Day 6 — 12/29/12

Back on the road again. When road tripping, you learn to appreciate simple things, like egg McMuffins and McDonald’s coffee. We’re almost in Flagstaff, where things are snow covered, what a huge change from LA just a day ago. And another cool thing about this car; I usually can’t read or write in cars because I get sick. But I typed day 5 entirely in the car and doing fine so far. Flagstaff actually looked like a cool place, but because of the time constraints of our trip we don’t have a lot of time to explore. After an unsuccessful attempt to plug in at a battery store we went to nearby RV park to charge. One of the biggest surprises so far has been how nice RV parks are. I was fully expecting a bunch of tattooed guys in leather jackets, but actually all the places so far had really nice clean bathrooms, Wifi, and laundry rooms and people that are happy to accommodate us charging for a couple of hours. This place even had a steak house with a very high rating on Trip Adviser! Alas,we didn’t get to sample it because it didn’t open till later. But, after a short walk next to a very scenic highway and a bunch of fast food joints (I think we were the first pedestrians that area had seen in years) we ended up at Outback Steakhouse. Now, I’m not a big chain restaurant fan (except for the Melting Pot, of course) but for $10 that perfectly made medium rare steak and and baked potato were scrumptious. An a shout out goes to that waiter who let us hang out there for over 2 hours while waiting for the car to charge.

The next leg of our trip took us to another RV park in Gallup, NM. It was cold and I mean cold as a witch’s tit cold, 16F. So, because of the weather the car took much longer to charge than anticipated. As you can imagine, nobody really wanted to frolic outside in this weather and I was glad that I wasn’t the person who had to set up the car to charge. One of the things that we learned on this trip is that US is really cold at the end of December, who would have thought? :) I’m telling you, you haven’t lived till you sat in a car for over 2 hours late in the evening eating a turkey sandwich made on a paper towel in the backseat and watching my favorite movie, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on an ipad placed on the dashboard.

(Peter) – A note about charging at 16 degrees F, I had not taken into account the amount of energy that the car needed to spend keeping both the battery and us warm in this type of cold while charging. Normally I would expect to be charging the car about just over 60 miles in an hour (80A at 244V) but alas we where charging at about 45 miles in an hour. This wasn’t the best time for us to realize this, but we were comfy and warm in the car, and Luba got to watch a little extra of her favorite movie :) (/Peter)

Unfortunately, there is no other way to describe the last leg of the trip other than painful. It was late, my back and head hurt and I wasn’t even driving. We got into our hotel in Albuquerque, NM past 3am and Peter still had drop off the car at a charge spot about 8 blocks away. Luckily, it was in easy plug in that worked. The general consensus was that driving from midnight till 3am is not a good idea when you spent the whole day driving as well.

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