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Driving from SoCal to Denver

Discussion in 'California' started by TTT, May 8, 2015.

  1. TTT

    TTT Member

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    Location:
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    we're planning a drive from SoCal to Denver and are planning a couple of long days of driving stopping in Richfield overnight.
    1. Is Richfield a good place to stop?
    2. How is the Richfield Holiday Inn Express?
    3. Any recommended hotels in Denver that have free EV charging? The Four Seasons has Tesla chargers, but at $600/night, it's a bit more than I want to pay
    4. Any must sees or must eats along the way?
    5. Any other route other than I-70?
     
  2. evp

    evp Nerd

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    Don't know about 1 & 2.

    3. The Denver SC is on the grounds of a Hampton Inn, and near a Hyatt and Marriot. In south Denver, the Lone Tree SC is walking distance from another Hyatt. If you have a more specific part of town you want to hang out, we can look further.

    4. Geez, there's the whole Rock Tour (although some of these really need a Salida or Gunnison SC to be feasible):
    * Arches National Park <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2015/4736fee34be9aa60fb7929ab0fb97565bfddc751/image-689.jpg>
    * Canyonlands N.P.
    * Zion N.P. <http://edpost.net/web_pics/1995/38ce5ccc15e84c2a0b8ee3c1ad1e55af48505ca9/image-18.jpg>
    * Grand Canyon <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2012/79da1c0d829d998215705e5ab46c4f1ddf567ac8/image-382.jpg>
    * Lowell Observatory <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2012/79da1c0d829d998215705e5ab46c4f1ddf567ac8/image-348.jpg>
    * Meteor Crater <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2012/79da1c0d829d998215705e5ab46c4f1ddf567ac8/image-262.jpg>
    * Canyon de Chelly <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2003/e7cb80bbb256eb68554ae59a9ba297d5a72290d0/image-17.jpg>
    * Mesa Verde <http://edpost.net/web_pics/1995/207a159dac098341a9cfbe788b69e5da1820a64f/image-19.jpg>
    * Black Canyon of the Gunnison <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2015/47b8e022b56ffc1d5774eb4ea860d1602d2ab040/image-81.jpg>
    * Royal Gorge <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2001/ca2389db2cac808a3a241754104081828a39f1c3/image-10.jpg>
    * Petrified Forest <http://edpost.net/web_pics/1995/38ce5ccc15e84c2a0b8ee3c1ad1e55af48505ca9/image-27.jpg>
    * Sand Dunes N.M. <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2014/e8785848516cd97726d67f1f74f4fa408f2caebc/image-15.jpg>
    * Red Rocks amphitheater <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2012/4ff74b036edf297ec055a0db5d76d10981515c01/image-42.jpg>
    * Sedona AZ <http://edpost.net/web_pics/2003/e7cb80bbb256eb68554ae59a9ba297d5a72290d0/image-28.jpg>


    5. You can take the southern route thru Flagstaff then up to I70 thru Moab. Or ask Cottonwood <http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/member.php/1339-Cottonwood> about his cross-country route from Farmington thru Pagosa Springs, Salida, and Silverthorne. Be prepared to learn about serious hypermiling techniques for this path.
     
  3. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Passed through that area last week... I used "the facilities" at Richfield and it is a new hotel. So, I would consider booking there.
     
  4. TTT

    TTT Member

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    Thanks evp, which of those side trips can I go from the I70 SC and back without recharging?
     
  5. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    The owners of the Holiday Inn Express in Richfield set the standard for the chain to be Supercharger and EV friendly. On top of that, it is a nice clean hotel. Great place to stay and support hotel owners that are hosting Superchargers!

    Of the places that EVP listed, the lowest overhead stop is Arches NP. On top of that, it is just a few miles north of the Supercharger in Moab at a nice Best Western Hotel. If you have the time, visit Arches, and perhaps some other nice things near Moab, then spend the night at the Best Western hosting the Supercharger. If you are in more of a hurry, top up the MS while eating a one of several nice places within a few blocks of the Moab Supercharger.

    I drove this route in March and found stopping at every Supercharger, except Las Vegas, was the fastest option. My method is to enter the next Supercharger in as the destination while Supercharging, and then look at the predicted energy screen until the prediction said I would have 15-20% left at that next Supercharger. Using this method and driving PSL+8, I had no problems. My plan was to slow down if the predicted remaining energy dropped below 10%, but never had to do that.

    By eating in Primm and doing a 95% charge, I was able to skip Las Vegas which is relatively far off the highway.

    If you have dual chargers, or a little patience and single chargers, there are 70A J1772 EVSE's in Pagosa and Salida, CO that do a good job of connecting the Farmington and Silverthorne Superchargers. See 4 Corners EV Charging for details on these sites and this route. The Pagosa site is at some nice cabins, Incredible Pagosa Vacation Rentals, and the Salida site is available when Wood's High Mountain Distillery is open. Both are within walking distance to several eating choices. This route can easily be done with these charging stops and no hypermiling.
     
  6. evp

    evp Nerd

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    Arvada, CO
    #6 evp, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 9, 2015

    * Arches National Park,
    Canyonlands N.P. -- just a few miles from Moab SC
    * Zion N.P. -- 50 miles from St. George SC
    * Grand Canyon -- about 70 road miles from Flagstaff SC
    * Lowell Observatory -- in Flagstaff
    * Sedona AZ -- about 30 miles (and 2500 ft vertical) from Flagstaff (interesting drive)
    * Meteor Crater -- Just off the road between Flagstaff and Holbrook SC

    * Petrified Forest -- on the road between Holbrook and Gallup SC
    * Canyon de Chelly -- 100 miles from Gallup, round trip is possible

    * Mesa Verde -- Farmington SC -> Mesa Verde -> Moab is about 200 miles
    * Red Rocks amphitheater -- just off I-70 west of Denver

    I left out two other fabulous Anasazi culture sites:
    * Walnut Canyon -- 1/2 hour from Flagstaff <
    http://edpost.net/web_pics/2012/79da1c0d829d998215705e5ab46c4f1ddf567ac8/image-276.jpg>
    * Chaco Canyon N.P. -- between Gallup and Farmington (but not a great road -- consider a bus tour) <
    http://edpost.net/web_pics/2012/79da1c0d829d998215705e5ab46c4f1ddf567ac8/image-217.jpg>

    * Black Canyon of the Gunnison,
    Royal Gorge, Sand Dunes N.M. -- not reachable without destination chargers (but completely do-able using the chargers Cottonwood suggested)

    I guess it's time to start lobbying for a Salida SuperCharger, if only to make Cottonwood's commute easier.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Come to think of it, maybe we should arrange a "Tesla Rock Tour" and caravan thru a bunch of these sites together.
     
  7. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I-70 is superfast, even speeds up to 80mph. Ritchfield to Green River is very nice scenery wise even if it is an interstate.

    I was just through Richfield twice. Holiday Inn is fine. Great food is lacking in Richfield but that's true in most other places of that size.

    The Tamarisk restaurant across the street from the Green River charger is quite good for a small town.

    Just spent a week in Arches National Park. Superb. If you have time for just one stop, I'd vote for that.
     
  8. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    Ok, if you're stopping in Moab & Arches, I *HAVE* to recommend heading out to Dead Horse Point State Park. Since Moab has an SC you'll have plenty to tour Arches and DHPSP same day I would think (I was in an RV and rented an ICE when I was there two years ago so don't have the EV experience). DHPSP IMO is actually a grander sight than the Grand Canyon. Or Arches, or Zion, and those are all unmissable.
     
  9. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Bryce Canyon is not to be missed, best time to be there is either at dusk or early morning for incredible shots of sun kissing tops of the hoodoos.
    Make plans to take a horse or mule ride down into the Canyon for a unique perspective and experience.

    Also, there are TWO parts to Zion NP.
    Smaller section to Northwest of main part has some unbelievable rock formations due to the wind wearing away the surfaces.
    It is possible to hike between the two parts of Zion, but I recall there is very limited number of passes that are issued for those hikes.

    North Rim of Grand Canyon is better vantage point than South Rim.
    They also have mule and horse rides down inside that Canyon.
     
  10. TTT

    TTT Member

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    Forecast for my entire trip to Denver and back are for thunderstorms, how much should I be concerned about hail? What precautions if any should I take?
     
  11. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

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    Morrison, Colorado, USA
    In Morrison, on the west of the Denver metro area, we've had a very wet spring so far. Everything is nice and green but we've only had pea-sized hail twice. If you are in the area checking out Red Rocks (or attending a concert), you could park in my garage and walk to restaurants in Morrison. I could drop you off at the amphitheater if you aren't up for the hike at over 5800 feet elevation.
     
  12. TTT

    TTT Member

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    #12 TTT, Jun 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
    Thanks all for the input, our trip was wonderful and without any major issues with the MS, one item I was not prepared for was the inclement weather. It rained pretty hard when we were going through the pass from Silverthorne into Denver and I had TACC on. Big mistake, I didn't heed the TACC warning not to use in inclement weather, needless to say, I started to hydroplane and I felt TACC take off with increased speed. Luckily I disconnected TACC quickly. I used the NAV Trip exclusively and found ourselves stopping more frequently than the Trip planner notified us to, not because the car was low on energy, but we had to take biological breaks more frequently. What does the NAV use for an algorithm for the energy used? I found that if I went the speed limit (in Utah it was 80) the estimated and actual energy used were way off.

    Twice the Trip planner did tell us we had to stop at an SC, but charge for 0 minutes, that was a little confusing, then later on that particular SC was removed from the route. I hope that future updates will allow us to remove specific SC from the route as well as add in other waypoints. Only once did I have to wait for a SC, that was in Denver, Lone Tree, but only had to wait 10 minutes. That particular location I understand is temporary and they are working on a permanent location with more SCs. For the most part, I was the only MS charging, kinda lonely, because driving up to San Francisco from San Diego there were other MS charging and had a chance to chat with other owners.

    Trip Details: 2824 Miles, 888.4 kWh used, Sea level to 14,115 Feet, 4 States

    Notable quotes:
    Coming down from Pike's Peak summit there is a ranger that stops you to measure the car's brake temperature, ranger "Your brake temperature is only 82 degrees, whatever you're doing keep doing it, that's the lowest temp I've ever seen. Today we've had car's with temps of over 500 degrees."
    We met quite a few people on our trip, a foursome from Australia said that "Australia has a lot to see, but the U.S. has them beat". I have to agree.
    While in Moab, father "That's a Tesla, an all electric car", son "How did it get all the way here?". Thanks Tesla and Elon for putting a SC in Moab

    Here are a few pictures from the trip
    Barstow SC, 4a/b weren't working, but within 10 minutes there was a technician out fixing the breaker (Tesla should provide a used MS for the technicians working on the SC rather than letting them drive an ICE). Only two other cars charging
    View attachment 84407

    Primm SC, only one other car charging
    View attachment 84408

    St. George SC, seemed to be the furthest from freeway at 3 miles, only one there charging
    View attachment 84409

    Beaver SC, only one charging
    View attachment 84410

    Richfield SC, Spent our first night at the Holiday Inn Express Richfield. Nice accommodations and again, only one there charging
    View attachment 84411

    Green River SC, again, only one there charging
    View attachment 84412

    Grand Junction SC, only one there charging
    View attachment 84413

    Glenwood Springs SC, just needed to top off before heading into Denver, again, only one there. The SC are in the Marriott Residence Inn parking lot, across from the Courtyard. We liked it here so much, we spent a night on our trip back and visited the Glenwood Caverns.
    View attachment 84414

    Rest Stop on the Vail Pass
    View attachment 84415

    Denver Lone Tree SC, only one other MS. This one still had it's Zero Emissions license plates on and must have been in the recent hail storm because the hood and sides had a bunch of dents in it. Unfortunately the pictures I took didn't capture the dents.
    View attachment 84417

    Pike's Peak Summit, I was worried about making it from Lone Tree to Pike's Peak and back, but had no problems, gained 10 kWh on the way down the grade.
    View attachment 84418 View attachment 84419

    Just so that I could, I did stop at Colorado Springs Utility to charge for free, but only got 3kw/hr out of it and only stayed for a short time since we had to visit Trinity Brewery before heading back to Denver.
    View attachment 84420

    We drove out to Estes Park the next day and found a free public charger (70amps) in the Library parking lot.
    View attachment 84421 View attachment 84422

    We didn't have a very pleasant experience at the second Denver hotel we were at so we decided to drive to Glenwood Springs for the night after having dinner with our niece in Denver. So from Estes Park we drove to the Denver SC by the airport to charge, only one other MS charging. We were able to make it to Glenwood springs with this charge, but needed to take a biological break at Sliverthorne. We didn't bother to charge there, but drove by the chargers which were in a darker unlit area than SJC is.
    View attachment 84425

    After spending the night at Glenwood Springs and visiting the Caverns we made it to Moab, again, no one there charging. We did see someone charging when we left.
    Tesla 2015-06-10 19.59.50 Moab SC.jpg

    We were able to do Arches National Park not once but twice on a single charge. We got caught in a downpour and had to go back the hotel for some dry clothes.
    Tesla 2015-06-11 DSC_6509 Arches NP.jpg Tesla 2015-06-11 DSC_6513 Arches NP.jpg

    We stopped at all of the same SCs on the way back to San Diego that we stopped at going to Denver, we could have made it all the way home from Barstow on a single charge, but had to take a biological break in Rancho Cucamonga which had 12 SC and no one there charging.
    Tesla 2015-06-12 21.43.49 Rncho Cucamonga SC.jpg

    Then charged in San Diego the following day
    Tesla 2015-06-13 10.03.46 San Diego SC.jpg
     
  13. TTT

    TTT Member

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    Why can't I edit my posts anymore?
     
  14. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    After a set period of time passes posts can no longer be edited. Sorry I don't know what the time period is.
     
  15. TTT

    TTT Member

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    #15 TTT, Jun 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
    Reposting because first posting pictures didn't all display. Moderator, please remove first posting.

    Thanks all for the input, our trip was wonderful and without any major issues with the MS, one item I was not prepared for was the inclement weather. It rained pretty hard when we were going through the pass from Silverthorne into Denver and I had TACC on. Big mistake, I didn't heed the TACC warning not to use in inclement weather, needless to say, I started to hydroplane and I felt TACC take off with increased speed. Luckily I disconnected TACC quickly. I used the NAV Trip exclusively and found ourselves stopping more frequently than the Trip planner notified us to, not because the car was low on energy, but we had to take biological breaks more frequently. What does the NAV use for an algorithm for the energy used? I found that if I went the speed limit (in Utah it was 80) the estimated and actual energy used were way off.

    Twice the Trip planner did tell us we had to stop at an SC, but charge for 0 minutes, that was a little confusing, then later on that particular SC was removed from the route. I hope that future updates will allow us to remove specific SC from the route as well as add in other waypoints. Only once did I have to wait for a SC, that was in Denver, Lone Tree, but only had to wait 10 minutes. That particular location I understand is temporary and they are working on a permanent location with more SCs. For the most part, I was the only MS charging, kinda lonely, because driving up to San Francisco from San Diego there were other MS charging and had a chance to chat with other owners.

    Trip Details: 2824 Miles, 888.4 kWh used, Sea level to 14,115 Feet, 4 States

    Notable quotes:
    Coming down from Pike's Peak summit there is a ranger that stops you to measure the car's brake temperature, ranger "Your brake temperature is only 82 degrees, whatever you're doing keep doing it, that's the lowest temp I've ever seen. Today we've had car's with temps of over 500 degrees."
    We met quite a few people on our trip, a foursome from Australia said that "Australia has a lot to see, but the U.S. has them beat". I have to agree.
    While in Moab, father "That's a Tesla, an all electric car", son "How did it get all the way here?". Thanks Tesla and Elon for putting a SC in Moab

    Sure could have used Autopilot on some of these long stretches of road. Elon, I volunteer to be a Beta tester!

    Here are a few pictures from the trip
    Barstow SC, 4a/b weren't working, but within 10 minutes there was a technician out fixing the breaker (Tesla should provide a used MS for the technicians working on the SC rather than letting them drive an ICE). Only two other cars charging
    Tesla 2015-06-05 10.25.07 Barstow SC.jpg

    Primm SC, only one other car charging
    Tesla 2015-06-05 12.13.57 Primm SC.jpg

    St. George SC, seemed to be the furthest from freeway at 3 miles, only one there charging
    Tesla 2015-06-05 17.47.58 St. George SC.jpg

    Beaver SC, only one charging
    Tesla 2015-06-05 19.32.16 Beaver SC.jpg

    Richfield SC, Spent our first night at the Holiday Inn Express Richfield. Nice accommodations and again, only one there charging
    Tesla 2015-06-05 20.38.21 Richfield SC.jpg

    Green River SC, again, only one there charging
    Tesla 2015-06-06 09.56.24 Green River SC.jpg

    Grand Junction SC, only one there charging
    Tesla 2015-06-06 12.27.52 Grand Junction SC.jpg

    Glenwood Springs SC, just needed to top off before heading into Denver, again, only one there. The SC are in the Marriott Residence Inn parking lot, across from the Courtyard. We liked it here so much, we spent a night on our trip back and visited the Glenwood Caverns.
    Tesla 2015-06-06 13.55.40 Glenwood Springs SC.jpg

    Rest Stop on the Vail Pass
    Tesla 2015-06-06 16.16.21 Vail Pass.jpg

    Denver Lone Tree SC, only one other MS. This one still had it's Zero Emissions license plates on and must have been in the recent hail storm because the hood and sides had a bunch of dents in it. Unfortunately the pictures I took didn't capture the dents.
    Tesla 2015-06-06 20.10.09 Lone Tree SC.jpg

    Pike's Peak Summit, I was worried about making it from Lone Tree to Pike's Peak and back, but had no problems, gained 10 kWh on the way down the grade. Drove to Catamount Lake on a 3-5 mile dirt road, thank goodness for Air Suspension, just jacked it up as high as it would go.
    Tesla 2015-06-08 13.23.12 Pike's Peak Summit.jpg Tesla 2015-06-08 13.42.27 Pike's Peak Hill climb.jpg

    Just so that I could, I did stop at Colorado Springs Utility to charge for free, but only got 3kw/hr out of it and only stayed for a short time since we had to visit Trinity Brewery before heading back to Denver.
    Tesla 2015-06-08 15.45.45 Colorado Springs Utility charger 3kWh.jpg

    We drove out to Estes Park the next day and found a free public charger (70amps) in the Library parking lot.
    Tesla 2015-06-09 11.21.22 Estes Park.jpg Tesla 2015-06-09 13.20.51 Estes Park Library 70Amps.jpg

    We didn't have a very pleasant experience at the second Denver hotel we were at so we decided to drive to Glenwood Springs for the night after having dinner with our niece in Denver. So from Estes Park we drove to the Denver SC by the airport to charge, only one other MS charging. We were able to make it to Glenwood springs with this charge, but needed to take a biological break at Silverthorne. We didn't bother to charge there, but drove by the chargers which were in a darker unlit area than SJC is.
    Tesla 2015-06-09 17.12.19 Denver SC.jpg

    After spending the night at Glenwood Springs and visiting the Caverns we made it to Moab, again, no one there charging. We did see someone charging when we left.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=84428&d=1434564734.jpg

    We were able to do Arches National Park not once but twice on a single charge. We got caught in a downpour and had to go back the hotel for some dry clothes and headed back to the park.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=84429&d=1434564865.jpg attachment.php?attachmentid=84430&d=1434564913.jpg

    We charged at all of the same SCs on the way back to San Diego in which we stopped at going to Denver, we could have made it all the way home from Barstow on a single charge, but had to take a biological break in Rancho Cucamonga which had 12 SC and no one else was charging there.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=84431&d=1434565020.jpg

    Then charged in San Diego the following day
    attachment.php?attachmentid=84432&d=1434565068.jpg
     

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