Tesla Model S - Vasquez Rocks
Boulder City Model S
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Days Charging at
Destination   Supercharger
0 1
Vasquez Rocks
On other trips the first day is about travel and no sightseeing, but this time I found a distinctive place to stop along our first day of travel. The name isn't particularly memorable, but do you recognize it? The pair of rocky spires jutting in a seemingly unnatural direction due to extreme seismic uplift of the sedimentary rock gives it a memorable look. I couldn't place the car just anywhere to snap its picture, so maybe the angle in our family picture there is more familiar.

TimeEventRange Remaining
9:02 amDeparted Home326
10:14 amArrive Vasquez Rocks212
Range/Distance ratio: 1.48
Conditions: Uphill, Los Angeles Downtown Traffic, 96°F

I expected to drive right in upon arrival because the web site said it was open at 8 am, but no the web site was wrong and the posted sign says it opens at 11 am, so we park outside the entrance sign and hike in to take pictures and explore. Several other families are hiking around the grounds and scaling the rocks. I'm thinking about recommending this location to my son's Boy Scout Troop for overnight camping. When we return to the car at about 11 am, I can drive in to take pictures with the car.

Still need a reminder?

Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks Sign

The site is famous for being used as a backdrop for several television shows and movies over the decades. My introduction to it is from the episode "Arena" from the original Star Trek series, wherein Captain Kirk was trapped alone on an alien asteroid in mortal combat with a Gorn captain. I made a point of having my children watch that episode a week before we left home. This is one of many filming locations we will visit on the trip.

Due in part to that original Star Trek episode, the location was used over and over, both as an homage and as an inside joke, in subsequent television episodes of later Star Trek series including The Next Generation and Voyager, then also used as the Vulcan homeworld in Star Trek IV and in the first JJ Abrams-directed Star Trek movie reboot. That "Arena" episode was also referenced in other movies like Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey as one of the scary places those protagonists visit.

Vasquez Rocks Star Trek

Did my all-electric car drive to Kirk's alien asteroid? We didn't find any Gorn.

We continued north and joined route 14 to reach route 395 at Inyokern, a different path than using the I-15 or I-40 in our previous trips. Along the way I found a rock formation that reminded me of the Flutes in Capitol Reef on our trip two years ago.

Flutes along 14?

Inyokern Supercharger
TimeEventRange Remaining
11:22 amDeparted Vasquez Rocks206
12:50 pmArrived Inyokern Supercharger72
Range/Distance ratio: 1.3
Conditions: Desert, 103°F

Our first priority when we arrived was to seek out the restrooms and fortunately the Classic Burgers restaurant next door had theirs open. It was also time for lunch, so we ordered food there too. Bathroom Anxiety

Inyokern Supercharger
We knew about but skipped the Mojave Supercharger because I researched the restaurants at each in advance, and we liked Classic Burgers better. However because of the pandemic no indoor seating was allowed, and it was so hot (over 100°F) outside that my wife decided we would eat inside the air-conditioned car, even if that might slightly degrade the charge rate.

Cost to Charge: $0

We continued north on route 395 to enter Owens Valley.

Owens Valley

Lone Pine Supercharger
TimeEventRange Remaining
1:40 pmDeparted Inyokern276
2:44 pmArrived Lone Pine Supercharger181
Range/Distance ratio: 1.15
Conditions: Hot, 104°F

We weren't out of the heat yet, and I had never been to the Lone Pine Supercharger. From here, we could see Mount Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48 States.

Lone Pine Supercharger
Being only an hour after having lunch, we needed restrooms. The Film History Museum and the ranger stations were closed due to the pandemic, and the McDonald's didn't allow the public in. So The Grill to the north was our only place to use the restrooms we definitely needed, and we all bought refreshments to reward The Grill for the favor. Bathroom Anxiety
Mammoth Mountain
TimeEventRange Remaining
3:27 pmDeparted Lone Pine279
5:11 pmArrived Mammoth Mountain108
Range/Distance ratio: 1.63
Conditions: Uphill, 104°F decreasing to 79°F

This was the first time any of us have visited Mammoth Mountain in the summer, and I was curious what it looked like.

Mammoth Mountain

This was also a practice run as well for someday driving to Mammoth in the winter for skiing (when the pandemic is over), as my new Model S has dual-motor all-wheel drive. My wife was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and comfortably we could drive to Mammoth from home, clearly indicating willingness to try it again should the ski season reopen (again, someday, after the pandemic).

We took a little time to sightsee around Mammoth, here at around 9000 feet elevation, and take pictures of the (dry summer) slopes only somewhat familiar from our memories here in winter. I originally wanted to book at Juniper, which is a member of the Tesla Destination Network, but Juniper had new rules requiring stays that start Saturday to be at least two nights. That was unacceptable, so instead I booked at the Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa because it was down the street from the Tesla Supercharger in town and near the Good Life Café where we wanted to have breakfast the next day.

Cost to Charge: $0

Mammoth Supercharger

We checked in and had a very enjoyable outdoor dinner that evening at Jimmy's Taverna. When we returned to the room we showered after such a hot day and watched a movie, which shot scenes in this mountainous area, in preparation for our hike the next day.

Mammoth Lakes Sign

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.

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