Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 15

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

Missed Day 14, click here.

Day 15 – Visit Northern New Jersey, Saturday, May 16, 2015

So today’s visit to New Jersey was really about just spending time with my cousin and his wife.

The location in Randolph New Jersey was the same one that we charged at 110V/6A (or approximately 1 mile per hour) on Monday evening (Day 10). We arrived the previous evening with 191 miles of range on the car (from the Paramus Supercharger) but we ended up driving to Rockaway, NJ and back and that consumed 17 miles of rated range.


We returned back to my cousin’s home with 195 rated range left. Since I forgot to take a photograph of the rated range when we left in the morning, I surmise that we added around 20-21 miles overnight.


One of the benefits of a casual day with family is we get to fiddle with things and found the optimum setting at my cousin’s 110V is 8A and not the 6A that I settled on Monday evening. The additional 2A (or 33% improvement in charging) raises the average mileage gain per hour from 1 mile per hour to 2 miles per hour. Since we figure to be “around Morristown, NJ” by Sunday, we’ve decided to join our NJEAA friends at their Sustainable Morristown event.

Now astute readers will notice that aside from my beautiful wife (and co-pilot), the only other folks that have driven our Model S on this trip have been my cousin in Ohio and my cousin in New York. Readers may wonder what about THIS cousin, the one in Randolph, NJ. He has both the other two cousins beat. He was the same one that visited us in Southern California during our Model S Pickup weekend. He and his wife were the first ones in the family to see and ride the Model S, he actually has driven our Active E and rode in my wife’s Roadster as well. Though I did offer for him to drive the Model S, he declined.

Driving Hybrid and Hybrid Garages

We decided to “drive hybrid” today and leave the Model S charging and we saw that this 8A held in the charge process.

Leaving the Model S in his garage to charge at 110V/8A reminded me of something that we did do to prepare for this long EV trip that we forgot to document on our Pre-Trip primer. As long time readers of the blog know, we don’t just drive Electric Vehicles. We have a hybrid garage that we’ve been running since we first acquired the Active E. In fact, we’ve been tracking the percentage of miles that we add on EV vs ICE as we were inspired by the tracking that Chevrolet Volt owners have published. We moved from approximately 80% EV/20% ICE in our first year of tracking to a 95% EV/5% ICE split in the second year. However, the danger of driving a hybrid garage with such a high amount of EV driving is that we have “killed” the battery on the ICE (and almost kill the battery two more times since then.) So, we figured with a long trip like this we needed to do something for our BMW X5 battery.

The simple solution was to plug the car in.


Basically, the contacts are connected to the battery posts of the X5 and plugged into the 110V outlet in the wall. Basically minimizing the need to start and drive the car once a week.

Blue Morel Restaurant and Wine Bar – Westin Governor Morris

We left the car to continue charging and rode in my cousin’s hybrid (non plug-in) for our night out. We went to the Blue Morel Restaurant and Wine Bar for dinner that night.

The Blue Morel has a great menu and the quality of the food and service was top notch. Normally, when we find ourselves this close to New York City, we go to restaurants in the City. But this trip we’ve decided to skip the City, so we picked a restaurant in Morristown and was duly impressed.

Being in a restaurant in a state located near major airports and the ocean, we opted for mainly seafood options. We imbibed in J.J. Prüm Kabinett Riesling, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Germany, 2011 to pair with our appetizers. The wine was so good, that we carried this same wine choice forward to go with our dinner. I had the Swordfish and my wife had Chilean Sea Bass. For dessert, I shared the S’Mores that the Blue Morel had on its menu with my wife. The quality of the food and service rivaled some of the finer restaurants in the city and we were glad to have dined there.

Go on to Day 16. Click here.

15_Randolph to Rockaway to Randolph

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 14

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

Missed Day 13, click here.

Day 14 – Drive on Friday, May 15, 2015

Before we head North, we figured that this would be a good time to look at the map that’s been at the bottom of every day of the trip to review where we’ve been.  It would seem that we’ve “reached our beach”, (an homage to those guys in Maryland that inspired us to take our trip by their “Reach the Beach” EVent in April.  No matter where we go, we’re not planning on going any further East (even if we go South, all the other states will be further West than York Beach, Maine), so we’ve decided to color the lines Yellow now (to signify our Westward journey home to the Golden State.)  At this point, we’ve traveled through 19 of the 50 states, supercharged 41 times (at 39 different Superchargers, one of which was un-reported to until I reported it via TMC), charged Level 1 (110V) on four occasions (at two locations) and yet to charge at Level 2 (either J1772 or Tesla HPWC.)

14_LB to York Beach, then White River Junction VT

Today’s goal is to get to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour, additionally, we figured to get a charge for both the car (and ourselves) at the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (aka Keurig (or the K-cup) folks) visitor center in Waterbury, VT. Originally we thought that we would go to Maine today, but since we’ve already been to York for dinner the previous evening, it was time to think of either returning West or going South, so we thought to take the traffic filled route to go to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA and/or the Pez Visitor Center that we saw advertised on our first stop in Connecticut.

But first, we had to get charging at the Hampton Inn, White River Junction.


We didn’t use much to get here from Hookset North Supercharger.



Additionally, we lost one mile of Rated Range from last night until this morning. Since we’re not sure of the charging situation ahead, and Plugshare comments on the CHAdeMO that has been installed in Vermont, seem to indicate that they were not very reliable and at lower power (25kW vs 50kW), we figured to range charge and just use whatever we can find.

The statistics before I moved the car to the CHAdeMO station.


Hampton Inn, White River Junction – CHAdeMO

When we initially purchased the CHAdeMO adapter for the Model S, it was as a convenience item. A “just-in-case” item that we got for Southern California. In fact the review and user-guide that I initially published a few months ago was written with that purpose in mind. However, in a state, like Vermont, that has only one supercharger 130 miles away from our destination, this convenience item quickly became a necessity.

The statistics after I moved it to the CHAdeMO station.


The NRG eVgo/Green Mountain Power CHAdeMO station at the Hampton Inn, White River Junction looked operational.


Model S charging door is open and ready to accept the Model S to CHAdeMO adapter and begin the charging session.


I signed up for the service, but the card will be arriving at home (in California) later in the week, so I’m hoping that they can do this remotely with a call. The screen requests the RFID card.


However, from the time that I attached the adapter,


read the Instructions to the side of the CHAdeMO charger,


the screen changed from waiting for the RFID card to “Preparing to Charge.” Well, that was a pleasant surprise, apparently the NRG eVgo/Green Mountain Power network partnership has not been officially launched yet and they were offering free 30 minute CHAdeMO service.


So, after timing out of the swipe screen it defaulted to “free charging mode” and we were able to start charging.

Now, we were planning a range charge, so I was going to check to see if we can extend the 30 minutes past the limit.


Per the Model S we’ll need 50 minutes to get to maximum.


Getting a decent 104 miles per hour.


If you notice, I placed my “handy dandy” EV Card from on my dash for any CHAdeMO EV driver to contact me while I headed back to the room for the 30 minutes of the initial charge.


As predicted, it stopped after the first 30 minutes.

As big as the Model S battery is, I figured to start the CHAdeMO for the remaining 20 minutes and stop it part of the way and move to the J1772 chargers, the reasoning is CHAdeMO (and superchargers) slow down to a trickle on the charge for the last few electrons (so as not to burn out the batteries.) During this slow-down, the speed that the car will charge will be no better than a Level 2 connection. However, the Model S battery is very big and even at the last 20% the CHAdeMO can continue at its rapid speed for “quite a while.” Confident that I’m not inconveniencing anyone who might need CHAdeMO, I let the car charge a little more, and ensured that I still had the “handy dandy” EV Card from still on the dash for anyone that might need the CHAdeMO. I returned a few minutes later to move the car to the J1772 stations.



I attempted to get the J1772 working remotely. However, the customer service at NRG eVgo is unable to remotely initiate on a network that is not yet active. Additionally, I had no card to start the J1772 session, so I just went back to the CHAdeMO and relied once again on my “handy dandy” EV Card from should anyone else stop by and need to use the station. Needless to say, the movement between CHAdeMO and J1772 may seem comical to anyone who may have been watching me at the hotel parking lot, but I was trying to be courteous to any other fellow EV driver who may need a charge.


Alas, it was a wasted effort as I could’ve just stayed on CHAdeMO the whole time and been done sooner.



We rolled out of White River Junction, VT at near the maximum, basically, when we were all ready and packed into the car.

In driving toward Ben and Jerry’s I noticed the road in Waterbury, VT that the navigation was telling us to exit on is VT-100.


This made me chuckle because that was the old terminal emulation that was very popular on BBS days as well as early Telnet sessions. That was the old VAX Terminal (VT) 100 emulation protocol. For all you younger geeks and/or non-geeks, it’s a very geeky thing that made me snicker.

Either way, we were enjoying the evergreens and mountain routes without snow. (It’s May and we’re not in the Rockies, so it’s all good.)



I don’t know if it’s the construction by the exit for Waterbury, VT that confused me or was it the fact that the following sign was spotted on the drive to Waterbury, VT.


As readers of earlier posts know, since Minnesota we’ve been freaked out by the Deer Crossing sign, but to see a BEAR Crossing sign, that’s even more distressing. Either way, we ended up missing the exit. Of course, I thought that’s ok, I can always turn around.

Well, the sign for the next exit and LEGAL U-turn was 15 miles away. Luckily, with a Tesla a 30 mile detour is also “no big deal.” Had we been driving a Leaf, I probably would have made an illegal U-turn at one of the ones set aside for law enforcement and/or emergency vehicles.

So, that 30 mile detour was filled with more picture taking.

And even more stress, filled with our nemesis, the Deer Crossing.


And in Vermont, apparently they “kick it up a notch.” At first they’ll warn you that they’re crossing, but the Deer brought a friend. And they’re crossing with Moose.


Then if that’s not enough. It’s just Moose.


Glad that the view wasn’t all stressful. A teepee?


Followed by a barn, are those solar panels we see? Good for you Vermont!


I’m stressed enough as it is, and sure am glad that we didn’t miss the Waterbury, VT exit a SECOND time.

Here’s the sign we were looking for.

Ben and Jerry’s Factory – Waterbury, VT


When we pulled into the Ben and Jerry’s Factory, we were surprised to see that the NRG eVgo/Green Mountain Power folks were busy installing a similar set-up as the one we left in White River Junction CHAdeMO/J1772 combination charging location in the parking lot for Ben and Jerry’s.


I approached the gentlemen that were working on the chargers and was told that they expected to complete the installation “later today.” They were somewhat non-committal on the completion of the location. We had a plan to catch some Level 2/J1772 charge at the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Visitors Center (aka GMCR or Keurig) in town, so there’s that if they didn’t finish the charger by the time we finish our visit.



I looked back at the parking lot sending as many “good vibes” that I can to get the guys to complete the installation for us.


We went ahead to sign up for the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour.



We took a picture of this Ben and Jerry’s RV that was parked at the entrance to the factory tour. Apparently, early in Ben and Jerry’s history, they sent their Ice Cream across the country in an RV that burned down, which generated massive publicity that helped them launch their brand. It would seem that the RV tour is the direct ancestor for this year’s Tesla Model S powered #SaveOurSwirled tour.



A display explaining the same #SaveOurSwirled activism that Ben and Jerry’s has launched.


We were not allowed to take photos of the factory floor, so we didn’t take any pictures, but we could take a picture of the room that they served us our ice cream in.





No, I’m not giving you attitude, my better half just caught me with Ice Cream in my mouth as I was taking a picture with my favorite Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Flavor.


Can you figure out what it has in common with our stop in New Jersey?

Here are some of the top flavors.




A shot of the giant “secret” ingredients for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.




Even with Ice Cream flavors, Ben and Jerry are trying to retire their use of fossil fuels.


A few more flavors that have been “retired.”




I would’ve loved to try that Creme Brulee, but it’s retired.   There were a few more in the “Flavor Graveyard“.  We headed back from the tour to the parking lot, with our “fingers crossed” that the CHAdeMO will be operational.



Ben and Jerry’s Factory – Waterbury, VT – CHAdeMO

I like to say that it is better to be lucky than good. And boy were we lucky today. Apparently, we were very lucky according to Henry Sharp (whose response I received as we finished the Ben and Jerry’s tour) as it would seem that many had not been able to get the CHAdeMO at the White River Junction to work for them. Additionally Henry reported the same thing as Plugshare complaints that, many of the CHAdeMO installed in Vermont were all lower powered (25kW and not 50kW).

The guys that I had met with and were completing the installation spotted me and waved me over. They were complete, and though they’ve installed the others before without a car to test it with, I was there to plug in and test the installation.


Both the J1772


and CHAdeMO were available. Guess who is christening the new CHAdeMO.


Of course there was some set up before this very nice picture of you know who at the charger.



The NRG eVgo/Green Mountain Power CHAdeMO was also a willing participant to the 30 minute free deal. So, we charged away.




We got a respectable 121 miles per hour on CHAdeMO at Ben and Jerry’s.


We were waiting to meet up with the Green Mountain Power Company representative, so we charged as close to 100% as we could. In the meantime, we spent the time in the parking lot meeting people who were curious about the car and what we were doing. We met a nice young family and a set of their parents visiting from India. The family was from Boston and had just looked at the car at the store in Boston the previous week. We discussed driving to Vermont and Maine with the Model S and how much freedom it was to travel without a single drop of gasoline. Furthermore we discussed the economic benefits of EV driving vs. ICE.

After speaking time with the family from Boston, the Green Mountain Power representative, Jenn (whose title is Innovation Champion (how cool is that)) arrived in a company EV (a Volt, if I remember correctly) and we discussed our trip and ourselves with her. We thanked her, her company (Green Mountain Power) and NRG eVgo in providing the L3 CHAdeMO for us to use. Apparently they expect the “free” period to be until the end of May, so timing is everything. Since we had to travel 130 miles to the Brattleboro Supercharger, we stopped charging after our conversation and we rolled off.


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Visitor Center

Our next stop is to the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR or Keurig) Visitor Center.

This visitor center was where we originally planned to stop for J1772 charge, but this time around it was a stop to get some coffee. We figured that they would have some varieties in here as well.





It was a good thing that we already got a charge at Ben & Jerry’s because there was one car charging and another waiting (a Ford Focus Electric Charging and Leaf waiting). This was the only Ford Focus Electric that we noticed on the trip.



Before we left the visitor center, an older couple asked “what the car was.” We told them that it was a Tesla. Though they’ve never seen a Tesla before, they were quite familiar with EVs, apparently their son drove a Leaf and they were impressed with the range of the Tesla. Apparently their son lives far enough that he is unable to reliably take his Leaf to visit them in Waterbury. I wonder if he will hear from his mother extollingexhorting him to have purchased a Tesla instead so that he would have range to visit his parents.

Henry Sharp has listed his HPWC available on Plugshare and he has an adapter from Roadster to Model S at the location. Apparently a few Model S have already taken him up on it and he reached out to offer us a charge at his home. However, we were running late and we politely declined. We will have to meet the genius behind “The CAN SR/JR” some other time. We stopped at the Brattleboro Supercharger next.

Brattleboro Supercharger

The Ben and Jerry’s location was approximately 130 miles one way from the Brattleboro, VT supercharger.




As late as we ended up in Brattleboro made us reassess the rest of our plans for the day, we decided to skip the Basketball Hall of Fame and Pez Visitor Center for this trip. This decision freed us up from going through what I expect is heavier Friday traffic through MA and CT to get to NJ for the evening, we decided to head to Albany instead.

As for the Brattleboro location itself, we were there later in the afternoon, and I am unsure whether the location is a “safe” one. There was “something” about the location that made me feel inherently unsafe.

Using the skip the Interstate rubric that we incorporated into this trip’s guiding principles from Day 5 yielded us a beautiful scenic route through VT-9 (which is North on I-91 by an exit or two).


It looks like there were a lot of antique stores (not that we photographed any) on this drive between Brattleboro and Albany superchargers.  There was also a lot of beautiful country to be experienced.






Fun elevation changes and the like is not a big deal when you have enough charge and the destination is only 85 miles or so away. Which means Model S 40kWH drivers can enjoy this drive. (For that matter, an Active E driver/Leaf or whichever electric vehicle you choose would be fun on this leg between the two spots, as long as you can find an appropriate charger for you (even 110V as Thomas J. Thias aka @TheAmazingChevyVolt) often points out to other Twitter users. As long as you have access and time to charge.))


Before entering New York on this drive, there was an interesting Obelisk on the drive.



In doing some further research after the drive, it would seem that we had passed by the Bennington Battle Monument.  Perhaps, if we were not in a rush to head back to Randolph, NJ, we would’ve stopped.

As opposed to the blurry Rhode Island or the obstructed Massachussets signs, here is the state line and sign for the Empire State.  It looks a lot better than the one we had taken when we were going to Long Island a few days ago.


We found this interesting store at the side of the road.  We didn’t stop, but there was something wildly compelling about it that we took a few pictures of it.





After the foray into Vermont, what we’re now saying about our old nemesis the Deer Crossing sign – “at least it’s not MOOSE or BEAR.”


Some more barns and the like.





Albany Supercharger

Another mall location. Met with a former Roadster, now Model S owner from New York as well as a couple more locals. They were quite friendly here and we had a good conversation with the mostly local crowd. We didn’t feel like dinner at a mall, so we skipped it, but did go to the large Whole Foods Market that was a short walk away.





By the time we left the Albany, NY supercharger to enter the New York State Thruway, it was getting very dark and we didn’t take any pictures.

However, as opposed to the drive to Vermont, we were never alone and there was always another car either ahead or behind us. Going at rather high speeds, but still, it was comforting to note that we “were not alone.”

Paramus Sales, Service, and Supercharger Center

Another place that tells us that “we’re not alone” is at the Paramus Sales, Service and Supercharger Center. The chargers are open 24 hours, the store and service are not. We drove in there later on a Friday evening and the lot was very dark. There were three other Model S charging when we pulled up and at least another four joined throughout the time we spent charging at that location. I tried to take panoramic shots in the dark, but that’s the best look you can see of the location.



The distance from Albany, NY to Paramus, NJ is slightly longer than from Ben and Jerry’s in Waterbury to Brattleboro Supercharger.


We charged “pretty full” as you no doubt remember, my cousin in Randolph was the one that had the outlet where we charged 110V/6A. And 1 mile per hour is fine for “holding off vampire loss” but not for continuing travels.

Randolph, NJ



Even so, plugging at 1 mile per hour, when we’re expecting to be here for a while means we’ll get above that 191 miles of Rated Range and onto the 200+ in no time.

Besides, tomorrow is a pretty casual day in New Jersey.

Go on to Day 15. Click here.

14_White River Junction to Randolph

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 13

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

Missed Day 12, click here.

Day 13 – Drive on Thursday, May 14, 2015

As we mentioned, we had two definite goals for our trip to New England.  The first is to visit one of the “Summer Cottages” for the “mega” rich of the Gilded Age.  Looking at the list of Newport Mansions, we decided to “go big” for our one mansion and chose “the Breakers.”  The additional goal for the evening is to find ourselves in Vermont in the evening so that we can go to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour the next day.

It was another one of these “funny” overnights when the Rated Range went from 129 overnight to 130 in the morning.  Probably parked the car with the charge “on the margin” or it could be the pack “settling in and balancing” either way the overnight swings between -10 to +1 on Rated Range when left outside, unplugged, overnight.

After checking in last night, it was interesting for my wife and I to note that we both have never slept in the state of Rhode Island. So, we’re making that a “small goal” for this trip. To find states that neither one of us has ever slept in and add it to the list. So far, this trip, that meant the stop at Delaware and this one in Rhode Island have made two additions to the “Dennis slept here” list. Not quite President Washington’s claimed locations, but a small goal met on our list.



So, our hotel, the Hampton Inn & Suites, Newport-Middletown was really close to our first stop at The Breakers, Newport, RI.

The Breakers, Newport, RI

The Vanderbilts built the Breakers as a “Summer Cottage” from New York. It’s a pretty impressive cottage. Now, for an even more ostentatious “house”, the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA takes the cake, but that is for another trip.


I took pictures of our mileage from the hotel to The Breakers.



We were not allowed to take photographs inside of the house, but took full opportunities to take photographs from the outside.




If you’re going to take a picture at a summer house, you must wear your sunglasses. It’s an unwritten “rule.”




I figured to take see if I can interest folks to check out Transport Evolved by wearing my t-shirt. It’s a conversation starter.



We took the opportunity to take some “nature” shots.




Newport has some tight streets, but without traffic, it’s a fun little drive. I wonder how busy these streets get in the summer, which I gather is the peak season.





Left Newport and headed to East Greenwich for a supercharge.


East Greenwich Supercharger

The supercharger in East Greenwich, RI is the only set of superchargers for the state.  It was located less than 30 miles away from Newport, so getting there was “no problem.”



The superchargers were located at the edge of the shopping center.


The Connecticut local that we met at the Milford North Supercharger told us of the grocery store (Dave’s Marketplace) by these chargers and we figured that this would be a good time to replenish our supplies. It was this sort of hint that we hope to share as we assist in filling out the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.


On the way to the grocery is our own little “hint” for those travelers that wish to replenish other “supplies.” The wine shop (the Savory Grape) next to the grocery is well stocked and has a great selection of wine. We went in to browse. They had a few notable bottles, but seem to specialize in Italian wines more, though they carried a good selection of other regions. What struck me in visiting their shop was the layout of the shop was not by region, but by “body style.”  If you click on the link, they can explain it better, but I took it as how does the wine “play” in your palate.


After replenishing our supplies at the grocery store and browsing the wine shop, we were off to Massachusetts.

On the way to Auburn, MA, we spotted ONE windmill, not a wind-farm, just a windmill.  Granted, it looked to be the most high-tech of windmills that we’ve spotted on this trip.


I wonder if that’s all that’s needed to power Rhode Island? 😉 After all, Rhode Island IS the smallest state in the Union and currently has the same number of Representatives as Senators.

We thought that we were taking a picture of the Massachusetts state line when we accidentally took a picture of this sign that was set up before the state line.


Though not a state sign, it is a very welcoming sign for our veterans.

Auburn Supercharger

We don’t know why there is a pond adjacent to the Auburn, MA supercharger that has a rocket model, but, if you see the rocket, you’re by the right place.


This supercharger is located at the edge of the mall, as many of them seem to be, and the nearest store is a Macy’s Home store, which leads to a less busy, less parked cars near the superchargers. However, the superchargers in Auburn, MA is pretty busy.


Like many chargers near big cities, we didn’t speak with the other three Model S that were there. They all had Massachusetts plates and were “locals” who didn’t get out of their cars, so we didn’t chat with any of them.

So, we went ahead grabbed some electrons and planned for our stay in Vermont.



We looked at Vermont and noticed that there were no superchargers on our route to Ben and Jerry’s.  The one supercharger that was installed in the state was further South of the one we’re using in New Hampshire. There are, however, several CHAdeMO and J1772 stations, so we decided to pick a hotel that was near a CHAdeMO station and settled on the Hampton Inn, White River Junction, VT. I sent an email to Vermont resident, Tesla Roadster owner, creator of the “world famous CAN JR and its newer counterpart the CAN SR”, Henry Sharp to see if he has any recommendations. Beside, worst case scenario, we also planned on several J1772 routes as backups along the way. Besides, neither one of us has slept in Vermont before, so that’s a bonus.

The CHAdeMO at White River Junction is on the NRG eVgo network, so I figured to go ahead and open an account with them.  Even though I won’t get the card until I get home, eVgo does have a pretty well staffed support line that can activate a CHAdeMO remotely, if needed.

With that in mind, we headed off to the last supercharger on our Route North (as we were not looking to cross the border into Canada) and to Vermont, the Hookset (North) Supercharger



and another state line crossing today.


It struck us as odd that New Hampshire has some really wide roads compared to some of the more populous states.


Hookset (North) NH Supercharger

We were surprised at how early we got to the Hookset (North) NH Supercharger.  Realizing how close our stop at White River Junction, VT will be we figured to go into the rest stop.





Many of the restaurants at the rest area were unavailable that evening. Only the diner was open, or packaged sandwiches from the General Store.


We figured that we would range charge here and head to Vermont, where we didn’t have any supercharging options on our route to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour. Inside the rest stop, we spoke with the gentleman at the tourist information booth and found out how close we are to Maine.

After this discussion, and paying attention to the time, we figured to go to Maine for a lobster dinner.

We went online to look for a restaurant for our lobster dinner in York, Maine. We targeted the Harbor Porches Restaurant at the Stage Neck Inn and made a reservation for dinner.

Calculating that we didn’t need a range charge to get to and from the Stage Neck Inn, we charged what we needed and headed out to “have lobster in Maine.”


On the way to Maine, we found these signs interesting because we don’t have them in California.


Dinner with a sunset view of the ocean is something that West Coast folks enjoy often. So, we rushed off to the restaurant for our dinner and hoping for a view of the sunset.


Another State Line crossing to Maine.


They’re so friendly in Maine that they provide TWO State line welcome signs.



And we got to Maine before sunset.









Stage Neck Inn, York, ME

Well, remember that thing I said about the sunset…


We’re in the EAST COAST. They get the SUNRISE here. (yes, I had a little “DUH” moment there.)

What do I care? We had LOBSTER in Maine for DINNER.

That’s a victorious look behind that bib.



We got out of dinner with the sun already set.


Another Tesla Motors random sighting at the Stage Neck Inn.



The car was parked outside of the Inn with the owner nowhere to be found, so we didn’t get to chat with them, but it was cool to see a Maine Tesla Model S.


A picture of our car in the dark.




Nearly 74 miles from NH to ME, means we have more than enough to get back to the Hookset (North) superchargers again.

We hit 39,000 miles on this drive, and yet another picture of significant mileage on the car.


And just like that, we’re back at the Hookset (North) Supercharger.

Hookset (North) NH Supercharger

Eagle eyed readers will note that the mileage between our to York Beach, ME and from York, Beach, ME is not exactly even. This is because of the oddities of these “rest stop” superchargers. We had to head North for several miles before we can turn around to head over to York Beach. Luckily, when one has a ton of miles, a little detour is only inconvenient and not “deadly” to the drive.





The drive to Vermont from New Hampshire was scary. The route was dark. REALLY DARK.  There was hardly any traffic and our nemesis, the “Deer Crossing” sign kept popping up. But, we pressed on.

The darkness in the drive is striking in the lack of any “light pollution” that we normally experience in Southern California. Even when driving between Las Vegas and Southern California in the evening, the route is rarely as dark as the drive we experienced in Vermont.

Hampton Inn, White River Junction

We made it to our destination just passed midnight.


We parked the car with a 176 miles of Rated Range to make it to Ben and Jerry’s with a vertical climb ahead of us.  Remember that we chose the hotel with a CHAdeMO at the location, since we can charge in the morning, we really don’t care what the charge level is since we expect to have enough to get there and back (assuming we can catch another charge on the way back South.)


Go on to Day 14. Click here.

We changed the color of the route map to go Yellow for our Westward journey. Since we reached the furthest Eastern portion of our drive, we’re now making the u-turn Westward.

13_Newport to White River Junction

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 12

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

Missed Day 11, click here.

Day 12 – Drive on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

When we decided to go North a few days ago, we made a list of the things that we wanted to get to, and we had two things on the list, visit at least one of the mansions of Newport, RI and the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour in Westbury, VT.

A few weeks prior to our trip, Ben and Jerry’s sent a Model S that they customized to tour the country in what they are calling the #SaveOurSwirled tour. Well, they were in San Diego and Los Angeles, but I was never able to catch them anywhere close. As many readers may have noticed, I have a “thing” for frozen desserts, so, we decided to take OUR Model S to their factory and pick up some Ice Cream ourselves.

Our appointment with the Tesla Syosset Sales, Service, and Supercharger Center was at 1:00 pm so, we figured that we had the morning to sleep in and have some fun, so we did.




We left my cousin’s house with 176 miles of rated range left, that meant a two mile range loss from the night before.



Since I was inspired by one of the “best” threads on called Model S Nature Pictures, it was one of my goal’s for this trip to get the “best” Model S Nature Picture that I can for our car and we found a pond nearby to try to take pictures in.

We actually submitted one of these pictures to the thread. Though I have to admit that it’s funny to have a nature shot from Long Island. Considering how close we are to the city.  Here are a few of the other shots from this “nature” shoot that we did that we didn’t submit to the thread.





We figure that we were in “nature” as this sign instructed us not to feed the wildlife.  Once again, for those that actually live near nature, we’re city kids from Southern California, so I figured a “Please Do Not Feed the Wildlife” sign is a good indication that we’re right by nature.



Since we had time and wanted a better drive, we decided to take the Parkway back to Syosset.



Tesla Syosset Sales, Service, and Supercharger Center

After our leisurely drive in Long Island, we found ourselves about thirty minutes earlier than our appointment, but decided to check in and the service center was able to take us in early.  We were playing this day “loose.”  We hope to make it to Newport, RI in the evening, but will stop off along the way if we are unable to.  So, having the service center take us in early will give us a fighting chance of making our goal for the evening.



We had the gasket repaired at the Syosset Supercharger, Store, Service Center and in the process they also repaired a lose nut that became lose and caused the window to not roll all the way up.  The repair was adequate, however, the fit wasn’t great, so we made the determination to have this repaired (again) when we get home.

After 0.2 miles of turning the car in, we got it back, fully charged, repaired and ready to go.


We’re easily amused by wildlife signs for animals that are smaller than Deer. (As you remember, around Minnesota, we developed our “Deer Crossing” phobia.)

So, this sign was intriguing to us, and can be found in the street by the service center.


Not counting the Model S that we saw charging at the Syosset Sales, Service, and Supercharger Center, we spotted a “Random Model S” on our drive toward Rhode Island.


As we look behind on Long Island,


a few tolls later, we find ourselves in Connecticut.


On our way to our first supercharger in Connecticut, we spot the flag of something from our youth, though now called WWE, we used to call it WWF.


Darien I-95 North Rest Stop

Though the distance from Long Island to these superchargers is rather insignificant, we opted to stop at all the I-95 superchargers to continue to assist in providing content for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.



The traffic Northbound on I-95 into Connecticut is quite impressive. It was so slow that we were pretty efficient with less than 300 Wh per mile for our consumption efficiency for the approximately 50 miles from Long Island.



Going inside the rest stop, we saw this sign for the Pez Visitor Center, and penciled that in. We probably won’t be hitting it on this drive, but would make a note for either the return drive or the future.


After getting our charge and information on the Pez Visitor Center, we rejoin the I-95 traffic.

As with other Random Model S that we’ve spotted, we were excited to see the following Grey Model S in traffic ahead of us.


There was actually a white one that I spotted on the Southbound I-95 around the same time, but it was going too fast for me to take a photograph of.

Now, most people would be irritated with the bumper-to-bumper traffic that we experienced in Connecticut on I-95. However, after experiencing the agoraphobia of the earlier part of the drive, there was something comforting to be driving in orderly freeway rush hour traffic. Yup, it’s the weirdness of being away from home for too long.

And with that, we found ourselves at the Milford I-95 North Rest Stop.

Milford North Supercharger

We drove into this supercharger and found one of the stalls being used by a local.


We spoke briefly with the other Model S owner. Apparently, he had moved to Connecticut decades earlier from California and we were among the first Model S owners that he has met at this supercharger.

This supercharger was very close to the previous one, but we’re adding content to the Teslarati App for iOS so we figure a few minutes of stopping would be good.





We figured that we would be able to reach Newport, RI for the evening so we made arrangements to find and book ourselves a hotel to stay the night.

Along the way to Newport, we caught this “EV-friendly” license plate on a decisively non-EV Volkswagen.


I suppose that the driver could be preparing for an EV.

With a destination in sight, we determined that we could add a stop along the way.

We decided to go get pizza at Mystic Pizza. For those that are not Julia Roberts fans, Mystic Pizza is one of the first two movies of Julia Roberts’ career. It is also a real pizza parlor in Mystic, CT, so we figured to get pizza there before we headed to Newport, RI.




Spent the drive enjoying the view outside, as well as the view from the passenger side view mirror.


Some nice sunsets.




and then we find ourselves at Mystic, CT ordering Pizza to go.


A photo outside.


And another one inside.



And no, we didn’t spot Julia Roberts there. With pizza in hand, we continued on our trek to our hotel in Newport, RI.

As we crossed into the Rhode Island border, you know what it means when the signs are blurry.


And the bridge to get there



So, after 112 mile drive from the last Connecticut supercharge, we stopped off at the Hampton Inn & Suites, Newport-Middletown for the night.  We’re pretty close to tomorrow’s first supercharger for the night, but we ended the night with 139 miles of Rated Range left and even if we lose ten miles overnight, we’re fine.



Go on to Day 13. Click here.

12_Nesconset to Newport

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 11

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

Missed Day 10, click here.

Day 11 – Drive on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Today’s drive was going to be one of the shortest for the trip. But it also has the potential to go through some of the worst traffic of the trip. Our goal is to get from Northern New Jersey to my other cousin in Long Island. He lives near the Tesla Sales, Service Center, and Supercharger at Syosset, so another opportunity to write an entry for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.

Prior to making the plans to visit Long Island, I reached out to EV supporter and Science Fiction Author, Aaron Crocco (whose new book, Spirit Hackers is coming out soon (June 2015)) to see if he would like to meet in real life. It turns out that Aaron’s other job is close to the Syosset location and we arranged to meet during his lunch hour. That means that we needed to target being at the Syosset store around noon. The traffic to Long Island is a challenge because of its proximity to New York City. Traveling from Randolph, NJ to Syosset, NY could take a relatively short time or, conversely, an inordinate amount of time. So, we decided to plan for the latter.

It was a tough night trying to figure out what settings to do for the 110V charge at my cousin’s home in Randolph, NJ. After some fidgeting about, we finally landed on 6A. One of the strengths of Tesla (whether the Roadster or Model S) is its flexibility in handling lower amperage charging. The Model S gained the ability to automatically sense and adjust to a lower draw for “safety” reasons but always had the manual ability to be set to draw at a lower rate than what is automatically sensed by the car.

Soon after we plugged the car in last night, it sensed that the wiring at my cousin’s garage had to be adjusted to 9A from the expected 12A. Many factors add to this result, but from what I can tell, it seems that the spot in the garage is the furthest point from his main panel.

The car kept stopping charge at 9A, so I did the “old” tactic of fidgeting the Amperage to get the right fit. First step is to charge at half the rate to see if that works. So, I went to 6A, saw that it took, and went to sleep.


As you can see, we rolled out of their place gaining one mile per hour. The charge actually topped off at 206 miles, a gain of 17 miles. Seeing that I didn’t really need to charge, I just wanted to minimize losing miles due to vampire loss, I found this rate was adequate for the evening. Additionally, leaving the car plugged in at 110V gave us the option to run pre-conditioning without worrying about range loss as we cool the car before the drive, which I did to get us to 204 miles of rated range before the start of the day. Beside, there is something “cool” about having some “places I’ve charged” marked thousands of miles away from home.

So, we left New Jersey and headed to Long Island. We have to warn drivers that the routes to Long Island from New Jersey is expensive. The toll roads and bridge tolls to get from Point A to Point B may require that someone obtain some sort of financing to make that crossing. We went through 2 tolls that cost $22 one way. That could get expensive on a daily basis.



Crossing over the bridge to New York State from New Jersey.



Decided not to “risk” our car in New York City traffic on this trip. That’s as close a view as we will get of “The City” on this trip.


View from the passenger rear view.


When we were on our way to Syosset, my wife noticed that the gasket on the passenger side was getting shredded. Though we didn’t take a picture of that particular instance, it was similar to the issue we had on the driver’s side at factory pickup (pictured below).


So, we made it a point to see if the Syosset Service Center can fit us in or provide us an appointment to have this taken care of.

Tesla Syosset Sales, Service and Supercharger Center

We got to the Syosset Sales, Service, and Supercharger earlier than our meet with Aaron, so we figured to get a charge before we met with him.




The center and supercharger parking lot was in extreme disrepair.


In fact, Tesla and/or their landlord was in the middle of repairing the entire parking lot and figured to have it completed by the May 17, 2015.

Before we saw the service center staff, we wanted to make sure that we had our car in our “possession” for meeting with Aaron Crocco.

One of the fun parts of the trip is we get to meet folks that we only know on the Internet in real life, so…



We took Aaron out on a spin in the Model S.

Needless to say, we had fun with him.

After our meet-up, we figured to have the gasket thing “taken care off”.

We went in to speak with the service center. Unfortunately, like SoCal service centers they are pretty booked up. However, they were able to fit us in for an appointment tomorrow, and since we’re not on any schedule at this part of our trip, we accepted the appointment.

With that we headed off toward Nesconset. Now the navigation normally would route travelers between Syosset and Nesconset over I-495 (the Long Island Expressway). But, if you remember correctly, we decided earlier in the drive to sometimes choose alternate routes and get off the Interstate, and we were so close that we decided to take an alternate route to Nesconset. We decided to take the Northern State Parkway and meander to our destination.

Stopped off for some grub, and proceeded to Nesconset.


My cousin’s son had a baseball game at Baseball Heaven that afternoon and we spent the time with them.

In speaking with my cousin and his son, we found out that their school has been undefeated so far this baseball season. Now the pressure is on us. We didn’t want to be the “jinx” that brought about their first loss.


So, how did the game go? My cousin’s son did great (went 3 for 3, with a triple for one of those hits) but the team was behind all game Until he scored the run that tied the game (off that lead-off triple.) Aside from startin get the game in Second Base, he pitched in relief to get the win if they counted those things at this level of baseball. It would’ve been a long ride back home (all the way to California) if we had been the “jinx.” It was fun to watch a “Hollywood Ending” to a baseball game in Long Island, NY.


We had to drop off my cousin’s son’s friend home, so I had my cousin drive us back in the Model S. He was impressed.

We had another home cooked meal that was topped off with a second Banana Cake from the Brothers Bakery of Allwood.


Since there was a little precipitation that evening and we were headed back to the Syosset Service Center the next day, we didn’t need to charge at his home and we turned in for the night.



Go on to Day 12. Click here.

11_Randolph to Nesconset

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 10

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

Missed Day 9, click here.

Day 10 – Drive on Monday, May 11, 2015

So, how was Delaware for the night? It was quite relaxing, actually.

Aside from spending the evening with my cousin in Randolph, NJ, we had several goals in New Jersey today. One thing that was high on our list was to pass by the Allwood Bakery (now known as Brothers Bakery of Allwood) in Clifton, NJ and to visit the EV destination of Nauna’s Bella Casa in Montclair, NJ.

Prior to reaching New Jersey, we made arrangements to meet some fellow BMW Active E Electronaut alumni (Airton Azevedo, Tom Moloughney, Chris Neff, and Michael Thwaite). These guys also happen to be involved with the New Jersey Electric Automobile Association (NJEAA), so we scheduled an EV meetup at Nauna’s for 6:00pm that evening. It was an open invitation to other EV drivers, and the guys invited other members of NJEAA and we were glad that they did.

Hampton Inn and Suites Newark

But first, we had to get out of our hotel in Delaware.

No, the car did not spring a leak. It’s condensation from the preconditioning.






So, we lost four miles after pre-conditioning. So, it’s not a great test of what the conditions were overnight. Though I didn’t have a picture of it, I checked my notes and had written down that there was 213 Miles of Rated Range in the morning, so that’s a one mile loss overnight, and another three due to pre-conditioning. The distance between Newark, DE and Hamilton Marketplace, NJ is around 75 miles, so we had a LOT of buffer. Actually, the distance between Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger and the Edison Supercharger is around 35 miles (or a total of 110 miles,) so we didn’t even need to stop in the next two New Jersey superchargers.  One of the main reasons that we did was to help with the entries for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.

The times that I’ve driven through Delaware over the years, the only thing I remembered was the Delaware Memorial Bridge.


No, it is not time to stop and check in to a hotel, we just started the day for crying out loud. The camera was just out of focus for the bridge and the “Welcome to New Jersey” sign.


Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger

The Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger was the first supercharger in the state of New Jersey and it was the first New Jersey supercharger that we stopped at.  As previously mentioned, we really didn’t need to supercharge there, so we stopped for a quick charge.



Went inside the Barnes and Noble.  On the way in, I spotted something that made me stop and ponder.


I wonder if the Barnes and Noble at the Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger stocked this book by the door, and close to the supercharger on purpose.  As tempting as it was to pick up a book on Nikola Tesla, I just passed on it.

If you do end up at the supercharger at Hamilton Marketplace, NJ, you will note that there is a Starbucks inside the Barnes and Noble. The store hours at this location are 9:00 am – 10:00 pm except on Sundays where it’s 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.

It started raining before we got to the Hamilton Marketplace Supercharger, and it remained actively raining by the time we got parked to charge. So, I waited for the rain to abate a little before I plugged in. Seeing that it was just raining and not thunder and lighting, we felt that it was safe to charge.




The six superchargers at Hamilton Marketplace is at the side of the Barnes and Noble.  A location that is closer to a shopping center than some of the other
shopping mall located superchargers from earlier in the trip.  Seeing that it was raining before I ran into the store, I appreciated the fact that the chargers were so close to the store.

After getting a little charge, we left for the Edison supercharger, and was met by even more rain.  Lots of rain.  As fast as drivers were going when the road was dry, it was notable how much slower the traffic adjusted to the wet weather.   We only had to travel 35 miles to Edison from Hamilton Marketplace.



Edison Supercharger

And just like that, we ended up at another mall located supercharger. This time though, the superchargers are at the edge, like most other mall locations in the country. The superchargers are split between two sets of four chargers. There was another Model S from New York a few stalls away, however, it was raining, and we really didn’t socialize.





Though we didn’t need to charge to full, we were tracking early for our meetup with the NJEAA guys and gal, so we charged up to not be reliant on any other charging going forward. Nauna’s does offer several charging options, but we’re meeting with other EV drivers, and I didn’t know if any of them would need to use any of the available chargers at Nauna’s.

Brother’s Bakery/Allwood Bakery – Clifton, NJ

Our first stop, prior to getting to the meetup, was the Brother’s Bakery of Allwood.


Whenever I find myself in Northern New Jersey, it has been a tradition that I’ve adopted to stop off at this bakery for its banana cake. The banana cake is not “famous” as it is “sentimental” (aside from being delicious.) My best friend’s grandmother used to live in Clifton and he used to share the banana cake with me when his family would travel back to Southern California after visiting her in New Jersey. I just adopted their family tradition as my own (and it does help that the banana cake is tasty!)


We got “primo” parking by the bakery. But, getting there when they have banana cake is the real “win” here.


Nauna’s Bella Casa – Montclair, NJ

Clifton and Montclair are very close to each other. So, we were able to make our meet-up in no time. When we got there, the first ones at the site were Doug Stansfield and Sal Cameli (pictured below left to right). A couple of Leaf guys we met this evening.

Sal likes to take photographs of vanity license plates and posting it on Instagram, so apparently we got some likes for our license plate that he posted earlier in the evening (May 11, 2015).

Meetup at Naunas Doug and Sal

I’ve written a review of Nauna’s from 2012. Since we had plans to meet with my cousin for dinner, we just had some appetizers at Nauna’s, I opted for “Grandma’s Rice Balls” and my wife had the “Spinach Ravioli” and they were both satisfying.

Arriving later in his Electric Motorcycle was Ben Rich (not pictured, but his bike is).


Chris Neff was here in his i3.


One of my biggest questions was what car would the Thwaites arrive in? The Roadster? Ford Focus EV? i3? Nope… They showed up in their Electric Smart Car.  As tight as the parking lot of Nauna’s became, the Smart did what all Smart cars do, and fit in at a niche.


Doug’s Leaf was next and it was parked at the other charger and right beside our Model S.

Airton parked his “Tesla Inside” powered RAV4EV 2nd Generation beside our Model S. Seeing that RAV4EVs are “usually” limited to California purchasers or lessors, Airton is taking a big “risk” in having a compliance EV outside of California. He really enjoys it.


Another shot of Chris Neff’s i3 and Sal Cameli’s “pimped out” Leaf (Sal not only possesses the most complete set of charging adapters for his car, but he also connected the biggest speakers I’ve seen on a Leaf.) And boy did we feel the bass when he drove off in his car.


We figured to take a panoramic with the cars, so, pictured here are (from left to right) Sal Cameli, a Nauna’s customer and Plug-in Prius driver whose name escapes me, Tom Moloughney, Michael Thwaite, Pamela Thwaite aka Transport Evolved’s own ElectraGirl, Chris Neff, Doug Stansfield, me, and Airton Azevedo. Not pictured is my wife (who was taking the picture) and, because he had another commitment, EV Motorcycle Rider Ben Rich.


A nice close up of Airton and I from Airton’s camera…


I’ve been visiting Nauna’s for a while now… However, usually it’s a picture with Tom and his car, however the red i3 was in for service when we had the meetup, so we didn’t get a picture of Tom’s red i3.

Here is a throwback to October 18, 2012 with the ActiveE version of “EFOPEC.”


So, we took the opportunity to take the picture with our car. After all, we did drive from California for this picture!


It was a great meet and not only did we just meet a bunch of the Active E guys and gal in real life for the first time, we also got to make some new EV friends with Sal Cameli, Doug Stansfield, and Ben Rich.

This dinner was a nice inflection point for the trip.  Since we didn’t know where we planned to go to next, we figured to ask our NJEAA friends where to go next, North or South, and it was a unanimous suggestion from the crowd to take advantage of the good weather and go North from New Jersey. So, we figured they were onto something and decided to go to New England.

Additionally, the NJEAA had let us know that if we were back in town the following Sunday that they were doing some EV advocacy at the Sustainable Morristown event on the 17th of May. Since we didn’t know where we would be, we made a soft commitment to make it, if we happen to be near New Jersey on the 17th.

Asahi Sushi – Morristown, NJ

We figured that we were close enough to New York City and my cousin is reliable for food suggestions that we would go to sushi. From the EV Meetup at Nauna’s, we proceeded to dinner at a sushi bar in Morristown, NJ called Asahi Sushi.



The sushi was very good and definitely worth going back to and we made a mental note to add it to the “good to go back” list.

Randolph, NJ

After dinner with my cousin and his wife, we headed back to their place in Randolph, NJ. Randolph is considered rural New Jersey, and our drive back to their home was a little nerve wreaking because of our new-found “nemesis”… The “Deer Crossing” signs. We developed an irrational fear of deer, and there were several points on the drive from Morristown to Randolph that we passed these same signs.  I suppose when your only means of getting home is the car that you’re driving in and it’s close to 3,000 miles drive to get back, you get to be a little conservative in your drive.

We were also challenged by the quality of the 110V feed in my cousin’s garage. It turned out that his garage outlet was the farthest feed from his main panel, so we found ourselves charging at 6A overnight. That looks to be a 1 mile per hour rate. Seeing that our goal for tomorrow is to visit another cousin (in Long Island this time) I was just trying to not lose the miles overnight.  We plugged in the evening at 189 miles of rated range. However, throughout the night, the charge kept tripping at 12A then 9A, worked at 6A.



It was a pretty fun-filled full day. Short on the miles, but long on the fun.

Go on to Day 11. Click here.

10_Christiana to Randolph

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 09

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

Missed Day 8, click here.

Day 9 – Drive on Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mothers’ Day. Today’s goal is to make it to my other cousin’s home at Randolph, NJ, however, we had too much fun visiting my cousin in Ohio that we got a late start to the day.

Copley, OH


My cousin finally got to take a spin in the the Model S before we rolled out for our trip today. Needless to say, he was floored. I reminded him that we have an S85 and not the P85D, and that the acceleration and torque that he experienced is more “reserved” than the top of the line Model S. I even reminded him that the Cleveland-Lyndhurst Sales and Service Center that we went to a few days before had an abundance of CPO Model S in stock, ready for delivery. So, here’s to hoping that another Model S joins the extended family.



For some reason, we reset the start of day mileage.  Mental error, I guess.


One thing that stands out to this California driver, since Illinois, is the abundance of toll roads that one needs to traverse through to get from point A to point B (and many points in between.) Growing up in Southern California, tolls are the exception and not the rule. Additionally, most locations in Southern California now do not take cash for the toll roads. One must use the transponders to use these toll roads. In the East, it seems that most of the toll roads still take cash, and we opted NOT to sign up for any of the toll transponders as we didn’t know where to get it, nor how to refill and the like. Some states toll authority allowed credit cards, while others were cash only. So, I would suggest that California (or other Western drivers who are traveling East from Illinois onward) carry sufficient cash to cover the toll roads.

After driving over 2,500 miles in a few days, the drive of less than a hundred miles seems rather quick. So quick that just like that, we’re almost at the PA border.


Cranberry Supercharger


The Cranberry Supercharger was a bit of a distance from the Turnpike. I would surmise that we drove a few miles away from the exit to get to the supercharger. Followed the Navigation to the supercharger but it was sending us to the wrong side of the street. It’s way in the back of the Residence Inn. The last supercharger was blocked by some containers that the hotel seems to be using. It doesn’t seem to be a permanent installation, so I wouldn’t worry about it.



I didn’t know what to expect to the Somerset Supercharger, so we went back to our baseline for the trip to add at least 100 miles on top of the minimum required to reach the next charger, at Somerset, PA.


On the way to the Somerset Supercharger, I was pleasantly surprised by a familiar site – a 30A Blink Network Charger at the Oakmont Plum Rest Area.


Now, this was a stop we made because I had a craving for coffee, and this location had a Starbucks, so it was a pleasant coincidence that there was an EV charger on the Turnpike. We didn’t “need” a charge, so we didn’t plug in.

Good for you Pennsylvania.

Somerset Supercharger

This was a supercharger that required an exit from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The location was close to the exit and by the Wendy’s.  Since we were a stop away from Maryland, I thought to send a few tweets to some of my EV contacts from Twitter to see if they wanted to meet-up at Hagerstown.  Since it was Mother’s Day, I figured that the chances were slim to none, but decided to give it a try anyway.




If your car is dirty from the trip, beside the supercharger is a car wash.


This location might be a good place to clean the car, if you’re on a long roadtrip. On the drive to Hagerstown, MD, we saw a cluster of windmills.  So, good for you for that Pennsylvania.



After leaving the Somerset, PA supercharger, on the way to Hagerstown, MD we reached 38,000 miles on this drive.


Longtime readers know how much I enjoy posting about Significant Mileage.

I made a mental note that “you know that you’re East when a few hundred miles of the drive has you going through several states,” as we pass the border into Maryland.


Hagerstown Supercharger

This supercharger is located in an outlet mall. When we pulled into the supercharger, I checked Twitter, and, as expected folks had prior engagements in Maryland. I’ll just reach out again the next time we’re back through here.



Arriving here around dinner time had us look for what our dining options are. We opted to go to the Longhorn Steakhouse at the entrance of the Hagerstown Outlet Mall, not quite the Maryland crab cakes I was hoping to have, but sustenance nonetheless.



With a full car and full driver, we headed out of Hagerstown, MD for the next stop on our drive.  The next supercharger in Maryland is in Bethesda, MD, however, we’re on our way to New Jersey and could get to the Newark, DE supercharger without a stop in Bethesda.  So, we went toward Newark, DE.

You know what time it is when state line crossings end up looking blurry. My cousin in New Jersey and his wife will have to be at work on Monday and based on the time we’re crossing into Delaware, it will be too late to get to his home, so we contacted him and told him that we’ll be there on Monday night instead. Besides, we’ve never slept in Delaware before. Delaware has always been one of those states that I’ve driven through, because the crossing from New Jersey to Maryland is so quick, until now.


Newark Supercharger

The Newark superchargers are at the Delaware Welcome Center. We drove in with another Model S. As we entered the Delaware Welcome Center and drove toward the superchargers a white Model S was following us. The White Model S driver must’ve been experienced because they didn’t split the circuit with us. We took one supercharger and the other Model S took the other supercharger, we didn’t speak to the other Model S, so aside from it being a white Model S from New Jersey, that was it.





I went inside the Delaware Welcome Center to get a couple of panoramics of the inside of the restaurants for the welcome center for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.

There is a Starbucks in the middle of the welcome center.  Additionally, there is a SECOND Starbucks counter to the far left and off the picture (and the far left to the entrance closest to the superchargers.)


The only restaurant that was blocked by this panoramic was a Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen.


In reading plugshare for the welcome center location, it is interesting to note for Roadster drivers that the J1772 charger at this same location is 18kW. That’s a full Roadster speed charge (based on my estimate.) [Of course, based on how the “universe” works, if one were to show up with a Roadster to plug at that location, it would probably be used by a 2011-2012 Leaf or a Chevy Volt that is drawing a 3.3kW at the maximum. But I could just be cynical. ;-)]

Hampton Inn and Suites Christiana Newark

We decided to stay in Delaware as we’ve never slept in this state before. We found a Hampton Inn the next exit North from the Delaware Welcome Center.



Looks like we didn’t make it to New Jersey this Sunday, but, on the plus side, we finally found “reason” to sleep in Delaware. With 214 Miles of Rated Range left, we parked the car for the night and headed in. The superchargers in New Jersey are quite close to each other.

Go on to Day 10. Click here.

09_Copley to Christiana

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 08

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

Missed Day 7, click here.

Day 8 – Hanging out in Akron, Cleveland, Copley, and Cuyahoga Falls Area on Saturday, May 9, 2015

Saturday, May 9 was our day to spend with our family in Copley. Today’s activities were spread out for things in the local area.

Westside Market

Our first stop in the morning was the Westside Market in Cleveland, OH.





The Westside Market reminds me of the excellent food halls in Europe. The Grand Central Market in Los Angeles is a good example of one that is similar in Southern California, but rarely do I find myself at these type of places when I’m home. Food halls are just one of those places that I love to go to when I’m on a trip. Food halls often provide me a sense of “adventure.” The Westside Market is quite fun, it’s no KaDeWe in Berlin or the Harrod’s Food Halls, but it holds its own.


Picked up some cannolis here. It’s always a good idea to get some food at these sort of places when one is gallivanting about for the day.


Some cheese, perhaps?


Some bread?



Or some healthy fruit options?


I was surprised to see star fruit. As warm as the day is in Cleveland, it was quite surprising to see something tropical fruit, in decisively non-tropical Cleveland.


We picked some up for the younger members of the family to try. I don’t really like star fruit. It’s them, not me. 😉

Glass Bubble Project

Adjacent to the Westside Market is a fun activity called the Glass Bubble Project.

The Glass Bubble Project allows participants to gain instruction in AND have the opportunity to blow two pieces of glass. We were observers as younger members of our family took the opportunity to take instruction and craft their own glass pieces.



This is a picture of the oven where the artist “gathers” the molten glass.



And uses the molten glass to pick up whatever colors they want to mix in with the piece.  The glass in this picture is glowing red from heat.  There are no red colors in any of the pieces that were crafted by our younger family members that day.


The next series of photographs are of the molten glass being being melted to the colored glass in the kiln.  My wife got some really great pictures of the piece in there.




We spoke with the proprietor and were delighted to hear that at least 95% of the glass used at the glass bubble project are from recycled glass.

The Glass Bubble Project folks also had a shop for some of the glasswork that artists were selling at the location as well. The Glass and Metal Swordfish on the picture below was headed in the opposite direction of our travel.  We were told by the proprietor that it was sold to a restaurant in California and will be adorning their dining room.



Here is a picture of some of the molten glass being shaped by our family members


This next piece is a bowl being made.


The same bowl in the kiln being heated up again.


[WHOOSH… Time warp to the future]

Here are the finished pieces from later in the week (we were already onto other destinations when these pieces cooled and arrived at my cousin’s home.)

Glass Bubble 2

Glass Bubble 1

[WHOOSH… Back to Day 8]

What is it with Cleveland businesses and using birds for mascots.

Yesterday’s visit to the Tesla Lyndhurst Sales and Service Center had the Canada Goose.

The Glass Bubble Project have a Rooster as its “Marketing Director.” Apparently Morty the Rooster, the mascot/”Marketing Director” for the Glass Bubble Project has more Instagram followers than the Glass Bubble Project itself.


Needless to say, we had a pretty full morning.  We took the opportunity to go grab some lunch at a fun little restaurant at Cuyahoga Falls.

Cuyahoga Falls


We proceeded to Cuyahoga Falls for lunch at the Blue Door Cafe and Bakery. I would’ve had dessert there as well, but we promised our younger family members that we would go to Rita’s for dessert.

Tesla at Rita's

It turns out that Rita’s dessert is Frozen Custard.  So, I had my second Frozen Custard (or as they call it here, Ice Custard.) As we finished ordering our dessert here, a couple of local young adults asked if we were the ones that drove up in the Model S.

We took the opportunity to discuss the Model S and electric vehicle travel from California to Ohio. We showed them the car and its various features and the discussion with these young adults has led me to be hopeful for the future generation. I sure am glad that we had the car washed the day before as the car does show off better when it is clean than when it is littered with many dead bugs on it.

One of the things that we discussed and carry in the car, is an example of the battery for the Model S. As previously reported, Tesla’s battery sheets are made from off-the shelf Panasonic 18650 cells. So, when we first got our Roadster, we bought two of the 18650 from Amazon to show the type of battery that comprises Tesla’s battery sheets to people. So, whenever we talk about the car to people, we like to pull out the battery below for demonstration purposes.

[picture replaced 2015-06-07 at 11:12 PM PDT]


Here is a better picture with a AA and AAA for comparison as well as the pen. [picture added 2015-06-07 at 11:12 PM PDT]


Palladian Palette

We spent the afternoon going to the Palladian Palette in Akron, OH. Rather than explore the city, we explored our artistic talents.

I’m a rather practical sort, and I was trying to figure out what to paint.  Aside from Ice Cream (or now Ice/Frozen Custard), I have a weakness for coffee.  I like coffee.  So, I was attracted to the picture of some coffee cups that I saw in the “inspiration book” that the good folk at Palladian Palette provided for us to draw inspiration from.

So, draw I did.  It’s been decades since I’ve picked up a paintbrush or drawn anything, so I figured that something less “realistic” would probably suit me well.



I guess my free-hand and pencil isn’t so bad.  I think I did a good job of mimicking the picture that was provided.

After drawing it, one had to go through the multitude of colored paint that was provided for us to use.


And there brushes of all sorts.


I opted for a light “mocha” color for the white-space in the work.  I figure that it would be less likely that I would “mess up” that part of the painting before I filled it in.


A picture of another work of art parked outside for the afternoon.


So, I finished the work.


And the last piece that I always remembered from art class, was to sign and date my work.  It’s no Picasso or Van Gogh, but it’s mine.


While I was busy painting coffee cups to go beside our coffee machine at home, my better half was busy painting a nice romantic scene.


The cannolis from earlier in the day came in handy while we waited for the “paint to dry.”

Painting a masterpiece is hard work. "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." From Westside Market!

Her painting came out nicer than mine.


Macedonia Supercharger

The Macedonia Supercharger was about 20 miles away from my cousin’s home in Copley, OH.  We were planning on driving toward New Jersey on Day 9, Sunday and to make sure that we were not heading backward as we headed toward Pittsburgh (and the Cranberry, PA supercharger) we decided to go get a supercharge before we plug in at my cousin’s house at 110V.


It was raining lightly while we were on the way to the supercharger and the rain picked up while we were there.  As we supercharged at the location, we had several cars drive by.  A gentleman with his daughter stopped by and conversed with us.  He apparently works with GM on the Volt and has never seen anyone use the supercharger.  He asked whether the car was a hybrid, like the Volt and I proceeded to communicate what made the Model S different from the Volt.

Copley, OH

The rain got stronger as we headed back to Copley, so we didn’t plug the car back in when we got back from Macedonia. The 110V installation outdoors would’ve gotten wet as it was raining, and we just got a full supercharge, so we figured to just leave the car unplugged. Between the 21 mile difference from Macedonia and my cousin’s home in Copley, we could afford the “up-to” ten mile loss that we’ve experienced in the past. Our distance to Cranberry, PA Supercharger from Copley, OH is approximately 100 miles away anyway, so we have enough range to work with.

Didn’t take a photo of the mileage that night nor did we log the overnight miles.

Go on to Day 9. Click here.

We’ve decided to overlay yellow lines for marking the return journey from the supercharger.  When we reach the Easternmost portion of the journey, we intend on overlaying yellow for the route back West.

08_Copley to Copley

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 07

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

Missed Day 6, click here.

Day 7 – Visiting Copley, OH and Tesla Activities on Friday, May 8, 2015

We’re spending the day with family this Friday. Granted the kids are in school and the adults are at work, so it’s a “free” day.

We charged the car at my cousin’s house overnight and we rolled out at 130 miles of Rated Range. This means that we added 55 miles in 14 hours and 45 minutes. That’s an average of 3.7 rated miles per hour that was added since the previous evening’s arrival.


Having traveled close to 2,500 miles over the course of the last week, it might behoove us to have the car “looked” over and possibly washed again, so we contacted the Tesla Motors Service Center in OH Cleveland Lyndhurst Sales and Service Center. When we purchased our spare wheel and tire in preparation for the trip, our “regular” service center installed the rear passenger’s side wheel with a new tire on the rear driver’s side. This would’ve been fine, except our passenger side wheels both have a “rash” from the nearly 35,000 miles of driving and that we did since the factory. So, I requested that the Lyndhurst Service Center swap the two wheels so that all the “rashed” wheels are once again on the passenger’s side.

Visiting the Service Center at this location also gave us the opportunity to fill in information on the service center for the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS. The App not only provides for feedback to Tesla owners on superchargers, but on Destination Chargers, Service Centers, and Sales Centers. So, we were able to do “something” today for Teslarati.



Understanding that we were long distance travelers and to save us the time of having to stop of at Macedonia for a charge, the Service Center topped us up with their in-service center supercharger. Apparently, this location is not only a Sales and Service Center, but also has a supercharger within the service area. This means that the supercharger is not necessarily for “heavy” use, it could only be accessed “during hours” by cars that are being “serviced.” Current hours in May 2015 are M-F 8-6 for Service and M-F 10-6 for Sales.



Pictured below and looking like refrigerators is the in-service center version of the supercharger that the Cleveland-Lyndurst Sales and Service Center has in the back (service area). It is within the service center and thus subject to the service center hours.



The Sales Center part of the location had many CPO Model S in stock.  It seems to be the main distribution point for CPO in this part of the country.  As with most CPOs, check the website for what is offered.  Though based on what was online versus what was at the site, I would surmise that it would behoove interested parties to talk to a sales center to get a more accurate inventory of CPO cars.






A picture of the Service Center part of the location.  It was nice to see a couple of Roadsters in the Service Center.  I wonder how often folks that experience winter drive their Roadsters.  I know of at least one that used to drive in all sorts of weather, but we tend to be the sort to drive ours in “better” weather, the luxury of being Southern California based.


The Delivery Center portion of the Sales and Service Center.

A lucky few look ready for the pickup appointment.




I forgot to take pictures of the waiting area, but I have to complain about the “level” of coffee service at the location. It was at the “standard”/first or K-cup level and not at the premium ones found at the new Costa Mesa and West Los Angeles service center levels.

While we were waiting for the service to be performed on our vehicle, we asked Rudy Graham, the Service Concierge, where the nearest place was for a “meal.” Rather than have us walk to the rather pedestrian choices near the Lyndhurst Sales and Service Center, Rudy was able to provide us with a 70D loaner with the directions to a nearby mall with much better food choices.

The 70D was very new. It only had 43 miles on it. We ended up adding a few miles to the car and I couldn’t tell any difference with the way it drove. It had newer seats and I can tell that Tesla made some changes with the newer seats, namely, it felt “bulkier” with more padding. Additionally, like other recent loaners, the car displays the speed limit of the road on the dashboard as you come up to a speed limit sign.

We were missing “familiar” food to us, so we ended up at the Cheesecake Factory. (Though the chain is nationwide, the chain did start in Southern California.)




Visitors to the center need to be aware of the center’s “mascot” – a goose, we think it’s of the “Canadian Canada Goose” variety, but we’re not bird-watchers, or experts in anything “wild.” (Remember our trip acquired Deer Crossing-phobia).


During our entire stay at the service center, this goose was standing watch over the entrance to the service bay area. It was there when we arrived and turned our car in for service and it was there when we did our tour of the facility.


We were so happy with getting our car back in great condition.



What can I say, Tesla Motors Service is awesome, no matter where in the country you go. Rudy did a great job representing Tesla and we were happy with his assistance.

Of course the other benefit to having the car worked on, a clean car after we picked it up (something which we normally opt-out on at home as we wash our own cars as I find it very therapeutic.)


Getting the car back in this condition is a great way to represent Tesla to the folks in Ohio.

We went out to dinner with my cousin and his family for dinner on Friday night. We went to a restaurant called Tre Belle in Bath, OH. The food was good and enjoyable, but the evening was quite memorable (in a “car” sort of way.)

Apparently, the local Porsche club had a meeting at Tre Belle when we pulled in for dinner with our Model S. The valet’s eyes lit up when we pulled in and I handed him the key to take care of the car. I asked for a valet ticket, but he said “I’ll remember you.” And we went in. The valet parked the car in between two Porsche 911 convertibles and seemed to have caused a stir.

However, we were not approached by the Porsche club members, so I hope that they can be convinced to give Tesla a try.

After dinner, we headed back to my cousin’s home.



We parked the car with 200 miles of Rated Range left.

Go on to Day 8. Click here.

07_Copley to TSC to Copley

Here, There, and EVerywhere – Day 06

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

Missed Day 5, click here.

Day 6 – Drive on Thursday, May 7, 2015

Our goal today is to get to Copley, OH. A day earlier than we had adjusted to, but enough time to catch dinner with my cousin and his family. Luckily, we eat dinner late, so that can be a lot later than when other people “usually” have dinner.

Hampton Inn South Bend


We ended the previous evening’s rated range at 79 miles when we parked the car and woke the car up the next morning with 80 miles of rated range. Another one of those days where the mileage went up from when we turned in.

This time, I was able to take a picture.



I remembered to mute the audio before I started the drive to reposition the car to the front of the hotel to make it easier to load it when we drive off for the day. No “Van Halen” surprises this morning.

Mishawaka Supercharger

The Mishawaka Supercharger was about four miles from our hotel. We took surface streets to get there because that’s what the navigation provided us. So, I don’t know how difficult or easy it is to get to this charger from the Interstate/Turnpike.

What’s the difference between an Interstate and a Turnpike anyway? Well… It would seem that the difference is the “toll”. Once we entered Illinois the previous day, they started to charge us for driving on the road. I thought my taxes already covered the highway system, apparently I was wrong. So, have to get used to that and factor that in the drive. So, I guess I should be happy that the navigation took us on a surface street to get to the Mishawaka Supercharger from the hotel.


If comparing the mileage between the 80 that I had in the morning with the 72 on the dash when we started charging with the 4 or so miles to get there, please note that I remembered to COOL the car down with pre-conditioning as it was a HOT (the temperature at 10:00 am was already 85F/29.4C, without wind) day in South Bend when we decided to pull out of the hotel and I turned the air conditioning on full blast.


When one is traveling on electricity, it’s easy to turn the car on for “convenience” reasons.


Another one of these mall locations that are located at the far edge.


We just hung out at the car for this charge. We get a chance to make calls, check e-mails, and the like when we supercharge the car. That Barnes and Noble looks big and as with most Barnes and Noble offer free wi-fi.

Yes, as usual… a WATER TOWER picture.


Which leads to something that my wife wanted to suggest to the Tesla Supercharger folks. Why not add a LOCATION sign to each supercharger? Whether painted on the supercharger itself or in the location. That way, when one takes a picture of a supercharger, the location is embedded in the photo.

I told her, I didn’t know why, but agreed that this is a good idea.

So, we headed out of Mishawaka on the way to Copley, OH.

The Indiana countryside had a more interesting view.



Before we left Indiana for Ohio, we stopped off at the Angola Supercharger.


Angola Supercharger

We had enough range to skip this supercharger, but we did tell our friends at Teslarati that we would be helping with the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS and post content for the stop, so, we decided to swing by and stop.



We were thrown off by the location of the Angola Supercharger. There is an outlet mall nearly adjacent to the exit from the Turnpike/I-80/I-90, but the supercharger was not located there.

Instead it is located just below a Ramada Hotel a few miles away. This location has a great view of the valley below, but I was concerned that in the winter, with ice and snow, the ascent to the superchargers might be “tough.”



We tried to capture the steepness of the drive into the supercharger location, but we were unable to get it with the photograph.



Our friends from @TeslaRoadtrip stuck a sticker at one of the chargers from their 2014 cross-country trip to TMC Connect 2014. I wonder if they’ll be doing the same thing when they head West from the East Coast for TMC Connect 2015.

Which of the @TeslaRoadtrip participants put this in Angola, IN? Stall 1B!

Once again, not a necessary stop, but nice views from the supercharger station.




This might be the best way to show how steep it was from the driveway to the supercharger. It’s a view from the base of the driveway toward the superchargers.


We had a quick charge and headed to Ohio, and the short trek through the state to get to Copley, OH.

We had some pretty interesting things that we saw in Ohio, on the way to Maumee Supercharger.

First, we crossed into Ohio.


Some cool Ohio farms.




Some really old barns… (shouldn’t they be demolished if they looked like this.)



It’s interesting to note that folks who live so far apart from their neighbors like they do in the Ohio farm communities.



Probably know their neighbors better than we do in suburban Southern California. At least I would venture to guess that would be the case.

We had SOME excitement on the drive to the Maumee supercharger, we got some confirmation on how they repair such large power lines.



I would be SO freaked out by that, and these guys made it look “easy.”

Maumee Supercharger

The supercharger in Maumee, OH was difficult to find. It was not very close to the highway. It was located toward the back of the road that it was installed in.


Hiding the superchargers from the road were several fast food restaurants in front of chargers.


The Steak Escape was entrepreneurial in that they offer Tesla travelers a discount.


Since we were planning on having dinner with family, we didn’t take them up on their discounted meal for Tesla travelers.

As you can see from the statistics, we could easily have made it here and skipped Angola, but was glad to have stopped there, if anything just to take pictures and make notes.


And with that, we decided to press on. Our original plan was to go to charge at Macedonia, OH as those superchargers are close to Copley. But decided to skip that and just head to my cousin’s house.

More barns on the way to Copley.


Was that hay or a roll of fiber optics?


Sunset over Ohio.


Copley, OH

And with that, we finally made our goal for the next few days. We made it to Copley, OH. To minimize losing the ten miles that we did at our worst stop, we plug at my cousin’s home at 110V and get 12A of charging.


As we used to do with the Active E and to prevent the temptation to steal our really long extension cord, we drive the car on top of the cable so that it can not be taken without rolling the car.


We’re getting three miles per hour on this connection. (It actually speeds up to four miles per hour later in the cycle.) We plugged in the evening with 75 Miles of Rated Range and went in to have dinner with the family.




Go on to Day 7. Click here.

06_South Bend to Copley