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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Traveling Oregon in a Tesla - Photo Journal (Part 1 - Painted Hills)

This is the first summer that I've owned a Tesla. Our Model X 90D arrived in October and we've put about 12,000 miles on it since then. To put this into perspective, most years I only drive about 8,000 miles. This vehicle is a lot of fun and we've been using it to explore our home state.

Our first family vacation trip was to eastern Oregon to see the Painted Hills. We found lodging in an old hotel in Prairie City that has Tesla destination charging (and charging for other EVs too). It was not too far from our first destination, the Painted Hills, and it had nearby bike paths and hiking.

From Beaverton to Prairie City 

The trip planner said that we could make it to Prairie City with just a single charging stop in The Dalles. I was less certain. We had our CHAdeMO adapter and connectors to plug into RV campgrounds if things didn't go as planned. I decided to play it safe and head to Pendleton instead. This allowed us to arrive with more charge remaining. If there were any issues with the destination charging, we'd still have enough charge for our next day's plans. It added some time to the drive, but better safe than sorry.

The trip was an easy drive. We stopped in The Dalles for a late lunch while we charged. We headed to Pendleton and had a bathroom break and a drink while we charged. That evening, two thousand dead bugs and 360 miles later, we arrived in Prairie City. We checked in, plugged into the destination charger, and made our way to our room.

The next day we were charged up and after breakfast, we headed to the Painted Hills.
Tesla Model X w/ Bike Rack at The Painted Hills in Oregon

The hills were great, a part of nature that's a rare sight. I'll spare you the description of the cause, if you're interested, feel free to google it.

From here we went to the Little Pine Cafe in the town of Mitch. As we parked and my daughter opened the falcon wing door to get out, one of the locals asked if our car was a Dodge. I told him it was a Tesla, to which he replied, "That's the future right there."

Cowboy Boots in Mitchell Oregon

We stopped at the nearby fossil museum and learned a few things about the massive weather pattern changes to the region over the eons. The next day we explored Prairie City and John Day on foot and bike. The visitors center in John Day has level 2 charging with places to explore and eat nearby.

On day 3 we drove into the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness area.

It was a dusty drive.

From the parking area, it's a hike to the lake.

The next day we packed up to head home, we were fully charged thanks to the destination charging at the hotel. This time, I was confident that the navigation system was correct and that we'd make it to The Dalles on a single charge. The bikes on the rack on the back mean that it is not accurate and I would just need to have a little buffer, but the nav system said that we'd have more than 30 miles left when we arrived. You can always stretch the range a little by slowing down a little if needed. So we headed north.

Going home we passed through the town of Fossil, Oregon. The town's name has nothing to do with fossil fuels, but I quipped that they'll need to change their name to Renewable, Oregon if they want to survive. Speaking of renewable energy, on the drive back we passed through the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, as you can see below.

We made it to The Dalles with about 20 miles of range left. From there, after lunch and some charging, it was an easy drive home.

In part two, we'll head to Crater Lake.

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