This particular web page is the report along with photos of the second day of our road trip. This segment covers travel from Richfield, Utah, to Lone Tree, Colorado. If you have not yet read the first day of this Tesla road trip from Anaheim, California, to Richfield, Utah, then please click here to read that first.
Below you will find the day, date, time, and time zone in BOLD for each location for when we arrived and departed. You will also find the letters "MP" followed by a four digit number. "MP" stands for "Mile Post" and is a left over from the days that I used to write travelogues of my rail travels. The MP starts at 0000 at the departure from my Anaheim Vacation House and will indicate how many miles we've traveled so far as we arrive at each location. Along with the location there will usually be a reading of how many miles of charge are remaining on the battery on arrival and then again on departure after charging. Additional information might also be listed. For example, if at a train station, a list of the trains serving that station might be shown which may be a clickable link to further information about that particular train service.
Fri 2015-May-27 11:00 AM MT MP 0594 - Departure from Richfield UT Tesla Supercharger
Holiday Inn Express, 20 W 1400 N. Richfield, UT, where we spent the night. (253 miles remaining on battery)
After arriving so late the previous evening we slept in and got off to a late start, at just about check-out time at the hotel. It took us a while to realize that the time zone had shifted from Pacific Time to Mountain Time and that we had lost an hour. So, in California it was still only 10 AM PT when we departed the hotel. As we were driving down the road and comparing our estimated times against the actual time on our mobile phones and the time shown in the car, it was then we realized that our estimated departure and arrival times were listed only as Pacific Time. After correcting for that, we weren't as far behind our scheduled driving as we thought!
In the photo below you can see our Tesla parked in a Supercharging spot and the hotel in the background. The hotel is not really as far away as it may seem in the photo. It was an easy walk from the hotel entrance to our car even with our luggage. Our Tesla was the only one parked in any of the charging spots when we parked there the night before and we were still the only Tesla there in the morning. I suppose other Tesla cars might have arrived after us and departed before us but I tend to doubt that happened. However, the day will someday come that leaving a Tesla parked in a charging spot here overnight would not be polite as some day that probably will be blocking other Tesla vehicles from charging. I'm sure Tesla will find some way of enforcing a time limit of parking at the charging spots once that becomes an issue.
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Fri 2015-May-22 12:40 PM MT MP 0715 - Arrival at Green River Amtrak Station
250 S Broadway, Green River, UT (Served by Amtrak California Zephyr) (99 miles remaining on battery)
When I originally laid out our driving plans I had to check whether the next train station or the next Supercharging station would come first along our route. Though they were always just a few miles from each other, I didn't want to do any backtracking in order to visit the train stations. In the case of the Green River Amtrak Station, the train station came before the Green River Tesla Supercharging station on our eastward journey.
A few photos of the Green River Amtrak Station are posted above. For more photos and more information about this station, click here to visit TrainWeb.org/usarail/greenriver.htm. The Amtrak California Zephyr train serves this station. For more information, route guides, and travelogues with photos about this train, click here to visit TrainWeb.com/routes/route_5.htm. The Amtrak California Zephyr is one of the most scenic of all the Amtrak routes as it goes right through the Rocky Mountains between Denver, Colorado, and Salt Lake City, Utah, and then it goes through the Sierra Nevada Mountains over Donner Pass between Reno, Nevada, and Sacramento, California. It is a train trip you should take someday if you have not done so already. However, I would strongly recommend that you take this trip in mid-summer when the daylight hours are longest. It is also better to go east on the train starting from California if you have a choice of which way to travel on the train. If the train starts running late, you don't want to be going through the Rocky Mountains or the Sierra Nevada Mountains after dark as you'll miss the beautiful scenery. There is less chance of it being dark during these portions of your trip if you travel during the summer when daylight remains longer into the evening. Also, since the train departs from California in the morning, there is less chance that a late running train will shift you into the dark evening hours when the train reaches the scenic areas. The westward Amtrak California Zephyr departs in the mid afternoon from Chicago. Thus, if the train heading west starts running late, it is more likely to shift you into the darker evening hours. Personally I've taken the Amtrak California Zephyr many times in both directions. On one of my west bound trips during the winter the train did start running late. The train ended up going through the Rocky Mountains in complete darkness. Many of the passengers were very disappointed. Several said the scenery of the Rocky Mountains was the only reason they took the train. They said they would have flown to California had they known they would not get to enjoy the scenery.
Except in major cities, most Amtrak stations look much like the station building and platform in the above photos. Stations are scattered in remote towns across the nation. Some stations are just a platform. In one of the photos above you will see a glass enclosed shelter. This is actually the only shelter for passengers waiting for the train. What used to be the station building is no longer open for the use of passengers. A lot of small towns have managed to preserve their stations and have them open during the times that trains arrive and depart, which is usually just 2 trains per day, one in each direction. But many like this one have closed their station buildings and only have a bus stop like shelter for waiting passengers.
This was the first time I had ever arrived at this station in a vehicle. I've been through this station many times while riding the Amtrak California Zephyr. Travelogues and photos from many of those rail trips are posted in the link provided above. That is true of most of the stations that I'll be stopping at during this road trip. I've been through them all on my Amtrak rail travels, but have only stepped off the train onto the platform of a few of them.
Fri 2015-May-22 12:50 PM MT MP 0717 - Arrival at Green River Tesla Supercharger
1765 E Main, Green River, UT (95 miles remaining on battery)
There were only 4 charging spots at this Tesla Supercharging location. They were in the parking lot of a museum. While waiting for the car to charge we walked across the street to have lunch at the Tamarisk Restaurant. They have good food there and a great view. The above photo of the Green River was taken while we were sitting at a table in the restaurant. The river looked more brown than green to me, but I guess it may just be a time when the river is more muddy than usual. It was still a great view, though. We opted for the soup and salad bar for our lunch.
Fri 2015-May-22 01:50 PM MT MP 0717 - Depart from Green River Tesla Supercharger
1765 E Main, Green River, UT (247 miles remaining on battery)
Fri 2015-May-22 03:11 PM MT MP 0814 - Arrival at Grand Junction Tesla Supercharger
2424 US-6, Grand Junction, CO (111 miles remaining on battery)
There is an entire mall at this location with several restaurants. Since we had some text and email to catch up on, we just sat in the car for about 30 minutes while it charged.
Fri 2015-May-22 03:43 PM MT MP 0814 - Depart from Grand Junction Tesla Supercharger
2424 US-6, Grand Junction, CO (211 miles remaining on batter)
Fri 2015-May-22 04:00 PM MT MP 0817 - Arrival at Grand Junction Amtrak Station
339 S J St, Grand Junction, CO (Served by Amtrak California Zephyr)
A few photos of the Grand Junction Amtrak Station are posted above. For more photos and more information about this station, click here to visit TrainWeb.org/usarail/grandjct.htm. The Amtrak California Zephyr train serves this station. For more information, route guides, and travelogues with photos about this train, click here to visit TrainWeb.com/routes/route_5.htm.
This is a much more impressive Amtrak station which does have an enclosed passenger waiting area. For a lot more information about the history of this train station, visit www.greatamericanstations.com/Stations/GJT. There was a BNSF freight train locomotive parked on a track across from the station when we visited.
Fri 2015-May-22 05:30 PM MT MP 0902 - Arrival at Glenwood Springs Tesla Supercharger
125 Wulfson Rd, Glenwood Springs, CO (96 miles remaining on battery)
When we arrived there were a number of barrels blocking some of the Tesla Supercharging parking spaces. I pulled into one of the spaces that was not blocked. Later talking to other Tesla owners I found out that these barrels are the method the hotel users to keep non-Tesla vehicles from parking in these spaces. Evidently when this hotel is pretty booked up, or maybe when they host a conference, the parking lot gets pretty full and people start parking in any spot they can find, even in the Tesla Supercharging spots. Placing big barrels with ribbons blocking the spaces seems to be the only way of discouraging drivers of other vehicles from parking in these spaces. Tesla drivers will just get out of their cars and move a barrel to open the space so they can pull in to charge. I guess that is what I would have done if those were the only charging spaces available.
The hotel at this Tesla Supercharging location is the Residence Inn Glenwood Springs. As you can see in an above photos, there is also a Courtyard by Marriott within easy walking distance of the Tesla Charging spots. While charging the Residence Inn Glenwood Springs hotel provides restrooms and free wifi. There are a number of restaurants and stores within walking distance of this charging location.
On a side note: You may have found in some parts of this travelogue that I sometimes refer to the parking spots at the Tesla Superchargers as "charging bays" or just "bays". The first Tesla charging stations that I went to in 2013 were all of the design where you drive the car forward between the charging posts into the parking spot. Thus, these really were like "charging bays". It wasn't until later when I discovered Tesla Supercharging locations where the only way to charge is to back up to the charging posts. I have noticed that some other Tesla drivers also don't like backing up to the charging post. Where possible, some Tesla drivers will pull around the back side of the charging post and park in a place that isn't even a parking place, just so they can charge without having to back up to the charging post. I discovered this in an odd way. One time I backed into a charging spot but found the charge connector for that parking spot was already in use! Another Tesla was parked on the reverse side of the charging post parallel to the charger so they didn't have to back in. That wasn't even a marked parking space! Since that time I've seen several situations where a Tesla would be parked behind a charging post charging instead of backed into the parking spot. Now I always check whenever I see a Tesla parked on the wrong side of the charging post to figure out which spots actually have a charge connector available.
A related item to the Tesla Supercharging configurations is an optional feature on the Tesla Model X. Tesla is offering a tow hitch option for the Model X which I probably will purchase when Tesla starts letting buyers begin to configure their ordered vehicle. I was thinking about the practicality of towing a trailer with the Model X, either a rented U-Haul trailer to bring larger items with me on a future trip to Missouri, or maybe a camper to go exploring the country. But how does a Tesla Model X back up to a Tesla Supercharging post when towing a trailer? I can see doing what I just mentioned above and pulling around the back of a charging post to plug in. But that only works at some of the Tesla Supercharging locations. Many of them don't have a place to drive behind the charging post. If one is driving a Model X towing a trailer, does one have to disconnect the trailer at each charging location? That would be pretty inconvenient. Or will Tesla come out with an optional Supercharger extension cord that will allow a Tesla to pull forward up to a charging post and extend the cord to reach the charging port on the car? Heck, if they did that, I'd buy one for my Model S just so that I can pull forward into a charging spot and don't have to back in. I think it might be a best seller for Tesla! If all the Tesla Supercharging locations were of the design where you drive forward into a charging bay, this would not be a problem. Even a Model X pulling a trailer could pull forward into a charging bay. A Tesla Model X can not back into a Tesla Supercharger parking spot as the cord will not reach the charging port on the Tesla. Not unless Tesla comes up with an extension cord like I mentioned above.
Fri 2015-May-22 05:55 PM MT MP 0902 - Depart from Glenwood Springs Tesla Supercharger
125 Wulfson Rd, Glenwood Springs, CO (188 miles remaining on battery)
Fri 2015-May-22 06:00 PM MT MP 0904 - Arrival at Glenwood Springs Amtrak Station
413 7th St, Glenwood Springs, CO (Served by Amtrak California Zephyr)
A few photos of the Glenwood Springs Amtrak Station are posted above. For more photos and more information about this station, click here to visit TrainWeb.org/usarail/glenwood.htm. The Amtrak California Zephyr train serves this station. For more information, route guides, and travelogues with photos about this train, click here to visit TrainWeb.com/routes/route_5.htm.
Glenwood Springs is a really scenic location. The town and the station are located right on the river with a beautiful view of the mountains and river right from the station. My wife and I made note of this place with the intention of spending more time here on our return trip.
Fri 2015-May-22 07:37 PM MT MP 0992 - Arrival at Silverthorne Tesla Supercharger
309 Rainbow Dr, Silverthorne, CO (56 miles remaining on battery)
Silverthorne is about half way between Aspen and Denver, Colorado. There were quite a few shops around within walking distance. We walked around and visited a few shops while waiting for the car to charge. The area definitely had the feel of a ski village and we did see many ski lodges along the highway. We were definitely in the middle of a lot of mountains, some which still had snow on them even though it was almost the month of June.
Fri 2015-May-27 08:00 PM MT MP 0992 - Depart from Silverthorne Tesla Supercharger
309 Rainbow Dr, Silverthorne, CO (180 miles remaining on battery)
Fri 2015-May-22 09:47 PM MT MP 1082 - Arrive at Lone Tree Tesla Supercharger
(Tesla Store / Park Meadows Mall), 8405 Park Meadows Center, Lone Tree, CO (102 miles remaining on battery)
On the way to the next Tesla Supercharger I found that I was going through a huge city. Most of the drive for hundreds of miles east on the I-70 there would only be one, or at most, two exits off the highway for each town. The speed limit most of the way was either 75 MPH or 80 MPH. At that speed, the city limits of most towns would be less than a minute apart. But this city was going on for miles and miles with dozens of exits. When I planned this trip, I didn't carefully look at what major cities I'd be passing through. I never heard of Lone Tree, Colorado, before this trip. At that time, I had no idea it was a suburb of Denver and that I'd be driving through the heart of Denver to get there!
It was pouring cats and dogs as I drove through Denver. The highway through Denver had a lot of lanes, maybe as many as 8 lanes each way, which is quite a contrast to the hundreds of miles of 2 lane highways on the way to get here. Fortunately we had great weather this far and this was the first time we ran into any bad weather on this trip. The driving was slow and difficult through the heavy traffic and rain of Denver.
This was a very confusing Tesla Supercharging location. The GPS brought us to a huge shopping mall and then provided very little information beyond that. The directions ended up in an empty area of the parking lot with no Tesla Supercharger in sight. I knew there was a Tesla store in this mall and figured the chargers would probably be near where they keep the demo cars for the store. When I looked more carefully at the listing for this Tesla Supercharger location, I noticed the word "Temporary" next to it. I just hoped that they hadn't taken away this "Temporary" Tesla Supercharging location. Eventually driving around the mall we found some huge lighted "Tesla" signs and a few Tesla vehicles parked there.
At first I noticed a few parking spaces near the Tesla sign each with a High Power Wall Charger (HPWC). That was disappointing as I knew it would take at least a couple of hours to charge up to the level that I wanted at an HPWC. Then I realized that each of these spaces ALSO had a Tesla Supercharger connector! That seemed strange that each parking space would have BOTH a High Power Wall Charger and a Tesla Supercharger. It soon became clear that the Tesla Superchargers were just "temporary" and had been installed in the same parking spaces that used to have just High Power Wall Chargers. I have seen temporary Tesla Superchargers before so I recognized what the whole set up looked like once I realized what it was. When I attended TMC Connect last year they had a temporary Tesla Supercharger set up at the race track. I had charged up at that temporary Tesla Supercharger and that is why I recognized what it looked like.
Tesla generally does not install Superchargers at their stores or service centers. Though there are a number of exceptions, Tesla usually installs the Superchargers well outside major city limits. The purpose of the Tesla Superchargers is really for long distance intercity travel. The goal of Tesla is not to make sure that every Tesla driver can charge up for free for their everyday driving. Tesla figures that vehicle owners can just charge up at home overnight for their everyday driving. Even where electricity is expensive, it is still so far below the cost of other fuels that charging at home is still a great savings. The Superchargers are there to make it fast and easy to charge when traveling longer distances between cities. Thus, they tend to be located along interstates between major population centers rather than right in the middle of cities. Tesla does not discourage drivers from using the Superchargers for their daily charging, but only so many drivers live close enough to one to be convenient. The nearest one to my home in Vancouver, Washington, is located in Woodburn, Oregon, about 40 miles away. The closest one to my vacation home in Anaheim, California, is San Juan Capistrano, also about 40 miles away. Well, maybe there is one in the Los Angeles area a bit closer, but nobody in their right mind drives through the traffic towards Los Angeles when they don't need to. Most likely the reason this Lone Tree Tesla Supercharger location is marked as "Temporary" and they are just using portable superchargers is that Tesla eventually plans on having the Supercharging location for this area a bit further away from the city and not in the middle of a major shopping mall and population center. But that is just my guess.
Since we had arrived so late at this Tesla Supercharging location at this shopping mall, all the restaurants were either closed or were just closing up. We called the hotel to find out if they knew of any restaurant that might still be open at this hour. They pointed out that there was a place right nearby the hotel that was open late, so we planned to head over there right after we had the charge level we wanted on the Tesla.
Fri 2015-May-22 10:10 PM MT MP 1082 - Depart from Lone Tree Tesla Supercharger
(Tesla Store / Park Meadows Mall), 8405 Park Meadows Center, Lone Tree, CO (180 miles remaining on battery)
Fri 2015-May-22 10:30 PM MT - Arrive at Brothers Bar & Grill
Lone Tree, CO
We stopped at Brothers Bar & Grill for some dinner. They featured an IPA beer flight. I'm a big fan of IPA's and am even working on developing a web site for other IPA fans at: IPAlovers.com. Thus, I couldn't resist giving their IPA flight a try. A few of their IPA's were quite good.
Fri 2015-May-22 11:30 PM MT - Arrive at Staybridge Suites
Lone Tree, CO (174 miles remaining on battery)
After dinner we drove just a few blocks to the Staybridge Suites and checked in.
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