YES! Mark gave me directions to Dr. Nattakom’s house and I was off with my hopes restored.
The Dr. drove up to his house just a few minutes after I arrived and was so excited to see another Tesla Model S. He told me that his was the only one in the city, so he took a picture of our two cars next to each other to remember this moment. 🙂 Honestly, Dr. Nattakom couldn’t have been nicer. He not only let me charge up at his place, but after the car was secured and plugged in his assistant, Antoine, was leaving for the day and gave me a ride to a nearby hotel! Antoine even offered to pick me up on his way into work the next day! I said that was very kind, but that the weather would be nice and since I was in no particular hurry at this point in the trip that I would just walk back to the car in the morning.
I must say, the kindness and generosity of fellow electric car owners has been one of the best aspects of this whole trip. Everyone is so eager to help me out, I can’t thank them enough. The only down side at this point was the head cold I was fighting off. After dinner at the hotel restaurant, I walked down to a nearby Walgreen’s and bought some more cold medicine and a box of tissues for the car. I headed back to the hotel, loaded up on cold medicine, took a nice hot shower, and went to bed.
After breakfast in the morning, I took a nice leisurely three mile walk in the early dessert sunshine back to the car, which was fully charged at this point. Thanks again Dr. Nattakom! After checking out and loading up the car, I was off to my next stop: Balmorhea, TX.