I woke up this morning at 6:45am so I could get a chance to take a shower, eat breakfast and leave as early as possible because I needed to cover 5 states in total: part of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and half of Ohio.
It was pretty chilly outside when I left, 43°F.
On my way to Independence, Missouri I had to pay $2.75 for the toll on I-70 before entering Kansas City, the only toll so far since I left California.
Independence, Missouri — my first charging stop for the day. “We are not in Kansas anymore”. I am not sure whose brilliant idea it was to install sprinklers right next to the high-voltage charging stations. Oh well, if nothing has happened yet, I guess it is safe to have running sprinklers next to the superchargers.
My car was extremely filthy from all that dust and rain while driving through Colorado and Kansas, so I used this time to clean the car instead. I will do a proper car wash once I get home.
My second stop was in Columbus, Missouri. When I pulled up to the charging stations, some random man walked towards me and started taking pictures of my car and me. For a brief moment I felt like I am some kind of celebrity — random people just taking pictures of me without even asking for permission. I am pretty self-conscious, so things like that make me a little uncomfortable.
However, he was not rude at all. He came up to me and introduced himself as Vincent. He seemed really nice and friendly. We chatted for a bit about Tesla and he took a few more pictures of me standing next to the car. I believe he told me this was the first time he saw a Tesla.
There was a private-owned gourmet sandwhich shop nearby and I was starving. That was the best sandwich I’ve had in a while! The place itself was very cozy and had hipster vibes inside.
After I finished eating my sandwich, I left and headed towards St. Louis, Missouri. There
There was a pretty bad wreck on the I-70 which caused a standstill traffic that delayed my trip by at least half hour. Eerie silence on a cloudy day with no car moving.
I was a little short on time so I decided not to spend time visiting the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch and Tesla superchargers were actually located on the outskirts of St. Louis, far from downtown.
Charging rate was abnormally slow at about 172 mi/hr, instead of the usual 360-380 mi/hr. I waited until I had 10% extra charge before leaving. But right as I was about to leave, an older man in his 50s or 60s pulled up next to me in his car. “Beautiful car” he said. We chatted for a while. Almost everyone wants to know how frequently you have to charge, how long can you go on a single charge, whether charging is free or not. I wish there was one cookie-cutter answer, unfortunately it is difficult to answer because there are so many variables. For example, Tesla Model S 85 is rated at 265 miles per charge. But that’s more like 265 miles per charge when driving on a highway at 65 mph, in a fairly warm weather, with no wind, on a flat surface, not running air conditioner or heater, windows up.
While we are on the subject of range, I had pretty accurate estimates while driving through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. It was off only by a few miles, unlike yesterday driving through Colorado and Kansas where my 15% battery remaining has turned into 0% battery remaining by the time I reached the destination.
Driving from St. Louis, Missouri to Effingham, Illinois was quite fun. Very scenic route along the I-70.
The charging stations were located behind the gas station. I had to wait a little longer for the car to charge because my next destination was Indianapolis, Indiana.
The drive through Indiana was neither exciting nor boring. It was okay.
One thing that stood out to me the most, but unfortunately impossible to capture with an iPhone camera, is a beautiful sunset. It was a larger than usual, golden circle. And if you were to look at it, you can see the sun rays in the air. It looked really pretty, unlike any sunset I have seen so far on East Coast or West Coast. The only downside of looking at it for too long is that you are blinding yourself and it becomes hard to see other cars on the road for a brief period.
By the time I got to the supercharger, the sun has almost set and it was getting dark outside. Since the trip planner has been pretty spot on today, I left after getting 9% extra charge at my next destination.
Once I reached Ohio, I had to stop first at the Dayton, Ohio supercharger, followed by Columbus, Ohio supercharger. I was a little worried about driving in Ohio at night because I did not want to hit a deer or some critters at 78 mph that could jump out suddenly. It was a likely possibility, on more than a few occasions I was the only driver on a highway, with no one behind or in front of me, just driving alone through pitch black darkness surrounded by lots of trees.
I lost 2 hours during the timezone shift from MST to CST to EST and drove more than 850 miles. Exhausted wouldn’t begin to describe how I felt by the time I got to New Philadelphia / Dover, Ohio at 2:00am. But I have made it across the 5 states safe and sound, and that’s all that matters.
Tomorrow is my break day from the road trip. I would like to hang out with some of my friends in Ohio whom I have not seen in so long, and just relax for a bit. I will resume my road trip on early morning Tuesday.