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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

July Trip 2014: PART 4 - We've Come a Long Way, Baby

I met my lovely wife as a freshman at Ithaca College.  We just celebrated 19 years of marriage (2 children, 4 addresses and 6 cars ago) and since her parents still live near Ithaca we've made the trek back up South Hill several times since graduation.  Our school song (LAME though it is-- aren't they all??) starts with "high above Cayuga's waters" and the view lives up to the lyrics.
Plus, as every IC grad knows, it is WE who get to look down on Cornell University.  Literally.  (My wife is the "black sheep" in her family-- her siblings went to the cult across town.)

19 years after graduation, it was time for a victory lap.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

July Trip 2014: PART 3 - My Gorges Car

Another peaceful upstate New York morning tickled the grass and swaying treetops outside the bedroom window.  We wanted to take the kids hiking in one of Ithaca's "gorgeous gorges" parks-- something we'd done many times while dating in college-- so they could get a taste of the natural beauty the glaciers left behind.
The trip to Ithaca would be less than 20 miles (so not a challenge to the Tesla).  It would also be a quiet side trip mostly out of the public eye, but especially at this-- the Tesla excels.  The car is arguably most impressive when there is no one else to impress.

Friday, December 12, 2014

July Trip 2014: PART 2 - Electric Cowboy

Dawn slowly clawed free from the darkness and glimmered in through the window of my wife's childhood room.  Coffee wafted under the closed door as we roused ourselves in the quiet solitude of a upstate New York.  On the edge of the field by the warehouse our grey Tesla merged with the mist.
Pondering the days' activities over breakfast, I was eager to walk down to where Serena was hobbled to a plug and waiting.  She'd be ready for some fun and I was tickled with the possibilities of whooshing all that California horsepower through a sleepy farm community that had never seen an electric car that didn't fit under the Christmas tree and come with a remote.

It isn't about showing off, it's about showing the possibilities... and sometimes a glimpse is all it takes to put wondrous plans in motion.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

July Trip 2014: PART 1 - Sticking to the Plan

My dream as a teenager was to be an automotive engineer.  Specifically, I had a strong interest in the nuances of crash testing and materials (as they related to that balance between weight/safety and strength/energy absorption).  I made it most of the way through high school before I realized there was a fatal flaw in my plan:   I can't do math.
Fortunately I parlayed all those hours watching television into a career-- and now I rarely have to do math.  BULLET DODGED!  But then I bought a Tesla...  which is much smarter than me... and math becomes an integral part of trip planning.  Lots of it.  Lots of planning... and MATH.

Had I done it correctly or was another fatal flaw about to be revealed in my plans??

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

July Trip 2014: Introduction - Off Tesla's Grid

Winter has established a foothold here in Western Pennsylvania and we've already been pummeled by our first couple storms.  Over Thanksgiving weekend we made a trip up to my wife's family home in upstate New York and because of the quick turnaround and cold weather we opted to take our Chrysler.  It made the journey just fine but the fact that we took it speaks to a glaring (in our usage) hole in the Tesla Supercharger map...  and brings me to the subject of my next series of posts:  Traveling off the Supercharger routes.
Fortunately for me, we've already done this trip with the Tesla.  Whew.  No "extra" road trip needed!  Back in July we loaded up Serena from stem to stern (what other car can claim that capability?!) and headed out straight through the heart of Pennsylvania where no Tesla support can be found.