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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Traveling Oregon in a Tesla - Photo Journal (Part 2 Crater Lake)

Previously, in part 1 of our summer family traveling adventure, we went to the Painted Hills in our Model X.

In part 2, we head to southern Oregon. In the morning, we were charged up and packed. We hit the road heading south. Our first charging stop was in Eugene. We stopped at the nearby Dutch Brothers and Subway before heading to the Supercharger. Our little family ate lunch and talked while we charged up. After lunch, we continued south.

Map of our Southern Oregon Trip

Our next stop was in Grants Pass. As we descended the Cascades and approached the city, the air began to thicken from the multiple forest fires burning in the region. We arrived in Grants Pass and plugged in.

Grants Pass SuperCharger at Sunset with Smoke in the Sky from Nearby Forest Fires
This Supercharger in the parking lot of the Black Bear Resturant would turn out to be our hub for our southern Oregon adventures. We charged up and headed to our motel for the evening. At the motel, we parked in front of our room and we plugged into a 120V outlet (with permission) overnight. This overnight charging only added ~20 miles, but it was all that was available and plugging in lets the owners of the motel know that EV charging is an amenity that we EV drivers are looking for. Perhaps they'll install a NEMA 14-50 which EVs and RVs could utilize.

The next morning we had a nice breakfast at a 1950's themed restaurant overlooking the Rouge River. Then we set off for Crater Lake.

Trees through the forest fire smoke on the drive to Crater Lake
Heading up the mountain the smoke began to thicken the air. We wondered if we'd be turned back or if it would be smart to turn back. We had checked the night before so we knew Crater Lake National Park was still open, so we pressed on. Biohazard mode comes in handy in times like this.
Vidae Falls Near Crater Lake
Surprisingly, there were pockets where the air was clear. We saw a beautiful waterfall and stopped to enjoy the view. After snapping a few photos at the falls, we continued to the rim.

We arrived at Crater Lake.
Wizard Island through forest fire smoke
We scheduled a boat ride on the lake for later in the day and enjoyed the view from the visitors' area. As we walked around, butterflies filled the air. I'm not sure if the fires drove them to this area, or if this is an annual occurrence. But it was magical as they flew up the caldera and surrounded us as we looked at Wizard Island and the beauty of the lake.

Now it was time to head over for the boat ride. The boat dock was on the other side of the lake. Because of the fires, the shorter route was closed. The drive up the mountain had used more than half the charge we had and I wanted to make sure we could get back to the motel. I had not planned on taking the long way around the crater when I mapped this out. At least the drive back was mostly down hill, we should have plenty of range. So we took the long way around and pulled into the parking area.

The parking lot was under construction, which of course made me wonder if EV charging is part of the plan for this new parking area. With the hike down, the boat tour, and the hike back we'd be parked here for about 5 hours. A Level 2 charging session could add over 100 miles of range during this time.

We parked and hiked down to the boat dock.
An outbuilding on Crater Lake
After a short wait, we were on the water for a ranger guided tour around the lake.
On Crater Lake, smoke to the left, clear skies to the right

Phantom Ship Island on Crater Lake
We finished our boat ride and headed to a Mazama Village.
Our Tesla Model X on the drive back from Crater Lake
 Driving down the mountain, we saw one of the sources of the smoke.
Spruce Lake fire, seen from Crater Lake, ~4700 acres burning
On the way down the mountain, we stopped for dinner in Mazama Village. They had a Tesla destination charger housed in a tiny A-frame house at the restaurant.
Charging at the Mazama Village destination charging station at Sunset
After dinner, we had a few extra Watt-hours and we headed down the mountain on our way back to our motel next to the Rogue.

On the drive down the mountain, we had more regen than I've ever seen. We were averaging negative 116 Watt-hours per mile. The batteries were getting charged up as we drove at ~50 MPH. EV ownership would be super easy if you could always drive downhill :)

Energy display showing 15 minutes of downhill driving

We made it back to the motel with plenty of remaining capacity.

The next day we were setting off for the Oregon Caves. I'll save that for part 3.