A quick note of thanks to the Beatles for inspiring the title for this series of posts. This is the twenty-second in a series of posts written about our trip that will be published four weeks to the day of the trip.
Day 22 – Drive on Saturday, May 23, 2015
Omni Hotel Interlocken
If yesterday’s Hyatt Place is the picture of consistency, the Omni Hotel Interlocken is its inverse. We have had nothing but great experience with our lodging at the other Omni Hotels that we’ve stayed at. That’s how we were able to complete enough nights to have a “free night certificate” for last night’s stay. It was free. However, even that price was “too expensive” for the disappointment that was our stay at the Omni Hotel Interlocken.
If you intend on staying at this part of Denver (Broomfield, CO) metro area and expect to stay at a “full service hotel.” Let me advise you to look elsewhere. This hotel needs improvement, a lot of improvement.
After parking with 199 miles of rated range last night, we’re starting the day at 196 miles, we lost three miles of rated range last night.
When we drove out on our first day, we consciously wanted to drive far from Southern California. If you remember, we drove 808 miles on our first day. What that day did was sacrifice some of the most beautiful views in the West, the Utah desert. Today’s goal is to have a plan for either heading home or routing ourselves to the Pacific Northwest. Our main inflection point to make that decision is either Richfield or Beaver, UT.
The next few supercharger stops will be the same ones that we took on our trip East. With one exception. We would like to make it to Arches National Park near Moab, UT before or around sunset this evening. After that, it’s either spend the night in Moab, Green River, or Richfield, UT.
As we were climbing into the Rockies, one of the exits close to the Denver Metro area had a funny sign about a Buffalo or Bison Herd (we were unable to take a picture of the sign.)
However, we were able to take a picture of the herd as we drove by.
Heading West on I-70 from the Denver Metro area, means a change from the city scenes to the mountain scenes. Like the Buffalo or Bison herd in the previous photograph.
It was fairly light rain, to start.
However, it looks like we were going to be encountering some “weather” on the way to Silverthorne, and perhaps beyond.
It was getting harder to enjoy the sights outside of the car when the weather starts to be a challenge.
Some rain starts to turn into showers, and in as cold as it is, some showers turned into snow showers.
I’ve driven in rain before, not often until this trip (Southern California is in a drought after all). I’ve driven in snow, not with the Model S, mind you. But I’ve hardly ever driven in snow showers, and this drive to Silverthorne was the first time that I’ve ever done such a drive in the Model S.
So, I figured to take my time and go as slow as the traffic will allow it. We picked the white SUV on the right lane as it was going conservatively, but not irritatingly so. Additionally, I figured that the SUV is about as heavy as the Model S, so it should react somewhat similarly as the Model S in the current road conditions.
The weather was quite tough and I was glad that we had a good buffer of rated range miles so that the only thing I had to worry about was the weather and be comfortable in our available charge.
Did someone not send the memo to tell Colorado that it’s already LATE MAY.
There’s still snow on the runaway truck ramp
We used a lot of energy getting to Silverthorne, but it makes for some great energy graphs.
Just like that, the weather cleared. It’s as if Silverthorne had a protective bubble from the weather. We said goodbye to our white SUV guide and exited at Silverthorne.
We arrived at the Silverthorne Supercharger during the outlet mall’s open hours is different than the last time we stopped here. Rather than just stay in the car while we charged, we figured to stretch our legs and check out the shops.
It might only be approximately 90 miles between Silverthorne Supercharger and Glenwood Springs Supercharger, but with the way the weather’s been and the elevation changes, I’m charging it up.
So, the differential between what we consumed on our drive and the rated range is about 31 miles. The drive from the hotel to Silverthorne was about 76 miles with a consumption of 387 Wh/mi.
As I mentioned, we got to stretch our legs. We felt welcome at the Colorado Welcome Center.
We took the time to enjoy the dry, cool weather at Silverthorne.
By the time we got back to our car, we had some company.
These pictures are a reminder of my wife’s suggestion to Tesla that it might be nice for the supercharger stalls to have the name of the location on them for these sort of photo opportunities.
So, the next supercharger in Glenwood Springs are 92 miles away.
We have enough for bad weather and elevation and more. This is significantly more than the 100 mile “whatever” buffer that we’ve settled on.
But first, it was time to take a picture of dry, happy travelers.
So with 233 miles of Rated Range in the tank, we drove off toward Glenwood Springs Supercharger.
The last time we were at the Breckenridge exit, it was Winter. We didn’t stop off at Breckenridge, CO on this trip, but the thing with Breckenridge is the altitude sickness when visiting the resort. Each time I visit Breckenridge from Southern California, I have to take at least a day and a half to adjust to the altitude. So, if you’re prone to bad altitude sickness, be prepared for it when you visit Breckenridge.
We’re passing another set of ski runs that would’ve been fun to ski. Unless it was the same ski run that we photographed on Day 2.
The drive to Glenwood Springs Supercharger is made easier by the fellow Grey Colorado Model S.
When the weather turned bad again, we figured to follow the Grey Colorado Model S. He looked like he knew what he was doing.
This sort of energy usage tells us that there are lots of ups and downs on this route.
There is hope and a clearing ahead.
Through inclement weather and clear and sunny routes, it’s always more pleasant to be driving behind another Model S. No fumes.
I wonder if he’s getting tired of the Blue Califonia plated Model S behind him.
Now that’s the sight that I was expecting for Colorado in May, and not the snow showers we were being challenged by earlier.
Still some snow on those mountains.
I wonder if that Grey Colorado Model S will be supercharging at Glenwood Springs with us.
My wife is getting good at these interior panoramic shots.
Before we enter into the White River National Forest part of this drive, we spotted a familiar sight on the Southern side of I-70. Costco Hot Dogs, anyone? Not us.
Just before the Glenwood Springs is the White River National Forest, it is the coolest part of this drive. And it looks like the Grey Model S really enjoyed it ’cause they pretty much disappeared ahead of us.
The speed limit on this leg seems unusually low for me, it was difficult to stay there. The drive was too tempting. Here’s a fun video of the ride through a tunnel with us. Please don’t mind the person singing along to the music, he didn’t know that he was being filmed. 😉
With much to see above, we remembered to take some photographs through the panoramic roof.
And with that, we reached Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
Looks like our Grey Colorado Model S did exit at Glenwood Springs.
We crossed over a bridge and saw some rapid seeking adventurers enjoying the Colorado River.
Glenwood Springs Supercharger
The Glenwood Springs Supercharger were empty when we arrived here.
Our drive to Glenwood Springs was surprisingly efficient at 232 Wh/mi. Adding the 93 miles consumed to the 156 remaining rated range puts us at a start mile of 249 miles, since we left Silverthorne at 233 miles mean that the consumption rate was quite efficient.
It was interesting that we were alone supercharging. The Grey Model S parked in one of the regular spots in the same parking lot and met with people who they obviously knew. We didn’t get a chance to thank the Grey Model S folks for being our guide through the weather. I figured that they must be locals, because they drove off without stopping off at the supercharger.
We charged up to a bit before we rolled out to Grand Junction since it’s only 91 miles.
We really enjoyed the calm weather that we had on the drive to Grand Junction. The calm weather was a welcome respite from the rain and snow showers that we went through the first two legs of today’s drive.
Always like spotting solar panels, I wonder what these ones were used for.
This drive to Grand Junction gets us really close to the Colorado River.
We’re really close to Grand Junction now…
We were able to take a photograph of the grapes and Colorado wine country.
Grand Junction Supercharger
When we got to Grand Junction, we figured to look up some hotels in the Moab area, but they were all booked up. The challenge with making plans at the last minute during a holiday weekend is the higher demand areas get full fast. We looked at Green River, but settled on the Holiday Inn Express at Richfield. After all, we seek to give back to those that are enabling the operation and expansion of the Tesla Supercharger network.
We met with a Green Colorado Model S that was on its way as we arrived. They were friendly and on their way toward Denver.
Our charge was close to 90% as we roll out to our first new stop on this drive Moab Supercharger. Which means a chance to add another entry in the beta of the (now released) Teslarati App for iOS.
The last time we did this drive, the route was at the end of our 808 mile Day 1 adventure.
We know that we’re back in Utah because the speed limits start to increase.
We didn’t see this sign the last time we left Colorado, then again that was later at night.
So, we crossed into Utah again. It is such a cool state sign.
And we got an even better shot of the welcome to Utah sign.
We saw a rest stop and decided to stop and take a photo of the car with a desert background.
Yeah, it was a little windy here.
We figure to take a few more Model S nature shots.
Or at least shots of the car in a Utah rest stop.
The weather was better than what we’ve had earlier on our drive, but it was still cloudy. But at least it was dry.
Things kept looking up as we were getting closer to Moab. The weather was clearing up and we still have a bit of sunlight as we headed into Moab for the sunset.
The rocks were amazing, and we’re not even at Arches National Park, yet.
The folks were making use of the smooth sand to sled down. The
dessert [thanks for the edit Brian H, I do tend toward desserts] desert toward Moab looked strangely full of people. It probably has to do with the Memorial Day Weekend.
The entrance to Arches is before the Moab supercharger, I don’t know how many miles the drive around the Arches National Park is, but we wanted to have enough to do the drive and head to Green River for the night.
So, we tried to find the information out at the visitor center for the park. We stopped by first before we went to the Moab Supercharger, however, it was after hours and the visitor center was closed.
Since the visitor center was closed, we couldn’t pick up a map, so I took pictures of the map to help us find our way on the drive.
Even though we have three different mobile providers on our trip, I don’t expect ANY coverage on mobile during the drive into Arches National Park.
Rather than find any information from the visitor center, I actually got the information that we needed from a fellow visitor. They said that the drive around was approximately 40 miles. Now, we had about 90 miles of range left in the car, so we had enough to do the drive, but I wanted to also have enough to get to Green River, so we headed into Moab to get a charge.
The drive to Moab would have been faster, but since the town was full for the weekend, it did take a little bit longer because of the traffic.
The Moab Supercharger is located in the parking lot of the Best Western in Moab.
After we plugged in, the occupants of the SUV parked by our car at the superchargers arrived and was admiring our car and the white Model S parked beside us. The SUV was filled by a family that was visiting Moab from Colorado. They were curious about the Model S and EVs and we took the time to talk to them about Model S and EVs in general.
We found a White Nevada Model S occupying a charging stall. After we finished our conversation with the SUV family, the owner of the white Model S came out to check on his car.
Apparently this person was staying at the hotel. Rather than move from the supercharger to a parking spot, he mentioned that he was planning on using the supercharger stall as his spot for the evening. He made the comment that he’s never seen the supercharger stalls full the last few times that he has visited this location. I reminded him that perhaps it would be a good idea to put his contact information on his car, just in case four other Model S showed up to use the chargers, he scoffed at what I presume was his way of taking the suggestion under advisement. He was not the friendliest or most considerate person we’ve met on this trip.
And with the necessary and buffer charge completed, we rolled back out to Arches National Park.
Arches National Park
Not being much of a “nature” guy, I really enjoy the Arches National Park way of visiting. Many of the places in the park can be visited by driving through the park. No hiking required.
So, we entered the park and headed in with the express purpose of “having a nice drive” and to get some great pictures of our car for the Model S Nature Pictures thread on Tesla Motors Club.
The navigation had signal near the entrance to the park, but we will soon lose it when we get deeper into the drive.
We were soon reminded that not only do we have a panoramic roof that we can OPEN that panoramic roof for better, untinted shots of the view.
We took many pictures of our visit to Arches National Park, so enjoy. They say that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, and it’s not often that you will find me “speechless.”
I imagine that in the future the National Park system may want to consider the fact that EVs have less of an impact on driving routes like this than our ICE brethren. Unfortunately that is not the case right now.
These rock formations looked like a sculpture of people facing to the right from the shot above. And they look like they’re in a meeting in this closer shot.
Not sure if we can get to another stop for our Model S Nature Pictures, we stopped off in the first one that had space.
This one is in the Ancient Sand Dunes part of the park.
Our next stop was the Balanced Rock section.
Can you spot the rainbow in the next couple of pictures?
We headed down to the valley for the Delicate Arch.
We tried to see if we can see the Delicate Arch from the car. However on the way there there were several warnings of flash floods and evidence of roads that were washed out (not pictured, unfortunately). Since we’ve been through a bit of weather before we got here and those rain clouds look like they’re getting closer, we decided to find a different place to take another set of Model S Nature Pictures thread worthy shots.
We figured to find another point on higher ground so we don’t have to worry about it.
Our next stop was at the aptly named Panorama Point.
And the next shots are what we plan to enter into Model S Nature Pictures thread.
Now it’s just a matter of picking which one(s).
We were at our final stop before sunset.
Arches National Park is what I envision when I think of Utah.
Time to start heading out of the park as the darkness will drop quickly in the dessert.
We made it back to the parking lot of the visitor center as the rain started to fall.
And I for one was glad to be away from the “flash flood” signs that we passed inside the park.
I took the opportunity to see what our energy consumption was on the drive within Arches. So, it looks like we used less than the 40 rated miles that we had been told the drive would take. Then again, we didn’t drive all the routes.
It looks like our drive through Arches was fun. Take a look at the energy consumption chart on the right. However, the 278 Wh/mi since the charge says that we had fun efficiently.
With the sun setting fast, we were on our way back to Green River.
Green River Supercharger
The last time that we charged at Green River Supercharger it was the middle of the night, now it’s just the night.
We got to the Green River Supercharger and decided to make our decision on whether to continue the trip North and through the Coast or choose the more direct route home.
After much consideration we figured that it was time to head toward home. We still have to figure out whether we’re staying in Utah longer or just head to Vegas tomorrow.
Holiday Inn Express Richfield
We didn’t figure out what to do on the drive to Richfield. It’s been a long day and the drive to the Holiday Inn Express actually consumed more energy than the drive through Colorado and the Rockies.
The great thing about checking into a hotel that is supercharger equipped is that we don’t have to worry about the vampire loss. Besides, we can always park at the supercharger stall overnight if its more convenient for us. (Just kidding) ;-).
Go on to Day 23. Click here.