Harris Ranch renamed Harris Stench

Harris Ranch renamed Harris Stench

I did a run up Highway 101 to Monterey on Sunday and a turnaround back Interstate 5 late Monday night. My S ran flawlessly, and with prior proper planning, the 775 mile roundtrip was not a problem. The only minor/major issue I ran into was the lack of charging infrastructure in Monterey and my available time to use what was available to use. But the problem was solved as I skirted a bit out of my way north out of Monterey to go use the Gilroy supercharger, then on to the 5 heading home.

All superchargers worked well and were located near plenty of food options except Harris Ranch. However, for those who love a good steak, that is probably the best supercharging stop eating experience of all. The downside... the stink. I mean it smelled. Horribly. Like in gut-wrenching. To those of you who are unfamiliar with the odor that wet cow dung throws off, all I can say is, "Lucky!!" I've travelled the Interstate 5 for years but have never stopped in an area that stunk worse than this one. It smells so horrible that the Harris Ranch building that houses the gift shop and restaurant/bar has not one set of doors in the front, not TWO sets of doors in the front, but three sets of doors to go through to block the stench from entering. I kid you not. From the outside you go through the first set of doors and a powerful wind blower hits you (probably to blow the particulate cow dung air matter off of you). Then you exit that "chamber" through another set of doors into an area that is pumped with neutral air. After that, you enter through a set of doors into the building lobby. The doors work until a cowboy walks in and doesn't shake off his boots!

Really. I kid you not. That is what awaits you at the Harris Ranch supercharging station. And please do not think you can sit in your car while charging unless you also enjoy the scent of your own puke to add to the wonderful smell of Tesla leather. This is one stinker of a supercharger! Charge quick and head on down the road!

jbunn | 24. September 2013

I always enjoy Harris for a steak. It's a great place to rest on the road between SF and LA. Superchargers there were a genius idea.

Harris Ranch also has a nice hotel. We've stayed there a couple times when we got out of the city late and were too tired to drive the grapevine. It has nice gardens and a great pool, but you can't stand to be outside at all, so we've never lingered outdoors.

Harris is in a town called Coalinga, which we refer to as Cowalinga. I usually turn the climate onto recirc before we get there.

At times the air smells like pig manure, soggy cigar buts, cow manure, wet cow manure, and my favorite - burning wet cow manure.

It's pretty sad to think that you can describe the air with all the embellishments of a wine coinsurer.

stevenmaifert | 24. September 2013

Welcome to rural America. Yee Haw.

slipdrive | 24. September 2013

Growing up in the town with the largest USA feedlot, it was the smell of money. (The grandkids own a baseball team now). Cowabunga!

defmonk | 24. September 2013's, ahhh, a ranch....huh?

tes-s | 24. September 2013

Part of the supercharger siting strategy - keeps people from staying any longer than necessary. ;)

jeremythehunt | 24. September 2013

+1 @tes-s - Haha!

Brian H | 24. September 2013

Febreze to the rescue! ;)

SUN 2 DRV | 24. September 2013

Yep, It's called Harris RANCH for a reason. It's very conveniently located, the restaurant has a wide variety of excellent steaks. And they even have an adjacent paved runway for to accommodate the fly-in pilot crowd. I used to fly there often for a great meal.

Yes, there is a definite "cattle farm aroma", but that just makes the whole experience more authentic. :-)

negarholger | 24. September 2013

@tes-s +1 ...but wouldn't work for the locals.

biwamura | 24. September 2013

Duh this has been this way forever since Harris runs a feed lot!!

sharpe222 | 24. September 2013

I've been to Harris Ranch and I've driven through Staten Island, give me the ranch any day....

exPGAhacker | 24. September 2013

@biwamura - Duh it may have been this way forever, but that don't mean I have to like it!!

Never had a reason to stop there and I won't be stopping there again. If I need to drive north on the 5, I'll take my BMW and burn some oil money. I like that stench far better.

Earl and Nagin ... | 25. September 2013

South winds certainly help.
There really aren't any other options midway between SAC and LA or SF and LA.

Thomas N. | 25. September 2013

Well you can take the 101 the whole way and use Hawthorne, Buellton, Atascadero and Gilroy SuperChargers.

The 101 is way out of the way but if the stench bothers you that much....

biwamura | 25. September 2013

xpgahacker - WUS!!!!

ThorensP | 25. September 2013

I've been stopping at Harris Ranch for years on drives down to visit the family in Temecula. It smells like cows. It's a ranch. Get over it. The food is decent. The wait for a table is short. The rooms are fine. It takes about 5 minutes for your brain to filter out the smell.

exPGAhacker | 25. September 2013

@biwamura - "WUS!" True that! That's what my wife called me too. :)

@ThorensP - If you've been stopping at Harris Ranch for years, that's YOUR problem.

negarholger | 25. September 2013

@exPGAhacker - are you vegan?

jbunn | 25. September 2013

It's not just that it smells like cows. Specifically, it smells like the insides of cows. I love a good steak, but hey.

negarholger | 25. September 2013

@jbunn - next time you and any other steak lover or burger eaters it is you who are responsible for the smell at Harris. Chicken farms are even worse... can't wait for the SC in the smell dome of a chicken farm.

djm12 | 27. September 2013

I've stopped at Harris Ranch several times and never noted a stench. The restaurant is outstanding.

Brian H | 27. September 2013

You don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.

jjaeger | 29. September 2013

Come on - a thread about Harris Ranch smell. Get real. Been there many times, and guess i'm just a country boy. Yes, one knows there are several feed lots within a mile or so, but no one in my family has ever made a single comment. Includes teenage daughters. 'nuff said...

aaronw2 | 29. September 2013

One thing Tesla needs is location based recirculation. I often turn on recirculation when driving 880 through Milpitas where the aroma from the dump wafts through.

jchangyy | 29. September 2013

Sat at Harris Ranch supercharger for an hour. you get used to the smell. it's fine. in fact, you start to enjoy it.

Earl and Nagin ... | 29. September 2013

The Dairy farms down south actually can be worse than Harris Ranch's feedlot. They got very bad when they moved from Chino (south of LA) to the central valley because housing costs warranted the sale of the dairy farms.
Freshly fertilized organic fields can be quite pungent as well.
This is a reality of agriculture. It isn't always sterile and pristine.

negarholger | 29. September 2013

And the pungent exhaust stench in the LA basin is smells like roses once your smell buds are trained.

DarrellH | 26. Oktober 2013

We have called it "Stinky Ranch" for decades. However, we don't smell anything in the restaurant building. And the food in the restaurant is very good. It is a great place to stop, rest and have a great meal while your car has a great supercharged meal.