Saturday, July 9, 2016

Day 8 - Driving, driving rain and more driving

Today was one of those days when there wasn't much to see on the way between Atlanta and New Orleans.  We did make a stop at the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site for some history.  There were some interesting exhibits especially those that interviewed men who were in the units talking about various topics ranging from being prisoners of war, Northern blacks adjusting to Jim Crow laws in the South, and another one about the surprises that awaited white people running into black pilots.  One farmer actually accused the pilot of stealing the plane!

Plane at the Tuskegee Airman Museum name for the pilot's girlfriend back home

Mostly though we just drove, charged up and drove some more.  Sometimes we drove in sun and sometimes in downpours that caused the interstate to slow down to 30mph. We did play games with the cloud formations.  This is my favorite which is titled, God Steps Through a Cloud.

How you tell you are in an Alabama mall
Since we didn't do much of interest and this blog is titled Tesla adventure we will now take a moment to reflect on what we have learned in the close to 1800 miles we have travelled so far.  This will be a simple list because it is easier to do it that way.
1- While you can travel many places in an electric car it is nowhere near as time efficient as my VW diesel would be.  Obviously if you red the papers the VW would be emitting tons of NOx while the Tesla has no point emissions at all.  But we would still only be on our third tank of diesel and we would have spent less than 20 minutes filling up.  We have spent close to 1/2 a day so far hooked up to chargers.  If you time it right it is not so bad as you can pick up food at that time but on long travel days it does slow you down.
2- The Tesla superchargers are often well hidden and it has become a game between the two of us to be the first one to spot them.  They are usually in some down on its luck mall or some very upscale one.  So far only a couple of them have given us a good meal option.
3- The car itself is easy to drive but cannot be trusted to drive itself in heavy rain, areas where there are weaving trucks or heavy traffic moving very quickly.  Larry did discover today that the car when it hits 90 will not drive for you.
4- It does fit a lot of stuff.
5- Once in a while we get questions about the car.
6- They are so quiet that when one leaves the charging area you never realize they left.  You are so used to hearing cars start up before they leave and these just don't make a sound.
7- Get Verizon as your cell carrier.  The car has AT&T and so do we.  That means the if the car doesn't have a signal either do we.  Unfortunately without a signal Slacker and the navigation don't work.  I wish Tesla had picked a company with better coverage but having it on the same carrier as us means we cannot substitute phone navigation for the car one.  It was a constant problem in the mountains.
8- Speaking of mountains coming going up mountains the car uses scary amounts of juice so you do not think you are going to make the next charging station then low and behold coming down the mountain you add miles to the battery.  The graphs get pretty spiky though.
The higher the spikes up the more energy use.  Green is recharge.

That is all I can think of to say for now.

Regular Features
Statistics Corner
States involved: We added Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana all of which are new states for all three of us.
Final mileage for the day TBA

Auburn   AL  45 minutes  at the Auburn Mall just like in Worcester MA but with more Tiger fans
Greenville AL 45 minutes
Mobile AL  30 minutes
Slidell LA   1 hour

Song of the Day:  Going to stay political and go for Love by John Lennon.  While the 60's had its share of violence at least the bands were for the most patt promoting peace and love.

Coolest Car of the Day:  Finally one that is not red and I have a picture!  I have always loved the first generation T-birds and one almost won on day 1 so we stumbled into a car show while the car was charging in Slidell,LA and this '57 was not the only cool car there but the best one in my opinion.

Coolest Thing of the Day - Larry
Watching the interviews of the Tuskegee airmen at the museum.

Coolest Thing of the Day - Michelle
Driving the car listening to Stuart McLean broadcast from Nova Scotia and mention a friend of her cousin that we met while we were there last summer.  He truly is an exceptional person and it was great to hear him recognized on a Canadian national broadcast.

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