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Tesla Road Trip

Anaheim, California - La Plata, Missouri

Day 4 - Sunday, May 24, 2015

This particular web page is the report along with photos of the fourth day of our road trip. This segment covers travel from Salina, Kansas to La Plata, Missouri. 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.


Sun 2015-May-24 09:45 AM CT MP 1498 - Depart Salina Tesla Supercharger
Holiday Inn Express, 755 W Diamond Dr, Salina, KS (253 miles remaining on battery)

Wow! I am actually writing this segment of my Tesla travelogue on Tuesday, December 22, 2015, almost 7 months after this trip was completed. After writing about the first 3 days of my trip I got buried back in my usual day to day work. I expected to find some spare time here or there to complete this travelogue, but just never seemed to have found the time until now. A lot of details of the trip have become a bit fuzzy over those 7 months, so I'm hoping the photos that I took will help jog my memories.

As we drove across the nation we had the good intention of hitting the road early, but generally got started later than expected. You will see that at many of our overnight stays, the Tesla Supercharger was located right in the hotel parking lot and we were able to leave the car plugged in charing all night while we slept. Our Tesla takes less than an hour to reach full charge, but we were definitely not blocking anyone else from using the Tesla Superchargers by leaving our car all night plugged in. At all of our overnight stays there were between 4 and 10 Tesla Superchargers. Rarely did we ever find even one other Tesla plugged in. Realizing that it was highly unlikely that a number of other Tesla cars would swarm in late at night to charge, we felt it was OK to just leave our car plugged in all night. When we came out in the morning to get in our car, we never ever saw another Tesla at any of the other charging spaces. Thus, I think our guess was pretty good that we were the only Tesla visiting those spots overnight. Though, it is possible that once in a while another Tesla might have pulled in for a quick 20 to 40 minute charge and then took off down the road.

Sun 2015-May-24 11:18 AM CT MP 1601 - Arrive at Topeka Tesla Supercharger
5930 SW Huntoon St, Topeka, KS (117 miles remaining on battery)

The Topeka supercharging arrangement was a little different. There were a few Supercharging stalls in one area of the parking lot and then additional supercharging stalls in another area of the parking lot. We stopped in at the Arby's to use the restrooms and to get a bit to eat while waiting for the car to charge.

Sun 2015-May-24 11:50 AM CT MP 1601 - Depart Topeka Tesla Supercharger
5930 SW Huntoon St, Topeka, KS (210 miles remaining on battery)

Sun 2015-May-24 12:04 PM CT MP 1608 - Arrive at Topeka Amtrak Station
500 SE Holiday Pl, Topeka, KS (Served by the Amtrak Southwest Chief)

Keeping with the Tesla / Passenger Train theme of this road trip, we stopped at the Topeka Amtrak Station. This station is served by the Amtrak Southwest Chief, the train that departs Los Angeles every evening and arrives into Chicago the second afternoon of the trip. As you can see above and below, there were some private railcars and some BNSF freight locomotives parked near the station.

Sun 2015-May-24 01:22 PM CT - Arrive at Amtrak / Kansas City Union Station

Below was about the best photo that I could get of the Amtrak / Kansas City Union Station. There were construction barriers everywhere and no place to park anywhere near the station. There was some kind of big event going on near the station. We were only able to stop for just a moment to snap the below photo. This is the next station east on the Amtrak Southwest Chief line.

Sun 2015-May-24 01:43 PM CT MP 1683 - Arrive at Independence Tesla Supercharger
18011 E Bass Pro Dr, Independence, MO (99 miles remaining on battery)

The Tesla Supercharger in Independence, Missouri, just outside of Kansas City, is in the parking lot of a Bass Pro Store. I'm not much of an outdoors man, so I think this may have been my first visit ever to a Bass Pro Shop. I had heard of them, but I don't think I had ever been in one before. I was pretty impressed with their selection of fishing, hunting and camping gear. However, not being a person who really takes to the wilderness, I'm not sure there is much here that I'd ever need to purchase.

Take a look at the below screen shots. Just for the fun of it, I decided to see what route the Tesla GPS would recommend that I take to get from where I was just outside of Kansas City, Missouri, to get to St. Louis, Missouri. As you can see below, the GPS recommended a route of more than 1,000 miles so that I could use the existing Superchargers along the way. Since the time of this screen shot, Tesla Motors has installed a Supercharger in Columbia, Missouri, which is right smack in the middle between Kansas City and St. Louis. Thus, today you can drive from Independence to St. Louis in just a few hours with just one stop in Columbia, Missouri, rather than the long route shown below through 17 Tesla Superchargers!

Below is the screen shot of the Tesla GPS showing us how to get from the Supercharger in Independence, Missouri, to the Depot Inn & Suites Tesla Destination Charging Location in La Plata, Missouri.

Sun 2015-May-24 02:42 PM CT MP 1683 - Depart Independence Tesla Supercharger
18011 E Bass Pro Dr, Independence, MO (247 miles remaining on battery)

Sun 2015-May-24 05:23 PM CT - Arrive at La Plata Rail Lookout Cabin & Deck

The first thing we did when we arrived into La Plata, Missouri, was to drive to the Rail Lookout Cabin & Deck. There is a long dirt road that leads up to this lookout point and it was rather muddy that day. That might seem like a crazy place to drive a Tesla, but why not? Our 2015 Tesla Model S P85D has all wheel drive and an adjustable suspension. I set the suspension as high as it would go so that we would not bottom out along the muddy dirt road. The all wheel drive coupled with the tremendous weight of the car due to the battery, gave us plenty of traction. We had no problem at all driving out to the lookout point and back. The Lookout Point is a great place to watch trains. It overlooks a double track segment of the major trans continental line that runs from Los Angeles to Chicago. From the Lookout Point you also have a good view of the La Plata Santa Fe Depot that is served by the Amtrak Southwest Chief each way each day.

Sun 2015-May-24 05:37 PM CT MP 1857 - Arrive at La Plata Amtrak Station
535 N Owensby, La Plata, MO (Served by the Amtrak Southwest Chief)

Next stop was the La Plata Amtrak Station.

Sun 2015-May-24 05:45 PM CT MP 1858 - Arrive at La Plata Tesla Destination Charging Station
Depot Inn & Suites, 1245 N Brown St, La Plata, MO

And finally, our arrival at the Depot Inn & Suites.

Below you can see there are 2 HPWC charging spaces and one space for cars that can use a Level II J1772 Charger. The Tesla HPWC at the hotel are each on their own dedicated 100 amp circuits and can deliver as fast a charge as any Tesla HPWC.

Wouldn't you know it, but when we arrived to plug in our Tesla, there was a large gasoline powered pick-up truck parked in one of the two Tesla charging parking spots! As you can see below, it isn't like there was a shortage of empty parking spaces! But, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. We hadn't yet posted any "Tesla Charging Only" signs. As you will see later, signs were later posted and orange cones were added to help dissuade other vehicles from parking in the charging spaces. It is understandable that people would pick these spaces for parking first as they are closest to the rear entrances to the hotel.


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