We didn't bring enough stuff to take up all the ample cargo space in the Model S.
I filled the front trunk, then put the BOB stroller in the back with a few nicknacks.
Note large spaces left over to the left and right of the stroller. Why pack more than we need?
|Buellton Supercharger - Northbound
As we traveled, I logged the time, odometer, and range remaining for every event of interest.
Range/Distance ratio: 1.22
|12:35 pm||Departed Lunch near Home||259|
|3:30 pm||Arrived Buellton||49|
Conditions: Heavy, Friday, LA Traffic
Afternoon traffic in Los Angeles is bad. Friday traffic is bad.
Obviously putting the two together is worse.
But the kids (aged 2 and 7) dictate certain parameters:
Hitting the road straight from lunch, the earliest we could head out, put the kids to sleep in 15 minutes,
and they stayed asleep for the following 90 minutes.
Such a pleasure in in such a quiet car!
Battling LA traffic was manageable, and Ventura and Oxnard were better than expected,
but more importantly I didn't bother with energy-conserving driving, arriving
under my predicted time, three hours.
Like any Supercharger, the Buellton one was easy.
Three other Model S' were there, then after we plugged in another arrived, leaving another
three stalls available.
The kids were very happy to go have their favorite meals from McDonald's.
We visited the restroom, then ordered food, so by the time we sat down to eat, the car already charged for 30 minutes.
Then the kids couldn't resist the McDonald's Playplace, then came back to eat, then finally playing around for a
long time at the Playplace again.
So all told the kids had us charge for 75 minutes, a half-hour longer than I planned or needed,
so we ended up with 260 miles of range in the battery, nearly full and
more than originally intended. Cost: $0
Range/Distance ratio: 1.3
|4:45 pm||Departed Buellton||260|
|5:43 pm||Arrived San Luis Obispo||182|
Conditions: Heavy Rain
Getting to SLO was a little trickier.
A nasty storm moved in, but it wasn't anything this electric car couldn't handle.
With plenty of charge, I enjoyed the Model S' precision handling while the kids
discovered horses and cows in the surrounding farmland.
|Visiting Morro Rock and Bay
On Saturday we decided to visit Morro Rock first
to take in the natural beauty and to let the kids take out some energy
climbing rocks and playing on the sand beach.
Then we walked up the Embarcadero of the town of Morro Bay,
found a place for lunch, and returned back to the hotel room
to take a family nap.
We spent dinner at a friend's place in Pismo Beach.
On Sunday, we left the hotel to have breakfast in Avila Beach. What a beautiful morning!
We let the kids play on the beach playground for a while, then we drive around
Avila for some sightseeing.
Prior to the trip, I researched
a few different local charging stations.
while my family shopped, I added 30 miles of range at
a station in their Transit Center.
While my family napped in the San Luis Obispo hotel,
I charged the car at
a station near a Target walking distance
from the hotel,
then rejoined my sleeping family while it added 50 miles of range.
This extra energy boost was helpful for
almost 100 miles of
unstructured local travel and sightseeing.
|Buellton Supercharger - Southbound
Range/Distance ratio: 1.27
|11:35 am||Departed Avila Village||149|
|12:28 pm||Arrived Buellton||75|
Conditions: Hills, Speed
I couldn't resist taking my family to a childhood
Pea Soup Andersen's Restaurant.
I was working on my second bowl of split pea soup when my car reached 220 miles,
enough to get home, including a safety margin.
Then the kids played and demanded a few snacks, and when I returned to the car
I chatted with another Tesla owner and a Tesla admirer.
Range/Distance ratio: 1.18
|1:05 pm||Enough Charge to get Home plus Margin||220|
|1:51 pm||Depart Buellton||271|
|5:10 pm||Arrived Home||65|
Conditions: Traffic, Hills, Speed
Although traffic hampered the drive home,
I enjoyed speed when possible because
there was no plausible way we would run out of range.
the Model S is a fabulous road trip car.
Traveling without the
extra engine and transmission noise, creating an
low-frequency rumble and roar that shakes one's innards,
makes possible a very relaxing driving experience.
I no longer experience the fatigue I had in gas cars before.
Both ways, the time to take care of biological needs, such
as those of our little humans aged 2 and 7,
completely covered the car's necessary charging time and then some:
30 minutes extra northbound and 45 minutes extra southbound.
Family time should never be rushed.
Thanks to Tesla Motors and the cities of
Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo,
the cost to refuel on this 550-mile trip was zero, zilch, nada.
Five months after this trip, Tesla Motors
brought the Oxnard Supercharger
online, making our next trip to San Luis Obispo even easier.
Dean E. Dauger holds a Ph. D. in physics from UCLA, where his group
created the first Mac cluster in 1998. Dr. Dauger is the award-winning
author in multiple American Institute of Physics' Software Contests and
co-authored the original, award-winning Kai's Power Tools
image-processing package for Adobe Photoshop.
After founding his company,
Dauger Research, Inc., its debut product,
Pooch, derived from Dr. Dauger's experience using clusters for his
physics research, was soon awarded as "most innovative" by IEEE Cluster
and continues to revolutionize parallel computing and clusters worldwide
with its patented technology.