Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 04

A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the fourth in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.

Missed Day 3, click here.

Day 4 – Drive on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The ride’s been good so far, but today’s drive is one of those where we had no real goals, aside from helping our friends at Teslarati fill out the information on the Teslarati App for iOS. Our personal goal is to get to Minnesota, if we can make it to Wisconsin, even better. We didn’t book something specifically, but figured we would find a place “on the route.”

Hilton Garden Inn Rapid City

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The hotel and the accommodations were comfortable. At breakfast, I met a gentleman on a business trip and we spoke about traveling great distances in an EV. He was interested, but was on his way to a meeting.

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We left the hotel at 236 Rated Miles in the morning. That meant that ten miles of range was lost by vampire losses overnight.

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In driving through these areas, one would notice advertisements for Wall Drug. Apparently, one of the things that Wall Drug is known for is its “dinosaur.” Not really something we will be stopping for, but here’s a picture that we took while driving by the Wall Drug dinosaur. They label themselves as “America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction” but we opted to keep on driving.

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There was a sign we saw on this drive, after Wall Drug that was for the Minuteman National Historic Site.

If I had known earlier, we could’ve planned a stop here, but we were planning on using this day for a “drive as far as we can” day, so skipped it. Here’s a link to it, so if you happen to be by this way, you can tell us what you think.

Lots of grassland… Not even trees.

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Not much on the map between Rapid City and Murdo…

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Wait, is that a BLUE Water Tower… You can see how loopy we can get on long “empty” stretches of grassland.

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Murdo Supercharger

Finally got to Murdo!

The superchargers are right there…

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…but if you didn’t spot it from the road as we did, look for the two tall pines.

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Got some great panoramics here.

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The folks at the hotel were very friendly,

The hotel has nice and clean restrooms in the lobby. I was advised that the lobby is open until approximately midnight and may close earlier and may open close to 6am, but could open later. Especially in the winter.

The cell service in Murdo, SD on AT&T iPhone is 1 bar, nonexistent on Virgin/Sprint and T-Mobile is spotty. We don’t have Verizon, so I have no comment on that.

We switched drivers at Murdo, and the better half decided to drive the next leg or two… This freed me up to play with Periscope.

[Click on the image and let it play from the Flickr photostream]

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or play on YouTube –

There were lots of wide open spaces between Murdo, SD and Mitchell, SD.

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Ooh a truck…

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This was not something we expected… a Lake along the highway.

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While we were driving along, we got another signal, so I figured to try another Periscope session…

[Click on the image and let it play from the Flickr photostream]

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or play on YouTube –

We had a random sighting of a Signature Red Model S heading West when we were about fifty miles to Mitchell. We didn’t flash lights because the better half was driving and I forgot to let her know how to do that. But that was exciting.

Then, just like that, we made it to Mitchell, SD

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Mitchell Supercharger

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The Mitchell, SD location is right beside a Goodwill store. So, if you’re here during hours, it’s a good place to just browse through. You never know what you’ll find. I picked up a few books. Sue Grafton hardbound books.

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There is a Dairy Queen next door that is open 10-10 and I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream. Aside from that, there is a County Fair Food Store that is open 24 hours adjacent to these stores as well.

I chose Ice Cream and books.

And then we’re off… Minnesota is next…

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One of our favorite State Line signs…

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You can tell the California traveler, we’re obsessed with water

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You can tell that we’re rEVolutionaries as we get really excited when we see renewable energy sites…

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Good for you Minnesota! Love to see places use what they get power from renewables. Seeing that it was all foggy when we were driving through, wind power might be a better solution there than solar power.

Worthington Supercharger

Next up is Worthington, MN.

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There is a hotel right beside this supercharger, but we still feel like we can keep going, so we took the time while in the car to figure out where to stay for the night. My original plan had us in Madison, WI after staying the night at Rapid City, SD. That’s not going to happen tonight. That drive is just too far. So, we started looking at places to stay near superchargers; however, there were no hotels that really appealed to us.

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So, we figured to look for something where there is either a University or something else on the way and settled on Rochester, MN. Rochester is about sixty to seventy miles past the Albert Lea, MN Supercharger and before the La Crosse, WI Supercharger. Rochester, MN is a good place to shop for hotels because it is located where the Mayo Clinic is located and large, world-class hospitals have to have good lodging for a transient population of patients and their families.

So, we now have a plan of where to go next, and that means going past the Albert Lea, MN Supercharger.

The drive to Albert Lea was in the dark and we didn’t take any pictures, but we got there fine.

Albert Lea Supercharger

If looking for the chargers, look for the hotel sign…

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The superchargers are just on the other side.

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It was late, but as friendly as the inn keepers were at this supercharger location, it was not the type of hotel that we’re used to staying at, and we were determined to get to the Hampton Inn at Rochester, MN.

Besides at sixty-five miles per hour, it’s about an hour to our next hotel.

Now, this should’ve been fine, but we didn’t realize how thick the fog gets in this part of Minnesota. At least it did during our drive. Now, we ordered our Model S with the fog lights and they’ve helped us on our drive down from our factory pickup weekend but the fog was nowhere near the “soup” we found ourselves in.

The drive was a little scary, and the persistent “Deer Crossing” signs are a little rattling for a couple of “city” kids from Southern California where the only wildlife we normally have to watch out for are “party animals”.

This drive also reminded me of my high school drivers’ education courses on why a driver does not use the high beams in fog. And I was glad to have remembered it and turned the fog lights on.

Hampton Inn Rochester

So, the hour estimate was a little off. But, we did arrive in Rochester, MN before midnight.

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We turned in with 175 Miles of Rated Range when we parked the car for the evening.

After 583 miles of driving, it was time to get some rest. Our goal for tomorrow is to get to Chicago. As many times as we’ve visited Chicago, we have yet to take a picture with “Cloud Gate” or as locals call it “The Bean.”

Go on to Day 5. Click here.

04_Rapid City to Rochester

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Dennis

rEVolutionary armed with a Tesla Model S S85 and a Tesla Roadster, when his wife let's him borrow it. Formerly driving a BMW Active E (2012-Feb to 2014-Feb). Dennis has been driving EVs since he found himself on the BMW Active E trials on February 2012. As a result of his involvement in the Active E program, he became Accidentally Environmental. Aside from this blog, he often tweets @dennis_p. When not driving, he can be found on the following Tesla/EV forums - teslamotorsclub.com, teslamotors.com, and model3ownersclub.com as AEdennis or on speakev.com as Dennis. In the interest of full disclosure, Dennis has an inherent bias toward electric vehicles and has an investment in and is LONG Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA).

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