Roadtrip August 2017, Part Three
After our short stay in Scottsdale, we started to plan our route for the very south end of CA towards SD. While we could have gone the route into the valley and stop near places like Quartzsite, AZ, Palm Springs, CA, we went with a more southern route along the border between Mexico and the USA. Along with scorching weather (think the highest I saw was around 115 degrees!) and heavy use of the A/C, we barley made it to Yuma, AZ which settles right next to the CA border literally a couple hundred feet away from the supercharger. Town was nestled next to a river, old plaques showing that riverboats used this small area to unload cargo and load onto trains in the area, a old locomotive standing next to a Marriott alongside the river.
As we traversed through the rather steep and frequent mountains/hills heading towards SD, I found it to be quite the near perfect driving road for the Model S. Quite a bit of downwards traffic which was perfect for getting a couple miles back of range from the regenerative braking. Mountain driving is actually kind of nerve wracking for me, couple years ago I had a pretty bad wreck that destroyed my favorite car to date at the time ('10 silver Subaru Impreza) and since then I've been a much more defensive driver and rather intimidated but what I can do (or not do) with my current bare bones Impreza. With the Tesla however, some of this fear I have about combining power, precision and speed over these hills and regaining my sense of control in my driving actions. I still have some nervous habits that are hard to break still but it's getting better (other stories for another day).
SD was an interesting place to me, seemed like getting around anywhere felt like it took a long time and a car is absolutely needed for it. My one sole Tesla complaint about the city was the sole supercharger in the SD Tech Center next to the Qualcomm buildings. Kilowatt per hour rates fluctuated quite a bit and during the four times I needed to charge there, I encountered hour + waiting times. Beyond that, seemed like a decent place to live in. The seaside areas we saw ranged from touristy to lovely. Easily my highlight of the city was my visit to the world famous Zoo, my last visit was likely when I was still in my single digits. Sadly only had about four hours to explore before I had to break away for some charging, tried to strategize on unique animals that I didn't have access to at Denver's zoo. Highlights included Chinese pandas, koalas, and lots of birds in great aviaries placed mostly in the center of the park (with one exception of a small hummingbird enclosure). Shots below will show some of my favorites, still have tons of shots too scan for later when I have some downtime in Portland.
After some talking, we decided it would be worth a bit of backtracking for a second visit to L.A. even though we had planned out a weekend visit to Sacramento. My first time in the area, more or less expected it to be a more "real" city than SF as it's neighbor. Feels like another suburb with some higher incomes, nearby outlets and a outdoor mall is where I charged the car for the most part (both in Folsom, CA). Our host is a good friend of my father's and quite the fancy lady at that. Tried some lovely champagne from Domaine Carneros (from Napa Valley) for breakfast one morning and after some discussion, we had decided to make a tasting trip into Napa, Sonoma & Santa Rosa for a certain brewery for myself. Our first stop was Domaine Carneros own winery in Napa itself, had a bit of an exclusive wine club members only entrance and had a flight of champagne and sparkling wine as a starter, followed by caviar and fresh salmon w/ assorted crackers and cremes. I do not find myself to be a fancy person, but I sure as hell appreciated the entire experience, something I hope to gain more knowledge on through future friends and new acquaintances. Also visited a smaller winery by the name of Anaba Wines for some Pinot Noir tastings.
Our last excursion for the day had us visit the small town of Santa Rosa to visit the infamous brewery that produces one of the more sought after beers on the market known as Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewery. IPAs are something I've slowly started to like more and more and with Elder, I think I found why they can be tasty types of beer, it's known as a D (double) IPA and with that more alcohol content to mask the hops flavor from being too overpowering (feels like a pine tree hitting my face with previous beers I've tried). Though to fully experience the appreciation of the place, they luckily had a special full flight of every single draft on tap in about 25 2oz taster glasses. I finished about 3/4ths of the full flight and tasted everything else (for more detailed reviews on the beers, find my profile on Untappd). Slowly headed back to Sacramento after our excursion and finished our time during the weekend.
Sorry for the long wait this time around, I will be in Portland for about one more week and still plan to write about my time in LA and other ventures. Pics below of content I saw during this post, I will try to edit them later when I have a more stable connection. Thanks for reading folks.