The Long Way Round – Day 02

With a hat-tip to the 2004 TV mini-series from Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. This is the second day in a series of posts written about our 2016 EV Roadtrip written in the same manner as our 2015 trip.  Here, There, and EVerywhere Trip – Day 01, i.e. summaries written for each day of the trip, published each day, this time two months from the day of the trip. It may seem funny to some to have a summer trip published at the start of the Fall, think of it as some daily entertainment for those that are back in their offices thinking about their past summer trips that could have been or thinking about their next trip.

Missed the previous day’s post, click here to read Day 1 of this trip.

So, why the long way round? Well… We got four referrals on the Fourth Tesla Referral Program (May 30, 2016 to July 15, 2016) and we expected to get an invite to the Gigafactory Party, so we thought to start our trip and go to Reno (a nearly 500 mile direct drive from home) via the Pacific Northwest (about a 1600 mile detour) with the intermediate goal of attending the EV Roadmap 9 Conference in Portland, visiting family who were spending time in Seattle, WA and family in Vancouver, BC before turning back for the party.

There are two goals today.  The first goal is to make it to Portland so that I can make the EV Roadmap 9 conference tomorrow morning.  The second goal is to meetup with MelindaV of Model3Ownersclub.com.

Day 2 – North to Portland, OR starting at Red Bluff, CA. July 19, 2016

Hampton Inn and Suites, Red Bluff, CA

When we checked in overnight, there were no convenient parking spots left.  The Front Desk told us to park in its driveway.  Since I wanted to charge on the NEMA 14-50 outlets that were available at the Hampton Inn and Suites at Red Bluff.  I decided to move the car to the RV stalls in the morning.

IMG_20160719_072554

IMG_20160719_072618

IMG_20160719_072629

The range left on the battery in the morning was 210 miles and we parked the car with 211 miles, so it looks like we only lost 1 mile overnight.  We had enough charge left to reach the Mt. Shasta Supercharger which was only 89 miles away. My desire to charge at this location was so that I can add it to my “places that I have charged” list than anything else.  Furthermore, I wanted to see what speed the NEMA 14-50 outlets would take to recharge a Model S at this hotel.

IMG_20160719_072943

So, I moved the car from its spot in the front driveway to the RV spots away from the entrance.  The RV Spots looks interesting…

IMG_20160719_073000

And the NEMA 14-50 is easily accessible, there was also another outlet there (pictured below)  that kinda looks like a NEMA 10-30.

IMG_20160719_073008

IMG_20160719_073115

IMG_20160719_073125

So, plugged in, and headed back to get ready for today’s drive.  It looks like the location is getting a good 25 miles per hour.  That’s a good rate and will make this location a possible stopping point on the way back to Reno on the trip to the Gigafactory.

IMG_20160719_073151

So, after breakfast and a few minutes to charge the car,  we’re off to head to Portland.

IMG_20160719_093933

IMG_20160719_102049

Looks like the Deer Crossing signs in California are more common in the Northern part of the state.  We’re still nervous about driving in areas where the wildlife is big enough to damage the car, but had planned on mitigating that challenge by minimizing the amount of night-time driving.

IMG_20160719_110637

As we continued on our drive, we see a snow covered peak ahead – we’re guessing that’s Mt Shasta.

IMG_20160719_110844

IMG_20160719_111104

We spotted another wildlife sign on this drive.  I must admit, the Bear Crossing signs in California are a little cuter than other states.

Untitled

We saw an interesting scenic overlook, and thought to get a nice picture.  Here’s a great shot of us… Mount Shasta was supposed to be behind us, but the sun was a little too sunny.

IMG_20160719_112518

IMG_20160719_113602

The drive was a little bit of a climb, but nothing we couldn’t manage with over 210 miles of range at the start (and more since we convenience charged on the NEMA 14-50 at our hotel) we find ourselves at the Mount Shasta Supercharger.

Mt Shasta Supercharger.

IMG_20160719_114254

IMG_20160719_114259

IMG_20160719_114304

The Mount Shasta Supercharger is one of the earliest supercharger locations and is located at the Best Western in Mount Shasta.  It hasn’t expanded since its original four supercharger stalls at launch.  We were the only ones charging at this location on our drive, but anticipate some congestion on busy Holidays or at least during our drive back to Reno.

IMG_20160719_114338

IMG_20160719_114347

IMG_20160719_114427

IMG_1942

After a short charge at this location, we headed onward from our last California supercharger stop to our first Oregon supercharger stop at Grants Pass, Oregon.

IMG_1953

IMG_1948

IMG_1949

We were greeted with the Oregon state sign at the border.  It was a bit understated.

IMG_1957

The drive itself was a bit of a hilly ride, but it looks like we were headed more downhill than uphill when we took this photo of the energy chart.

IMG_1960

This was an unexpected sight.  The formation in the distance hearkened us to our drive through Utah, except these were green and not barren of foliage as the Utah ones were.

IMG_1963

Grants Pass Supercharger

IMG_20160719_140822

IMG_20160719_140826

IMG_20160719_140829

We stopped off at the supercharger in Grants Pass which was at the rear parking lot of the Black Bear Diner in town.

IMG_20160719_141201

IMG_20160719_141208

IMG_20160719_141213

Looking at my pictures, one would think that The Black Bear Diner is a store for stuffed teddy bears, it’s not, it’s a chain of restaurants and I decided to take note of the business hours for the Black Bear Diner, just in case we decide to stop for a meal here on the way back.

IMG_20160719_141229

This was another four stall location and we shared the charging location with one other car for a short while and then were left alone.

IMG_20160719_143505

IMG_20160719_143641

As we headed toward Oregon, we had scheduled an EV Meetup with MelindaV of Model3Ownersclub.com. She clued us into an Oregon coffee chain called Dutch Brothers. There was one a few short blocks away, so we decided to give it a try.

IMG_20160719_144942

IMG_20160719_144732

We tried two different iced coffees. I ordered an Iced Latte with sweetener and my wife ordered the Caramelizer (on their menu.)  The one I ordered was not as good as the one my better half did, so I ended up sharing her drink.  After fueling both the car and driver, we continued onward to the Springfield/Eugene, OR Supercharger.

IMG_1966

Spotted some cows that were not as penned up as the ones that we saw around Harris Ranch.

IMG_1972

We spotted a few “bald spots” in the tree lines.  Not sure what causes tree-line pattern baldness, but hypothesized that perhaps this was the lumber industry working.

IMG_1975

IMG_1976

IMG_1977

As usual, the sight of some renewable energy generation on the drive gets my attention, and this was on the drive.

IMG_1979

One of the things that tell us that we’re not in Califronia anymore. The scenery is more green than golden.

IMG_20160719_152219

Some more “free range” cows spotted.

IMG_1986

We think that we may have spotted some of those missing trees from the “tree line pattern baldness” that we’ve been seeing on this drive.

IMG_1989

The drive was not as mountainous as Interstate 70 through Colorado, but there were still some interesting differences in elevation on this drive.  We tried to capture the sense of the rolling hills that we had on Interstate 5 between Grants Pass and Eugene/Springfield and thought this shot conveyed it best.

IMG_1991

Oregon is one of the few states that still allow trucks to travel hauling three trailers for one Big Rig.  This practice was stopped in California years ago and we’re surprised to still spot the practice in other states.   I guess that Oregon requires these Long Load signs to be placed for those hauling three trailers.

IMG_1992

IMG_1993

Eugene/Springfield Supercharger

IMG_20160719_165903

IMG_20160719_165907

IMG_20160719_165912

We arrived at the Eugene/Springfield Supercharger needing 108 miles to make it to our destination.  However, I wanted to put as much “in the tank” for driving around Portland charge.  So, we decided to stick around.  Looks like many of the owners in the area understand supercharger pairing.

IMG_20160719_170043

We charged at this location for a while and had the opportunity to spot the Red, White, and Blue Model S combination several times.  Though in this first shot, the order is White, Red, and Blue.

IMG_20160719_173317

We were patient and were able to get a photograph at this angle which put it in the Red, White, and Blue order.

Untitled

We range charged to make sure that we arrived at our hotel with as high a charge that we can.  When we planned our hotel, the hotel we chose had a Level 2 charger show up on Plugshare.  It was not a destination charger under Tesla’s program, it was a pay charger that I did not have an account with.  I got an account with the provider, however, I wanted to minimize using it, if possible.  Besides, I believe that the initial start-up balance required by the provider was $20.  I wasn’t intending on using the network that often however I was setting it up so that I could use the network if we needed to.

IMG_20160719_180520

IMG_20160719_180523

We left the charger with 248 miles and decided to head to the Electric Avenue charger in Portland.  We had scheduled a meet-up with MelindaV from Model3Ownersclub.com and continued on our way.

Spotted more free range cows.

IMG_2000

IMG_2001

Some more triple trailer trucks.

IMG_2006

Even more free range cows.

IMG_2010

As we neared Portland, I was surprised to see a supercharger show up on my Navigation.  We were nearing the Woodburn Outlet Stores and our map showed a Supercharger there.  Our original routing skipped this supercharger entirely.  We were getting quite hungry for dinner that we decided to combine a charge stop with our dinner.

Woodburn Supercharger

IMG_20160719_192314

IMG_20160719_192319

We used 79 miles since we last charged and we decided to stop at this location so that can minimize using the Level 2 at our hotel.  Additionally, in doing so, we can take full use of the high power Level 2 at the location to recover miles while we meetup with MelindaV rather than take up a valuable CHAdeMO station at Electric Avenue.

Here’s a nice panoramic of the multiple stalls at Woodburn.

Untitled

IMG_0792.JPG

The supercharger is located at the parking lot for Elmer’s Restaurant.

IMG_20160719_192724

But across the parking lot is a Starbucks and Sora Sushi.

IMG_20160719_192715

We decided to have dinner at Sora Sushi. We’ve actually been to this sushi bar a few years prior on a fun weekend trip to Portland to go to the Willamette Valley for wine tasting.  Part of that weekend was a quick shopping trip to the nearly adjacent outlet stores.  The supercharger was not even a potential location at the time that we stopped here previously.

It looks like we missed half-off sushi time.  Perhaps next-time we stop off at Woodburn.

IMG_20160719_193222

Sora Sushi is a conveyor belt sushi, so the plates zoom on by.  The prices are reasonable and the fish was tasty.  Additionally, one can also order to have something made for one’s self.

IMG_20160719_200125

IMG_20160719_200129

We had a quick, but satisfying meal and a very nice Red Model X greeted us upon our return to the supercharger.  The Multi Coat Red looks great in person and this X was no exception.

IMG_20160719_200534

We packed up and headed to Portland’s Electric Avenue.

IMG_2011

IMG_2012

Since we had quite a bit of charge from the superchargers on our drive, we didn’t really “need” to charge.  However, Portland’s “Electric Avenue” is a charging destination for long-time EVangelists.  The original location was relocated a year or so back and though I never got to charge at the original, it would be criminal to visit Portland and not stop off and pay homage to EV predecessors.  So, we stopped off to charge at the High Power Level 2 chargers at Portland’s “Electric Avenue”.  The chargers are free, however, visitors must pay for the parking spot used while charging.

IMG_20160719_204044

IMG_20160719_204054

IMG_20160719_204158

IMG_20160719_204204

Since we arrived after 7pm.  Even the parking fees were waived after hours.

We had our meetup with MelindaV (pictured below, photograph by my better half) from Model3Ownersclub.com.  We spent some time talking EVs, her pending Model 3 order, and interesting things regarding the Portland area.  We had a good time meeting with her and appreciated the sampling of local goods she gave us for our hotel.  One of the pleasures for EV Roadtrips is to meet fellow EVangelists and it’s great to see someone who is passionately waiting for her Model 3.

IMG_2016

After hanging with her, we went ahead and checked into the Doubletree Hotel, Portland.

Doubletree Hotel, Portland OR

IMG_20160719_221249

IMG_20160719_221258

As I explained earlier, the network provider for the chargers at the Doubletree required an initial $20 charge to start the account for the location.  Since the network provider was not one that is common in our usual geographic area, this startup charge was somewhat expensive and we since were really close to “Electric Avenue”, we decided not to charge here.  We parked at a regular spot on the other side of the chargers.

IMG_20160719_221409

IMG_20160719_221448

IMG_20160719_221457

There were lots of Level 2 chargers at the lot.  They did a good job getting ready for use, but it’s really more geared toward locals that would use their network on a regular basis than infrequent travelers such as ourselves.

IMG_20160719_221508

Intermediate Mission Accomplished.  We reached Portland in time to get a good night’s rest and head to EV Roadmap 9 tomorrow.  Additionally, we got to hang out and meet a fellow EV enthusiast and looking forward to the first day of EV Roadmap 9.

The next day of this series, Day 3, is available here.

It’s important to note that our Gigafactory invite would not have been possible had folks not used our referral code.  So, I have to thank those that were convinced to pick up a Tesla Model S or Model X and decided to save some money by using our referral code. So, if you’re as inclined as those that took us up on the offer, and in the market for a Tesla Model S or Model X, you can save $1,000 USD/$1,200 CAD/£750 GBP (and whatever the equivalent is in your market) if you use our referral code – http://ts.la/dennis5317.

2016_Day2_Red Bluff to Portland

Published by

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).

2 thoughts on “The Long Way Round – Day 02”

Leave a Reply