Denver was pretty chilly and cloudy this morning. I got a Starbucks coffee, charged the car for 10 minutes at the Denver Supercharger and was on the I-70 by 10:00am.
It was fairly easy drive through the eastern plains of Colorado. At one point there was so much fog that the visibility was no more than 150-200 feet. It was really windy however, which required constant steering wheel adjustments to stay in lane, especially when passing trailers. I really can’t wait until the Software Update 7.0, which will bring the Lane Watch feature to all Tesla Model S vehicles with autopilot sensors. With Lane Watch and Traffic Aware Cruise Control I can let the car drive itself, meanwhile I would be reading a book or coding on my computer.
My first charging stop was in Limon, Colorado. The superchargers are located right next to Arby’s. I got a few sliders and onion rings and left as soon as I finished eating. I left with 13% extra charge. In other words, by the time I get to the next supercharger along the I-70, I theoretically should have 13% battery charge remaining. (30-35 rated miles)
I was really surprised by how many wind turbines there are in Kansas. Thousands, if not tens of thousands of wind turbines throughout the entire state. It is after all one of the leading states in generation of wind power, along with Iowa and South Dakota.
Leaving with the 13% extra charge was a mistake on my part because I did not account for the wind or cool air temperature. It was over a 100 miles until the next supercharger and I watched my battery percentage remaining slowly drop from 13% down to 1%. I think I was saved by the construction zone because I had to reduce my speed to 55mph, which will certainly give you a higher range (less drag) than driving at 83mph.
When I finally made it to Goodland, Kansas, it was a very close call with only 2 rated miles remaining.
The dashboard actually showed 1 mile remaining, but I did get another 1 mile back from the regenerative braking as I was coming to a complete stop after taking a highway exit and rolling downhill.
One thing I love about these supercharger locations is that they are located near restrooms, hotels, restaurants. You never have to sit in your car and wait for it to charge, unless you want to do that. While the car was charging, I got this delicious strawberry banana milkshake at the Steak n Shake, checked my email and did some coding on my laptop.
And as you may already know, all Tesla Superchargers are free for life for Model S owners, because the cost was already included in the car. I just think it’s really cool to have driven over 12,000 miles without having to pay a cent. It is more about the principle of not having to go to the gas station and pay your hard-earned money to the fat, rich oil companies. Especially in Los Angeles where gas prices are so jacked up and there is nothing anyone can do about it, because people still have to drive to/from work.
Most of the drive through Kansas is straight and flat, basically as boring as it gets.
The only exciting part of the entire Kansas State were these wind turbines. Imagine living somewhere in the middle of the country, somewhere off the grid, completely self-sustained with green energy!
My next stop was in Hays, Kansas. I wasn’t too hungry so I did not get any food. I used this opportunity to call people and just chat until my car was ready to go. It was also starting to get really cold outside. The air temperature was in low 50s.
I am already missing that beautiful 75-80° weather in West Los Angeles, before I even got to the East Coast…
I finally found a Starbucks in Kansas! It was right by the next supercharger location in Salina, Kansas. I really needed a coffee because my eyes were getting tired and I had to force myself to stay awake at least until the next supercharger. It was already dark outside at this time and I would like to avoid driving at night if possible.
My last stop was in Topeka, Kansas, which is about 60 miles (1 hour drive) west of Kansas City. I decided to stop in Topeka because I was very tired and was able to get a really good deal at the Country Inn and Suites hotel because I have a ton of points on my club membership card.
The next trip will be the longest one ever, assuming I can cover that distance in one day. The total of 839 miles from Topeka, Kansas to New Philadelphia, Ohio. That’s
4 5 states to cover: Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio.