The purpose of this long Tesla road trip was for my wife and I to attend the Ribbon Cutting of the new Tesla Destination Charging Location at the Depot Inn & Suites, a railroad theme 30 room hotel that we own in La Plata, Missouri. (Update: My wife and I sold the hotel a few years ago but we still own the 40 acre Silver Rails Vineyards & Winery next to the hotel.) The local press and regional TV station would be covering the event so we wanted to make sure there would be at least one Tesla there for the Ribbon Cutting. Thus, we made our plans to drive our new 2015 Tesla Model S P85D over 1800 miles each way to attend this event.
For those readers who came to this page via a link from TrainWeb.com, this travelogue will include photos of a number of railroad stations along the way as well as the final destination being the railroad theme Depot Inn & Suites in the heart of Silver Rails Country.
An important feature of this new Tesla Destination Charging Location at the Depot Inn & Suites in La Plata, Missouri, is that it provides what I believe is the best Tesla route between Chicago and Kansas City as well as points further west and east of those two cities. I believe it will continue to be the best route even after Tesla has installed all the Superchargers indicated on their map of future Supercharger locations. Also, until Tesla has the Supercharger planned for Columbia, Missouri, up and running, this new Tesla Destination Charging Location provides the best route between St. Louis and Kansas City. For more information about this route click here to visit www.teslatouring.com/lap-tdc-sw.html. (Update: Tesla now has a Supercharging location in Columbia, Missouri, about half way between St. Louis and Kansas City. Thus some of the suggested routes in this report are no longer the fastest way between cities in the area. If you are a Tesla owner, you can still see the Tesla Destination Chargers at the Depot Inn & Suites in La Plata, Missouri, on your in-car navigation map.)
This particular web page is the report along with photos of the first day of our road trip.
Below are photos that were taken about 6 in the morning on Thursday, May 21, 2015, as we loaded up the car to prepare for our trip. Please click on each photo below if you'd like to view a larger image. That goes for just about every photo on every page of this report. Clicking on any of them will bring up a larger higher resolution image in a separate web page tab.CLICK ON EACH PHOTO ON THIS PAGE FOR A LARGER IMAGE
In the above photo on the left you can see our suitcases and backpack in the trunk of the Tesla. You can see one suitcase is at an angle. After our first night in a hotel and reloading the car we found that both suitcases actually can fit flat in the trunk. It doesn't show in the photos, but these suitcases are actually abnormally wide but squat. They are shaped a bit different than most suitcases. So, it was a surprise that on second try I found they actually would lay flat next to each other. With this large rear trunk, plus another under trunk large enough for one small suitcase, plus the front trunk (or "frunk" as Tesla calls it), there is quite a bit of luggage space in the Tesla. The vehicle in the above photo on the right is our 2012 Toyota Sienna Minivan. Ever since we purchased a Tesla it doesn't get much use any more. However, it does come in handy when we need to transport more than 4 people or haul a lot of cargo, especially larger items.
Most Tesla Model S vehicles can seat 5 full size adults comfortably with its 2 front bucket seats and large rear bench seat. There is even an option that can be purchased to add a jump seat for 2 children in the trunk area facing backwards. Thus, some Tesla Model S configurations can seat up to 7 passengers. The bench seat can fold down making the hatchback cargo area larger than that of many SUV's.
However, this is not true of the configuration of our 2015 Tesla Model S P85D. This vehicle is actually the second Tesla that we purchased. The first Tesla we purchased was in June of 2013 and it was a 2013 Tesla Model S 85. That one did have the bench seat that could fold down and had seating for 5 adults. Our original Tesla did not have any of the sensors or advanced driving or new safety features of the new Tesla. These are items that required new hardware to be built into the vehicle at time of manufacture and were not features that could be added with "over the air" updates the way that most Tesla updates are added. None of these new features were available when we purchased our original Tesla. Thus we ordered the new Tesla model around December of 2014 and took delivery in March of 2015. Our prior Tesla was sold a few weeks before we received delivery of our new Tesla.
With our new 2015 Tesla Model S P85D we purchased the front seating upgrade option called "NextGen" seats. My wife and I found these seats to be more comfortable than the seats in our previous Tesla, though many Tesla owners say they find the original seats more comfortable. We also purchased "Executive Seats" for the rear. The Executive Seats are much more plush and comfortable than the standard rear bench seat. However, there is a major drawback. With the Executive Seats, only 2 people can sit in that row instead of the 3 that fit on the bench seat. The Executive Seats rear console has a large padded comfortable armrest with two cup holders. The armrest can be lifted to access a good size storage compartment. Another drawback to having the Executive Seats and rear center console is that these seats do not fold down at all. Thus the ability to transport large objects in the hatchback rear trunk is greatly reduced compared to having a bench seat in the rear. We decided to purchase the Executive Seats anyway since we can use our Toyota Sienna whenever we need to transport more than 4 passengers or need to haul larger objects.
After we took delivery of our new Tesla, we also purchased and had the Tesla service center install the optional front center console which also features additional cup holders and a good size storage compartment. In our prior Tesla we had purchased floor mats directly from Weather-Tech that were laser cut to fit the Model S exactly. This time we purchased the full floor mat set directly from Tesla when we took delivery. They looked exactly like the ones we had previously purchased from Weather-Tech, but had the Tesla name embossed on them rather than the Weather-Tech name. Below you can see a couple of photos of the front and rear seating in our Tesla. You can click on each photo to get a better view.
It just occurred to me that some of you, especially some who are coming to this page from a link at TrainWeb.com might not be familiar with the Tesla vehicle. There is a lot to say to get one up to speed about that, but I'll try to be brief. A Tesla is a 100% Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV). It is not a hybrid. There is no gasoline engine in any Tesla at all. The source of energy of a Tesla is the electric battery and nothing more. Some Tesla vehicles have a single electric motor that sits on the rear axle and powers the rear wheels. Some Tesla vehicles have dual motors, a large one on the rear axle that powers the rear wheels, and a smaller electric motor on the front axle that powers the front wheels. If the model designation ends in the letter "D", then it is a Tesla with dual motors. Since there is no Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) in a Tesla, there are ZERO emissions from the vehicle. There is no tailpipe on a Tesla. Depending on the Tesla Model, the battery provides a range of anywhere between about 250 to 400 miles per charge. Tesla has installed and continues to install Superchargers across the nation and the world spaced about 100 to 150 miles apart. Though a Supercharger can usually fully charge the battery in under an hour, most charging stops are often no more than 20 to 40 minutes to charge enough to comfortably reach the next charging location. In addition to a Supercharging Location, a Tesla can charge from just about any source of electricity. It can charge from one of the public EV Charging Stations that you see popping up everywhere. It can charge at an RV park. It can charge from a home 220 Volt Air Conditioning, Washer/Dryer, or Power Tool outlet. It can even charge from a regular 110 volt household outlet, though that might take a while. There is a lot more to explore about the Tesla. If you are interested, please click here to visit tesla.com.
The particular vehicle that I drive is a 2015 Tesla Model S P85D. At present this is the top of the line vehicle made by Tesla. In "P85D", "P" means it is the "Performance" edition, "85" means the battery can store up to 85 kWh of energy, and the "D" means it has "Dual" motors. The P85D has 691 horsepower and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. This makes it the fastest accelerating 4-door sedan in the world. More will be explained about this particular vehicle in this travelogue. If you'd like to find out about this model now, I'd suggest doing a Google search on "Tesla Model S P85D". There are a lot of articles, news, videos, etc. about Tesla vehicles, especially this model, on the web. (Update: At a later date I had "Ludicrous Mode" added to my Tesla. This decreased the 0 to 60 mph time from 3.1 to 2.9 seconds. Factory installed "Ludicrous Mode" provides a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.8 seconds but after market installation is 0.1 seconds slower. As of this writing the top end Tesla is no longer the Tesla Model S P85D but rather the Tesla Model S P100D with "Ludicrous Mode".)
Below are photos of our WEST and EAST Tesla High Power Wall Connectors (HPWC) plus one J1772 Level 2 EV Charger. Each of the Tesla HPWC's is on its own dedicated 100 Amp circuit and capable of delivering up to 80 amps. The J1772 is capable of delivering 40 amps. With the Dual Chargers option the HPWC adds up to 61 miles of charge to the battery per hour. Thus, the car can go from an almost empty battery to a full charge of 255 miles in under 5 hours. In actual practice, the car seldom needs to charge for more than an hour or two. We usually only charge the car up to 180 miles as Tesla recommends not to charge the car to the full limit very often. This will help preserve the life of the battery. Since most of our daily trips are well under 80 miles, we normally only need to add about 80 miles to the battery each time we charge up. That can be done in a little more than an hour.
The reason we have two Tesla chargers is that we do have a Tesla Model X on order to be delivered in late 2015 or early 2016 which will replace the passenger and carrying capacity of the Toyota Sienna. The reason for the J1772 EV Charger is that we had a Toyota Plug-In Prius before we purchased our first Tesla. Actually, we still have that Prius and are in the process of trying to get it sold. Most likely once the Tesla Model X arrives we'll still hang onto the Toyota Sienna Minivan. Our ultimate goal is to spend most of the year at our home in Vancouver, Washington, and just come down to our Southern California vacation house during a few of the coldest and wettest winter weeks of the Pacific Northwest each year. Generally we like to have two cars at whichever house we are spending most time at currently and still keep one car at the other house as we often travel between the two by either train or plane throughout the year.
You may have noticed in one of the photos that our center bumper sticker says "Sun Powered - all electric car charged from solar panels". That does not mean the car is powered by solar panels on the car itself as some people have mistakenly thought the bumper sticker to mean. There are no solar panels on the car. Our house in Southern California has solar panels on the roof that have an average generation of over 1500 kWh per month. That is plenty of electricity to completely take care of the charging needs of the Tesla with enough left over to help reduce the monthly electric bill for the rest of the house. At our home in Vancouver, Washington, we participate in a city wide solar farm that also generates more than enough electricity to charge our Tesla when we are there too. Thus, for the most part, whether we are at our home in Vancouver, Washington, or our vacation house in Southern California, our Tesla is pretty much running on pure clean power from the sun!
The first day of driving was going to be the longest. We would drive from our winter vacation house in Anaheim, California, all the way to Richfield, Utah, a distance of almost 600 miles, before the day was done. Most other days we planned to travel no more than about 400 or 500 miles. From the time we took delivery of our first Tesla in June of 2013 we have driven several times between our home in Vancouver, Washington, and our vacation house in Anaheim, California. That is a distance of about 1,000 miles so we were well acquainted with driving long distances in a Tesla. But, this round-trip of over 3,600 miles would be the longest trip we have ever taken over such a short time span. Actually, this would be the longest trip either of us has taken in any vehicle in our entire lives over just a two week span.
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.
Thu 2015-May-21 07:00 AM PT MP 0000 - Departure From Our Anaheim CA Vacation House. (254 miles remaining on battery).
At about 7:00 AM we were finally all packed up and headed out the driveway. The large high definition backup camera along with the guide lines showing where the car is heading make this a breeze. Other than just a quick glimpse around the car, I don't even use the mirrors at all to back up. The Tesla backup camera has a fish-eye lens that covers the area behind the car so well that I can even see some of the digits of the rear license plate in the image! Even the usual blind spots around a vehicle are all encompassed in the large image. The driveway is a bit long and narrow, but backing out is easy just keeping an eye on the rear view camera and the guide lines.
Thu 2015-May-21 07:27 AM PT MP 0012 - Arrival at Anaheim Amtrak / Metrolink Station. 2626 E Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA (Served by Amtrak Pacific Surfliner and Metrolink Trains). (241 miles remaining on battery).
As mentioned above, this trip would include stopping and photographing a number of train stations along the route. We purposely decided to divert through Anaheim, Fullerton, Los Angeles, and Rancho Cucamonga just to get photos of these stations, preferably getting the Tesla itself in some of the station photos.
Being the "rush hour" in Southern California we opted to avoid the freeways and drive the back route from the house to the Anaheim station. With the traffic lights and traffic it took about 30 minutes to get to the station, but this was likely faster than what it would have taken by freeways at this hour.
Below are photos of the Tesla along with my wife and me at the ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center) station. This new station opened up just a few months ago replacing the station in the parking lot of the Anaheim Angeles Stadium. The platform of this new station is connected to the platform of the old station, so it is still possible to get to the platform and building of this new station by way of the old Anaheim station. Again, a reminder that you can click on each photo for a larger image.
In the above left photo you can see that the Anaheim station does have charging stations for electric vehicles. One thing I like about the Anaheim station is that they have a large number of parking spaces close to the station entrance reserved for "Low Emitting & Fuel Efficient Vehicles Only". Since the Tesla produces ZERO emissions and gets 86 MPG, I think it qualifies for this reserved space. (Since Battery Electric Vehicles do not use any gasoline, the MPG is actually a MPG-e estimate, or a Miles Per Gallon "equivalency" estimate. The newest Tesla, the Model S 70D, gets over 100 MPG-e).
We departed from the Anaheim station at 7:30 AM, but before continuing on to Fullerton, first made a quick stop right across the street from the station and took a photo of the Team Swolen shop. This is where we have screen printed T-shirts, sport shirts, hats, and other logo merchandise created for the various ventures we are involved with including TrainWeb, APRHF, SilverRails, etc. This is also where Tom Anderson works when he is in California. Tom is a versatile guy. In addition to stringing tennis rackets and doing the graphic design work of our various ventures, Tom also is planting and managing the new Silver Rails Vineyards. The Silver Rails Vineyards are located in the forty acres right next to the new Tesla Destination Charging Location that we are driving to at the Depot Inn & Suites in La Plata, Missouri!
Thu 2015-May-21 07:50 AM PT MP 0019 - Arrival at Fullerton Amtrak / Metrolink Station. 120 E Santa Fe Ave, Fullerton, CA (Served by Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Amtrak Southwest Chief and Metrolink Trains). (230 miles remaining on battery).
We arrived at the Fullerton Amtrak / Metrolink Station just in time to watch the arrival of the eastbound Amtrak Southwest Chief that was running about an hour and 15 minutes late. Click on each photo for a larger image.
By coincidence, the same day we were starting out on this Tesla road trip, Robert and Kandace Tabern were doing a train transfer in Fullerton, hopping on the northbound Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, from Fullerton to Los Angeles Union Station to then transfer to the northbound Amtrak Coast Starlight. Carl Morrison was bringing them to the Fullerton Amtrak Station. The timing could not have been more perfect! A few minutes after we arrived in Fullerton, Carl Morrison along with Robert and Kandace Tabern arrived. Robert and Kandace Tabern are in the first photo above on the left. Carl Morrison along with Robert and Kandace are in the center photo. On the right is a photo of me and my wife Barbara. And, of course, our Tesla Model S P85D can be seen in all of the photos.
If you'd like to learn more about Robert and Kandace Tabern, and their rail travelogues with photos, visit: TrainWeb.org/outsidetherails. If you'd like to learn more about the extensive rail travelogues and photos by Carl Morrison, visit: TrainWeb.org/carl.
TrainWeb.com had its home office above the Amtrak Ticket Office in the Fullerton Station Building from 1996 to 2003 which is where I worked at that time. Our office windows overlooked the platform and the tracks. For additional information and photos of the Fullerton Station, visit TrainWeb.com/fotosort/stations/ful/. In 2003, TrainWeb.com along with our rail theme party supply division, TrainParty.com, moved a few blocks down the street in Fullerton. By 2006, TrainWeb and TrainParty outgrew that small storefront and that is when we moved all operations to the large warehouse building in La Plata, Missouri, within walking distance of the Depot Inn & Suites and the La Plata Amtrak Station. More information about that move can be found at: TrainWeb.org/carl/Anniversary/.
Thu 2015-May-21 08:05 AM PT MP 0019 - Departure from Fullerton Amtrak / Metrolink Station
120 E Santa Fe Ave, Fullerton, CA (Served by Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Amtrak Southwest Chief and Metrolink Trains)
Thu 2015-May-21 09:16 AM PT MP 0041 - Arrival at Los Angeles Amtrak / Metrolink Station
800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles CA (Served by Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Amtrak Coast Starlight, Amtrak Sunset Limited, Amtrak Texas Eagle, Amtrak Southwest Chief, and Metrolink Trains) (181 miles remaining on battery)
Using the Waze App we managed to work our way around some of the dense Los Angeles commuter traffic arriving into Los Angeles Union Station at about 9:15 AM. Taking only 70 minutes to get from Fullerton to Los Angeles during rush hour is not bad travel time at all, but we could not have done that without the Waze App.
Carl Morrison, Robert and Kandace Tabern had already arrived at Los Angeles Union Station well ahead of us coming up on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. The Metrolink and Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains only take about 35 minutes to get from Fullerton to Los Angeles not having to contend with the traffic on the highways. That was half the time it took us to drive to the same destination. Sine the Amtrak Coast Starlight does not depart until 10:10 AM, Robert and Kandace Tabern along with Carl Morrison were able to come out in front of Los Angeles Union Station to join us for a few more photos. Tony Escarcega, an Amtrak Reservations Staff Member and another volunteer travel correspondent for TrainWeb also by coincidence happened to be traveling by rail from Los Angeles Union Station and was able to join in on some of the photographs. The first group photo below shows Tony Escarcega, Carl Morrison, Robert and Kandace Tabern in that order. There is also another person in the background that I was introduced to that day, but I'm afraid I didn't catch their name. In the second group photo there is me, then Tony Escarcega, Robert and Kandace Tabern, and again the mystery person in back. If you'd like to read about some of the train travels by Tony Escarcega, visit TrainWeb.org/tony.Below photos were provided courtesy of Carl Morrison of www.trainweb.org/carl
Thu 2015-May-21 09:30 AM PT MP 0041 - Departure from Los Angeles Amtrak / Metrolink Station
800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles CA (Served by Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, Amtrak Coast Starlight, Amtrak Sunset Limited, Amtrak Texas Eagle, Amtrak Southwest Chief, and Metrolink Trains)
Thu 2015-May-21 10:20 AM PT MP 0083 - Arrival at Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station. 11208 Azusa Ct, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Served by Metrolink Trains) (122 miles remaining on battery).
Arrival at the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station was about 10:20 AM. I had never been at this station before other than to just ride through it on a Metrolink train. There were a few spaces reserved for Electric Vehicles including chargers for them as you can see below. I parked in one of those spaces just momentarily to get the photograph as I didn't intend to stay long and did not plan to charge up at this location. The parking lot was quite large probably for all the commuters that live out this way and take a train into Los Angeles every morning. Until I moved to California, I always thought the name "Cucamonga" was just a made up name. I first heard the name when I was a preschooler and would play a kids record over and over again that was a recording of a train stopping at various stations. I'll never forget the Conductor calling out "Cucamonga" and just always thought that was a name they made up for a train station just to be funny. But it is a real town with a real train station!
Thu 2015-May-21 10:25 AM PT MP 0083 - Departure from Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station. 11208 Azusa Ct, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Served by Metrolink Trains).
Thu 2015-May-21 10:36 AM PT MP 0086 - Arrival at Rancho Cucamonga Tesla Supercharger. Victoria Gardens, 12642 Cultural Center Dr, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (114 miles remaining on battery).
Arrival at the Rancho Cucamonga Tesla Supercharger was a bit after 10:30 AM, about 3 and 1/2 hours after we departed from our house in Anaheim. With all those station stops we had only traveled 86 miles so far. This would be our first time to charge up after leaving the Anaheim house. With 114 miles still left on the battery we could have made it easily all the way to the next Tesla Supercharger in Barstow, but I wanted to investigate all the Tesla Superchargers along our route to get to know where they were and to photograph them for future reference.
As you can see from the below photos, there are quite a few Tesla Supercharging bays in Rancho Cucamonga. Most likely this is because it is near the intersection of two major and very busy interstates: the I-10 and the I-15. To get here I actually exited from the I-10, stopped by the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station, and then traveled the back roads to this location. To continue on our journey I would take the back roads to the nearest entrance to the I-15. Once on the I-15, we would be traveling north on that for the rest of the day for a bit more than another 500 miles. In the photos below you can see that a couple of other Tesla's pulled in to charge while we were there.
Thu 2015-May-21 10:45 AM PT MP 0086 - Departure from Rancho Cucamonga Tesla Supercharger. Victoria Gardens, 12642 Cultural Center Dr, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (140 miles remaining on battery).
Thu 2015-May-21 11:47 AM PT MP 0151 - Arrival at Barstow Tesla Supercharger. 2812 Lenwood Rd, Barstow, CA. (65 miles remaining on battery).
Barstow was one of the few Tesla Supercharging locations that we stopped at that had solar panels for capturing power from the sun to charge the Tesla vehicles that stop by. My understanding is that Tesla intends to eventually deploy this solar charging capability at many more Tesla Supercharging locations as time goes on. There is a Chilli's restaurant at this location where we stopped for lunch while waiting for the car to charge.
Thu 2015-May-21 12:50 PM PT MP 0151 - Departure from Barstow Tesla Supercharger. 2812 Lenwood Rd, Barstow, CA. (248 miles remaining on battery).
Thu 2015-May-21 01:12 PM PT MP 0157 - Arrival at Barstow Amtrak Station. 685 N First Ave, Barstow, CA (Served by Amtrak Southwest Chief).
Next, a quick stop at the Amtrak Barstow Station. The best view of this station is probably from the platform, or maybe from the window of the train. It was difficult to get a good photo of the station with the Tesla in the photo as the side of the station facing the parking lot was not very impressive. For some really great photographs of the historic Barstow train station building click here to visit TrainWeb.org/usarail/barstow.
Thu 2015-May-21 01:15 PM PT MP 0157 - Departure from Barstow Amtrak Station. 685 N First Ave, Barstow, CA (Served by Amtrak Southwest Chief).
Thu 2015-May-21 02:56 PM PT MP 0269 - Arrival at Primm Tesla Supercharger. Primm Valley Resort & Casino, 31900 Las Vegas Blvd S, Primm, NV. (96 miles remaining on battery).
The Primm Tesla Supercharger location tends to be one of the busier ones as this is the point where a Tesla heading to Las Vegas from just about anywhere in Southern California will start to run low on battery charge. With the next Tesla Supercharging location only being 44 miles north on the I-15 in Las Vegas, we could have made it there without recharging in Primm. However, the Las Vegas Tesla Supercharging location is a bit beyond and out of the way of most hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. That is probably why most who are on their way from Southern California to Las Vegas would opt to recharge in Primm rather than come into Las Vegas with a relatively low charge remaining on the battery. Also, anyone leaving from Las Vegas heading back to Southern California would likely charge up in Primm rather than start out by heading in the opposite direction to charge up in Las Vegas. Another reason Primm is the preferred location over Las Vegas for charging is that there are plenty of places to eat and shop while waiting for your Tesla to charge in Primm. The Las Vegas Supercharger is in the middle of nowhere with no place to eat or shop other than a small variety store. As you can see from the photo, there were a number of other Tesla vehicles charging up at the Primm Tesla Supercharging location.
Thu 2015-May-21 03:40 PM PT MP 0269 - Departure from Primm Tesla Supercharger. Primm Valley Resort & Casino, 31900 Las Vegas Blvd S, Primm, NV. (227 miles remaining on battery).
Thu 2015-May-21 04:40 PM PT MP 0313 - Arrival at Las Vegas Supercharger. 701 Bridger Ave, Las Vegas, NV. (182 miles remaining on battery).
This was the most difficult Tesla Supercharging location to find of all the Superchargers along our journey. We followed the GPS in our Tesla to where the Supercharger was supposed to be located. We must have driven right by it 2 or 3 times before we finally figured out where it was. This was the first Tesla Supercharging location that I had ever run across that was inside a parking garage, thus making it a bit hidden. There is a small sign on each side of the driveway entrance to the garage. If you look at the photo below of the entrance to the garage you can see one of the signs. The photo almost looks like it is black and white, but the Tesla sign stands out a bit being the only bright red and white object in the photo. This is also the only Tesla Supercharging location where there was very little to do while waiting for the car to charge. We didn't see any restaurants or stores around other than one little variety store. It wasn't even obvious if there were any restrooms around. With the Primm Tesla Supercharging Location just 44 miles away, that would be the preferred charging location for me. This one is OK in a pinch. Having arrived with 182 miles still on the batter, we only stayed about 15 minutes to bring the charge on the battery up to 220 miles to give us some safety margin for the next segment of our journey.
Las Vegas doesn't have an Amtrak Train Station any more, but it used to. The Amtrak Desert Wind used to run from Chicago to Los Angeles with a stop in Las Vegas. To view photos and other information about the train station that used to be in Las Vegas, click here to visit TrainWeb.org/usarail/lasvegasnv.
To view photos and read a travelogue of the very last run on the Amtrak Desert Wind, at least from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, click here to visit TrainWeb.com/final35.html. Additional details about the discontinued Amtrak Desert Wind, including more travelogues and photos can be found by click here to visit TrainWeb.com/routes/route_35.htm.
Thu 2015-May-21 04:55 PM PT MP 0313 - Departure from Las Vegas Supercharger. 701 Bridger Ave, Las Vegas, NV. (220 miles remaining on battery).
Thu 2015-May-21 06:24 PM MT - Accident delay on the road
Our only traffic delay due to an accident on this entire trip! This was an area in Utah where the highway narrowed down to a single lane because of construction. Evidently a tractor trailer had stalled in that one lane section effectively blocking all traffic heading north. There were concrete barriers on both sides of the single lane making it impossible for traffic to drive around the stalled vehicle. It was a beautiful section of road, but a little annoying when you have no idea how long it will be before traffic starts moving again.
If you click on theh photo above you can get a better view of a couple of horses that kept sticking their heads out from the trailer a couple of vehicles ahead of us.
The traffic started moving again after about 25 minutes. There was 95 miles left on the battery which was quite a bit more than the distance left to travel to the next Tesla Supercharger. Just running the air conditioning and some minor car electronics didn't use much of the battery. My plan was to turn the car completely off if the battery level went down to 85 miles remaining just to be on the safe side. But the traffic started moving again long before the battery went down to that level. At least the scenery was really pretty in that canyon while we were waiting to get moving again.
Thu 2015-May-21 06:50 PM MT - Accident delay on the road clears up
Thu 2015-May-21 07:15 PM MT MP 0431 - Arrival at St. George Tesla Supercharger. 1091 N. Bluff St, St. George, UT. (56 miles remaining on battery).
The St. George Tesla Supercharger seemed to be a bit of a ways from the interstate, maybe 2 or 3 miles. Most Tesla Supercharging locations are within a few hundred feet, or a couple of tenths of a mile, off the highway exit. But some, like this one, can be a bit further away. Sometimes when two major highways intersect, the Tesla Supercharging location will be closer to one of the highways and a mile or so drive from the other highway.
This location was right at a Starbucks. The Gun Barrel Steak And Game House restaurant was also within sight and an easy walk so that is where we went to have dinner while we waited for the car to charge.
Thu 2015-May-21 08:35 PM MT MP 0431 - Departure from St. George Tesla Supercharger. 1091 N. Bluff St, St. George, UT. (252 miles remaining on battery).
Thu 2015-May-21 11:00 PM MT MP 0530 - Arrival at Beaver Tesla Supercharger. Timberline Inn Restaurant, Littlefield Interchange, Beaver, UT. (98 miles remaining on battery).
Since there was only another 64 miles to drive before getting to the next Tesla Supercharger in Richfield, Utah, we decided to just charge the battery up to 130 miles. That would be more than twice the charge we would need to get there. It only took about ten minutes to reach up to that charge level and we headed out.
Thu 2015-May-21 11:10 PM MT MP 0530 - Departure from Beaver Tesla Supercharger. Timberline Inn Restaurant, Littlefield Interchange, Beaver, UT. (130 miles remaining on battery).
Thu 2015-May-21 12:15 AM MT MP 0594 - Arrival at Richfield Tesla Supercharger. Holiday Inn Express, 20 W 1400 N, Richfield, UT, where we spent the night. (73 miles remaining on battery).
The Richfield Tesla Supercharger was in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express. Since it was just a short walk across the parking lot to the hotel, we parked the Tesla in one of the charging bays, plugged in, and rolled our luggage over to the hotel to check in. As mentioned above, I definitely would have moved my Tesla out of the charging space if I thought there was any chance that I'd be blocking another Tesla from pulling in to charge. But as I mentioned above, we rarely even saw one other Tesla pull into most of these Supercharging locations. It seemed highly unlikely that 6 other Tesla vehicles would simultaneously pull in during the night to charge. Thus, I just left my Tesla parked and plugged in at that space all night. When I returned in the morning, my Tesla was still the only one in the parking lot.