TIO On The Road, October, 2016

In my mind, living in Telluride means not having to travel. However, living in Telluride does not preclude necessary travel to visit family and friends who are not living close. And there are places in the world to visit for the first time, places familiar from an earlier time that one finds a need to see again.

Susan and I are very much involved in our community, so leaving during the “Season” is problematic. Getting away in the off-season, though I’d like to enjoy my town when it is quiet, though Autumn in Telluride is as beautiful as anywhere in the world, has become the norm for us.

Current, Massachusetts, earlier this Fall

Current, Massachusetts, earlier this Fall

Since we got the Tesla in May, 2015, we have mostly chosen to drive on our domestic journeys. It costs us two extra days to the East Coast, one to the West, but being self-employed/retired gives us the time, and our Tesla Model S 85 D provides the speed and luxury to make the driving a pleasure. Being electric brings some challenges, but many of our charging stops have their own pleasures, and a little more time enjoy them. Our current (“Current” is the name Susan chose for our car) trip to Seattle is a case in point.

We charge Current at home in Telluride. On the road, Tesla has a Supercharger system for relatively quick recharging. It isn’t as fast as a stop at a gas station, but I don’t have to watch the car while the electricity flows in. We can take a walk, take a nap, read a book, have lunch- you get the picture. I have washed the car by hand, done yoga, as examples of ways to spend the 20-40 minutes at a Supercharger.

When we left this time we drove to Cottonwood Ranch and Kennel, outside Crawford, CO to drop off Gina the Dog at her home-away-from-home, then on to Price, UT to recharge, then stopped for the night in Park City to visit our friend Demian Brooks. We added a few miles of range by plugging in to his household current overnight. We also watched the Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers that evening.

Our second charging stop the next day was at the visitor center high above the Snake River in Twin Falls, ID. The visitor center itself is a good reason to stop, with its photos and descriptions of the history of the Twin Falls area. In addition, on this sunny Fall day, the bridge that spans the Snake River Canyon was the jumping-off point (take that literally) for a half dozen BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, and Earth) jumpers. We extended our sty to watch.

Back on the road, we stopped overnight in Baker City, OR. There is a Supercharger just off the Interstate in Baker, but the real target was an opportunity to stay at the beautifully restored Geiser Grand Hotel downtown. As with our own New Sheridan Hotel in Telluride, the Geiser Grand was built during Baker City’s gold rush. Years ago when we first stayed there we were given a tour of the basement of the hotel, which included the tunnel that crossed under the street out front so patrons of the hotel would not be seen entering the red-lit building across the street. Another attribute of the hotel which speaks of its original opulence is the ornate Tiffany skylight above the dining room, which was discovered in boxes in a dark corner of the basement during the renovation of the hotel. We had a lovely dinner beneath that Tiffany skylight during this stay.

Tiffany Skylight, Geiser Grand Hotel

Tiffany Skylight, Geiser Grand Hotel

Our final day’s drive had us crossing the Columbia River into my home state of Washington, charging in Kennewick and Ellensburg before driving in heavy rain to our daughter’s and son-in-law’s home in Bellevue, Washington. Total miles: 1288. Total out-of-pocket “fuel” expenses: $0.00! Pleasure Factor: Off the scale. Thank you Tesla!

Oh, and perhaps you’ve heard that Tesla is not a cross-country automobile? Have ’em talk to me. It’s just not true!

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