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Desert Southwest Trip

Desert Southwest Trip

We had such a great time last November in Palm Springs and Idyllwild, CA that we wanted to return.

We spent 10 days in Desert Hot Springs relaxing in the mineral pools at Lido Palms, seeing friends, fine dining, and exploring Joshua Tree. We ended up driving around Joshua Tree a bit, but it was quite windy and cold. We'll come back in the spring for the flowering.

As soon as we realized weather in Arizona was favorable, we headed east to see friends in Cave Creek and Phoenix.

Sedona for Thanksgiving then on to Tucson.

Home first week of December in time for Christmas!

That was 2015. Now we are back in Desert Hot Springs, at our favorite apartment at Lido Palms Resort, charging overnight on the newly installed 14-50 outlet, and visiting with family from Denver. Home November 20.

Four years later, we keep coming back, although our trips to Phoenix and beyond have become more limited!

neilhamrin | 7 novembre 2015

A googol search says it reopened on July 24 last. I looked as I expect to go that way to Palm Desert later this year. For my annual snow bird stay in the desert.

neilhamrin | 7 novembre 2015

google of course.

neilhamrin | 7 novembre 2015

A google search says it reopened on July 24 last. I looked as I expect to go that way to Palm Desert later this year. For my annual snow bird stay in the desert.

sbeggs | 7 novembre 2015

@neilhamrin,

That is odd, as the notice displayed right in the Nav instructions earlier today. Yet when we zoomed in, there was no traffic jam in red. Better check Waze tomorrow before we head that way.

Any particular routes through Joshua tree that the T would enjoy driving?

Should be good weather.

Bluesday Afternoon | 7 novembre 2015

Per D.O.T. CA, I-10 is closed 10.7 miles east of Cathedral City to Indio from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. Monday through Saturday (Detour available). Construction will continue until 11/21/15.

sbeggs | 8 novembre 2015

@Simply Red,

Thank you so much!

Bluesday Afternoon | 8 novembre 2015

Enjoy your trip. BTW, if you head to Sedona I would also recommend a stop in Prescott and Jerome. You may have read this info before so I'll make it brief. If you charge in Quartzite and head to Wickenburg (nice road) for another charge take AZ89 to Prescott. A great scenic ride! I stayed at the St Michael Hotel on Whiskey Row but no charging. You will have plenty of charge from Wickenburg to Sedona (actually, enough to reach Flag). I believe there are a number of trails from Slide Rock State Park just outside of Sedona.

http://www.stmichaelhotel.com/

http://azstateparks.com/Parks/SLRO/

http://arizonahighwayguides.com/wickenburg-to-sedona/index.htm

8-)

sbeggs | 8 novembre 2015

@Simply Red,

That is fantastic info, thank you. I hope we get to go to AZ.

Meanwhile, we are checked into our hotel in Desert Hot Springs, after lunch in Temecula with a friend, a stop at Trader Joes, and a top off at Cabazon Supercharger.

Water is pouring out of Miracle Hill and into our swimming pool and is a muscle healing 90 degrees!

The palms are rustling and the beds are Tempur pedic.

More tomorrow.

sbeggs | 9 novembre 2015

first report:

November 8, 2015
Coursing through CA’s Inland Empire

We packed the T full with food, water, wine (frunk) and necessities for our desert trip. Pulled the plug on range charging when it hit 261 miles and headed north from San Diego to Temecula. Steve took the first leg, but was sneezing uncontrollably, and with eyes watering, said “switch drivers”. I stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up meats and yogurts, and then we walked around Temecula’s Old Town. Sun was shining brightly as we returned to the town’s parking structure where we needed to charge one year ago on our Idyllwild to Palm Springs trip. The Cabazon Supercharger makes this unnecessary today.

Met a friend of my cousin Janey’s for lunch at Baily’s Temecula. We learned she was involved in a near-fatal car collision a week ago Friday, but survived with only bruises, but her Subaru was totaled. She is quite philosophical about it, but shaken.

The nav system kept altering the heading off the 215 freeway into the back country of southern CA’s Inland Empire. Sere country, winding roads, dairy cows with their heads through feeding bars in long rows outdoors. Our Classic S85 was rock steady and quiet as we coursed through the curves.

Entering I-10 east toward the ten stalls at Cabazon Supercharger, massive stands of windmills appeared. The Supercharger is right off the freeway near a McDonalds. The entrance to the adjacent mall is through iron gates, and gives one a sense of modern shops along a winding way that seems medieval in layout. Announcements in Japanese catered to the tourists brought here in vans for shopping!

We averted our eyes on the rutted road into Desert Hot Springs, as the turning of wind turbine blades made our minds go tilt!

The Lido Palms is a complex of 10 one story apartments surrounding 3 mineral pools. We have the end unit, with black slate tiles, recliners, full kitchen, Tempur Pedic beds, pistachio and brown accents, and ample storage.

The mineral water here has won awards, and come from the Miracle Hill deposit right under our hotel (and beyond). I hopped into the 90 degree warm pool with the other ladies and was buoyed by the constantly welling current. Water in the pools is changed 9 times a day. Magnesium, sulfur, copper, silica, and sulfur make up the content.

We should be here 9 nights, and will explore Joshua Tree national park. We also have in mind Palm Springs’ aerial tramway, the hot springs discovery museum, outdoor Palm Springs Saturday market, fine dining. We plan to see friends, walk and swim. Maybe a spa treatment! I’ll try to get the French massage therapist so I can practice. The weather is fine, and we already feel relaxed.

sbeggs | 12 novembre 2015

November 11, 2015
Desert Hot Springs Currents Run Deep

We’re taking the waters, here at the spa. Floating buoyantly in the Lido Palms 93 degree swimming pool, the 98 degree indoor pool and the 105 degree Jacuzzi. The fierce winds of the last 3 days finally calmed, leaving the palm fronds still.

Nice to have a kitchen. Our lunch here was chicken breast Marsala with Crimini mushrooms, ham cubes, onions, fresh thyme and cream, sugar snap peas, salad with avocado and a Pinot Noir.

At 1:30 p.m., we took the $12 tour at the Cabot museum up the hill. Pat Larson explained how a man from a Midwestern mercantile family bought a large tract of land on the hill northeast of Palm Springs, bare desert. What he built using scavenged materials resembles a multi-layered Hopi pueblo.

He had to walk 7 miles from the railroad terminus to fetch water. Paying attention to Indian legends, he dug Indian style ramps here on Miracle Hill in Desert Hot Springs. He found excellent water springs, both cold and hot.

In 1941, he began building. He made rooms to the length of wood he found, and built small windows and passageways to create a cooling effect on hot days. In one room with rock fireplace, he kept the floor of natural earth covered with gravel. After his first wife left for Seattle with his son, he married again, and built a suite of rooms with kitchen, shower and bathtub.

Pat told amusing stories about the mule Merry Christmas, who was trained to pick up a bottle of water in his mouth and tip it up to drink it.

The tour concluded with a gift of a bottle of Mission Springs water, which has won several awards for taste. Outside, we strolled around looking at outbuildings, desert gardens and sculptures.

We learned about the fanciest resort in Desert Hot Springs, Two Bunch Palms. Apparently it is 75 years old, and was a hangout for mob and movie stars. We heard several recommendations about the Essence restaurant, and “discovered” 2 Tesla 80 amp charging units. The grounds are beautiful and green, with pools, ducks, water coursing down slopes, mud baths and massages offered in separate wooden structures. The restaurant looked excellent, although we felt overdressed, as patrons were in their spa bathrobes! While we were enjoying the spacious grounds, T picked up 40 miles of range in 35 minutes at 79 amps!

Desert Hot Springs currents run deep…both aqueous and electrical.

sbeggs | 13 novembre 2015

Spencer’s restaurant at west end of Baristo is excellent. Palm Springs.

sbeggs | 15 novembre 2015

Met @Greenee and her 85D 'Red' today!

Greenee | 15 novembre 2015

You did not say you went to Spencer's. Fantastic old style restaurant, a favorite. Enjoyed the lunch at Essence, but enjoyed the company more. Thanks for making the forums fun to read!

sbeggs | 15 novembre 2015

@Greenee,
Today was a highlight of our trip, nice to meet the real people who drive these cars of the future. I always learn something every time. See you next time we come through Palm Springs!

sbeggs | 15 novembre 2015

November 14, 2015
Farmers, Model Airplanes, Tram!

Saturday is farmers’ market day at the Camelot Theater on Baristo in Palm Springs. Local purple, orange and green broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce and avocadoes shone with freshness in the morning sun. We also purchased homemade borscht and beet almond salad from a Ukrainian man from Odessa.

Our friend George from our aerospace days invited us to the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club’s site in the farm country south of I-10 and 86. We passed enormous flat fields of vegetables, table grape vines, and mysterious forests of date palms, with protective bags lying on the ground after the recent harvest. He told us that agriculture is still California’s number one economic activity, and it is agriculture which gets first priority on water. Here, some 4,000 workers tend the crops.

A group of congenial enthusiasts gathered under the sheltering tents over custom built long tables with embedded posts protruding upward to support the model airplanes.

Our friend has accumulated 2,000 hours piloting a Cessna and demonstrated perfect skill in flying the three airplanes he had brought. Each maneuver, twist, roll and turn was precise and beautiful.

I’m including technical details that he supplied: “The airplane we flew with the streamers is a model of the Russian YAK 54 competition aerobatic airplane. Wingspan is 64", weight is 6 lbs with battery. Battery is a 6-cell lithium polymer battery, 4.2 volts per cell or 25.2 volts when all cells fully charged. Amp draw at max power is 60 amps or 1500 watts power. I measured static thrust at 6+ lbs, this will actually be more in the air because prop "bite" is better with forward airspeed. So power to weight ratio on the airplane is 1:1, making climb performance very good. Battery endurance on most of our models is 6-10 minutes depending on how much time at high throttle.

"The white biplane resembles a full-size Pitts Special aerobatic airplane, popular on the competition circuit for many years. Wingspan is 41", weight is 4.4 lbs with battery. Battery is a 4-cell LiPo, 16.8 volts fully charged. Current draw at max power is 50 amps, so 50 amps x 16 volts = 800 watts. Again, I like 200 watts/lb for good performance.

"The model Steve flew is the North American T-28 "Trojan" advanced trainer used by both the Navy and Air Force for many years. Wingpan is 35", weight with battery is 2.2 lbs. Battery for this is a 3-cell LiPo, 12.6 volts. 30 amps x 12 volts = 360 watts, so power/weight on this model is around 160 watts/lb, good enough for modest performance.

"We didn't see any at the field yesterday but there are even bigger electric-powered models with 8 ft and 9 ft wingspans. They run 10-cell and 12-cell LiPo batteries, 5 amp-hr capacity. They draw 100 amps at max power for almost 5000 watts to the motor, more than 6 horsepower. Cooling for the motor, speed controller and batteries are significant issues on these airplanes.

"Speed control on the motors is just like on your car: pulsed DC current (i.e. alternating current) is sent in phases around the motor windings by the computerized controller. The faster the pulses, the faster the motor turns the prop. The bigger the prop, the more current draw (power) and heat but less battery endurance. So it's all a balance.”

I shot photos of all the model airplanes for my sister Gail, who loves everything that flies! There was also a cool F-18 model whose pilot was skilled, like George, and used electric motor drive high-speed fans rather than the propellers used on the acrobatic planes.

We headed to the Indio Supercharger, and set up the parcel shelf table that Steve had made and picnicked on cold chicken, avocado and beet salad with a Cotes du Rhone wine. After conversing with locals at the supercharger, I took the wheel and drove to the Swiss-built Palm Springs Aerial Tram.

Elevation at the bottom is 2,643 feet, and the tram brought us to 8,516 feet. We reached the top at 2:15, and it was 47 degrees in the shade. Several sunny vantage points afforded a gorgeous view over the windmills, the airport, Desert Hot Springs, the Joshua Tree park’s western facade, the San Andreas Fault, and the desert communities with deep pockets of green golf courses and parks. Behind us were the San Jacinto peaks, with pinyon and Jeffrey pines, and white firs. Descending in the 80 passenger gondola with revolving floor, we spotted yucca, yellow sycamores, and striated grey and beige granite rocks. We rode down with 64 year old twin brothers who had spent 5.5 hours climbing to mountain station.

Gorgeous and wonderful day. Thanks to George for orchestrating it. It would take many hours of practice to master flying to the level he has achieved. So we’ll just concentrate on piloting our electric battery powered “magic carpet” T around the desert southwest.

sbeggs | 18 novembre 2015

November 17, 2015
Springs to Saguaros

Tuesday was a long day in the saddle, working in harmony with the T’s needs and our own. Bidding a wistful goodbye to the Lido Palms’ magical hot springs, we bolted out at 7:15 am. A clear 45 degree day dawned, San Jacinto mountains pink with morning sun. Dust devils in a cross wind. Half hour to Indio Supercharger, 15 minutes to top off and get rid of morning coffee. An hour and a half of monotonous high desert climbing. Then, an amazing panoply of purple mountains’ majesty!

At the Quartzsite Supercharger, Carl’s Jr restrooms are still dirty. With a feeling of shame, we picked at fried onion rings in the 20 minutes we were there.

Our 1.5 hour longest stop was planned for Wickenburg Supercharger for lunch. Exiting truck choked interstate 10 east, we entered 60, a two lane road rising and falling. Low cactus, a profusion of trailer parks, farms. Suddenly, the green rolling hills were punctuated by majestic saguaro cactus, their graceful curving spiny arms pointing skyward. We caught glimpses of desert sand washes, and standing water from recent squalls.

We set to 100% charge in Wickenburg and headed down the hill behind the quaint town’s municipal building across Wickenburg’s main street to Bedouian’s Bakery and Bistro, where we ordered shish kebab, salad, spinach and feta quiche and an amazing fresh fruit bowl. Oriental rugs hung on the wall and we were told Victor Bedouian had a shop next door. As we collect oriental rugs and have ten at home, after lunch we went to the shop and saw a small but select collection, not too pricey. It’s right behind the restaurant down the slope.

T was charged to 261 miles, with 50 to go to north Phoenix. We checked into the Residence Inn, and wasted no time convincing Luis and Jonathan to hook us up to the 120 V outlet out of the electrical room. We were getting 4 miles per hour of charge and woke up with a full tank (90%).

At 6 PM, the hotel grilled chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers with fixings, served wine and beer, and cantaloupe and watermelon. Tomorrow also!

And on the tenth day, they did laundry! That, and a home cooked lunch today before seeing our friends Friday and Saturday. Knowing us, we will not be able to resist visiting the Tesla Service Center sometime Thursday!

Thanks, everyone, for the driving and restaurant tips!

PhillyGal | 18 novembre 2015

What a fantastic write up!
It wasn't hard to imagine being right there with you instead of riding this desk and avoiding explaining to our Chief of Staff why we've spent so much money on overtime this year.

sbeggs | 18 novembre 2015

Haha @PhillyGal, fun to be distracted from boring things, isn't it?

Forgot to mention that we didn't use beta in car trip planner. Instead, we navigated from Supercharger to Supercharger, using the trip graph with percentages to get to the next objective. We watched as the yellow graph line changed to green as electrons were being added.

We kept 20-30% buffer due to climbing and headwinds on the legs we drove.

TaoJones | 18 novembre 2015

Just got back from Tucson. Should you venture south of Phoenix (Casa Grande, actually), as evidently the Supercharger team has not, do note that of the 3 Chademos within 50 miles of Tucson (there used to be 4, but the one at Picacho Peak is no more), the one at the Nissan dealership on the north central side of Tucson is available during business hours, free, throttled by manufacture to 20kW, and is serviced by a 50A circuit. Translated, this means it will take 5+ hours to gain a full charge. Fortunately, one needs just enough to get to the Casa Grande SC, which is about 75 miles away via a relatlvely flat stretch of I-10.

The east side Marriott listed at their own site earlier this year as having EV chargers does not.

There are a handful of hotels that have chargers - most want over $200/night plus resort fees. However, one can lunch at these and have access for a couple of hours - see the La Paloma and JW Marriott properties.

We used VRBO.com for a Tucson condo rental and it worked out fine, except there was no EV charging - no big deal, given the Nissan dealership and gracious manager and personnel thereof (thanks, Darrin and Tom).

Tangentially, in order for the eminently more sensible I-10 route east to become viable during the winter months, Tesla will need to build at least 8 SCs from Tucson to near San Antonio through Deming, El Paso, and points east such as Ranger or Van Horn. Tesla built exactly ZERO of those in 2015 and exactly ZERO of those have yet been sited, let alone permitted or are under construction.

Having just come back from Florida via the more northern OKC/NM/Flagstaff route, I can tell you that will be the last time that happens after October and before April. Have driven in an ICE the I-10 route numerous times and there's a reason why people do that. Am taking a close look at what RV parks and Nissan dealerships exist between Tucson and San Antonio now. It doesn't look great.

Bluesday Afternoon | 18 novembre 2015

Hey, I just tracked down your thread. When you moved from the Southern California Club to this location did you need to go through a Supercharger. ;-)

Taking the road from Quartzsite to Wickenburg is a nice way to travel. The road is well paved and lightly used. The restroom facilities in Wickenburg's City Hall are superior to Carl's Jr. Did you have a chance to walk into Nana's Sandwich Saloon across the street from the Superchargers to do a little shopping? Last time there I picked up a nice tea set for a family gift.

Hope you two consider stopping at Prescott and Jerome if you're still planning on visiting Sedona. I enjoy reading your adventures. Continue to have a safe journey.

georgehawley.fl.us | 18 novembre 2015

@Claudia: Thanks for the marvelous travelogue. Enjoy every minute of your trip.

trixiew | 18 novembre 2015

LOVING this journey!!!!!

Please do share your wine and cheese pairings when they happen.

SbMD | 18 novembre 2015

Really great thread and posts, @sbeggs. Pictures would be great, but your writing is already picturesque :)

sbeggs | 21 novembre 2015

@TaoJones,
Thanks for the realistic evaluation of the effect of winter conditions for driving the route out of Flagstaff. We are in north Phoenix now heading for Sedona Sunday. Will look at weather conditions Monday for visiting Meteor or Sunset craters north and east of Flagstaff.

Holding reservations at Lodge on the Desert in Tucson for after Thanksgiving. We stayed there 30 some years ago, traveling in the 1970 Buick Skylark! We need to have lunch at a place with HPWC, we have dual chargers. We do not have the CHAdeMO adapter.

We also look forward to Tesla fleshing out the most southerly of cross country routes.

sbeggs | 21 novembre 2015

We took your suggestion, @Simply Red, to drive the road to Wickenburg, thanks! Will explore your other suggestions from Sedona!

txakoli | 21 novembre 2015

@sbeggs

I highly recommend Highway 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff, thru Oak Creek Canyon. A fantastic drive in a Tesla.

Safe travels.

sbeggs | 21 novembre 2015

Off to Taliesin West tour now.

Los Abrigados in Sedona and Marriott Towneplace Suites in Tucson will hook us up to 120V exterior circuits so T can stay juiced for local drives.

Will write more later ...

NKYTA | 21 novembre 2015

+1 txakoli

Sbeggs, there is always Arcosanti to visit, not sure what the current state of it is. One of those grand schemes back in the day...

NKYTA | 21 novembre 2015

Oh, and Lake Montezuma is pretty neat to see, in the middle of the desert...

sbeggs | 21 novembre 2015

Thanks, @georgehawley, @trixiew, @SbMD!

sbeggs | 21 novembre 2015

@txakoli,
I remember that beautiful drive from 30 years ago.

Hoping we will be basquing in sunshine.

txakoli | 21 novembre 2015

@sbeggs. +1

sbeggs | 22 novembre 2015

November 21, 2015
Phoenix Art: Hidden in the Hills, Taliesin West

In 2005, Gail and I met Katalin and Joe Ehling on a Uniworld tour of China. We noticed Katalin drawing, sketching and discovered she was an artist specializing in batiks. They visited us in San Diego some years ago. She invited us to their home in Cave Creek yesterday for the start of the 19th annual Hidden in the Hills art exhibition. For 6 days in November, they go on in 44 venues, showcasing 176 artists.

We saw that she has grown and evolved well beyond batik into mixed media and acrylic, beautiful! Influences of her Hungarian ancestry were visible in the Balaton work. There were acrylic paintings in warm colors, one referring to Anne Frank, and many abstract pieces incorporating realistic elements. Carved dark wood masks from Bali adorn her studio.

Saturday we reserved a one-hour $22 tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin west, comprising his studio, auditorium and meeting rooms. My high school friend Jack Good loved FLW’s work, and we would visit museums and locations together. I can’t remember ever visiting the Kaufman house in Pennsylvania, called Fallingwater, even though I grew up in Pittsburgh. Must remedy that some day!

The Taliesin complex is perched on a mesa in the brow of Phoenix’s eastern foothills, overlooking Scottsdale. Taliesin is the Welsh expression for “shining brow”.

FLW was born in the late 1860's, and until 1937 lived in Wisconsin at Taliesin East. After his doctor warned that he wouldn’t survive another cold winter, he drove out to Phoenix in one of his 95 automobiles, and started acquiring land at $3.50 per acre. At first he set up tents to live in. There was no water or electricity for the years between 1937 and 1951. A retinue of apprentices followed him and were put to work gathering local field stones, pouring concrete around the large stones in forms larger at the base, leaning in. Wright had several wives, and over the years built both personal and public spaces for study, drafting and sketching, dining, auditoriums and cabarets for performances (also performed by the students). He spent 5 months each winter at Taliesin for his last 22 years. He lived to 91, and was healthy up until going into the hospital for gall bladder surgery.

The scale of the doorways was low, funneling callers through passages which then opened up. Fountains, water passages and pools were interspersed through the large complex. Although I didn’t care for the brutalist style of concrete adorned with steel I-beams or wood, his influence on 20th century architecture was supreme. Taliesin is now an accredited architectural school costing $40,100 annually!

The gift shop was the best part of this morning’s visit. Fantastic array of Art Deco influenced art, books, ties, scarves, pins, t-shirts, candles, and all manner of interesting merchandise.

The sun was beaming, the winds gentle. All of Phoenix was laid out for many miles of low, green, spiky growth. Cactus, the green trunks and branches of palo verde, saguaro, and sagebrush stood out against the backdrop of Camelback Mountain. Office complexes and many homes use gravel raked in beautiful patterns, interspersed with foliage or cactus plantings. Gorgeous. In November, Phoenix is delicious. Locals have told us that the summer monsoon time is the time to avoid! Glad we came now instead of in June returning from the Utah Parks trip.

SbMD | 22 novembre 2015

@sbeggs - another nice post. Have enjoyed time in Phoenix and agree that this is the better time to be out there. Are you planning to climb Camelback? It is a nice hike if that's something you have time to enjoy.

sbeggs | 23 novembre 2015

Bump

sbeggs | 23 novembre 2015

@SbMD,
Unfortunately our hiking days are behind us, as Steve walks with a cane and is rather unsteady.

We did take photos of Camelback though!

sbeggs | 23 novembre 2015

Sedona Bookends
November 22, 2015

We smiled at the hot air balloons hovering above Cave Creek on our way north from Phoenix to Cordes Lake Supercharger on a clear day. There were no other cars charging, so we stopped to talk to a local man who was showing off his red modified Chevelle SS with 396 V-8.

Yellow and lime green trees lit up the ravines. At the turn off toward Sedona, we saw the first red rocks. Stopped at the Ranger Station to see the film and pick up information and maps (and shoot photos of Bell Rock and other formations). Sedona sits at 4,500 feet, and was founded in 1902, according to the signs!

Our place is a time-share older resort, Los Abrigados. We chose it because of the kitchen, and the 120V dedicated EV parking space. Walking around, we realized how complete its grounds are, with restaurants, Tlaquepaque Spanish themed quaint shopping, several pools, tennis courts, outdoor chess, playground, all strewn with autumn leaves that crunch underfoot. The shimmering Oak Creek runs right by the grounds. Ducks were swimming and children playing on this fine fall afternoon.

We headed to the Mariposa, Lisa Dahl’s custom-built new restaurant on a hill. We sat in booths facing the magnificent green valley floor with red iron oxide cliffs and limestone peaks lit up by the sun. Sushi grade ahi, butter lettuce and avocado salad, pulled pork tostadas with black beans, corn kernels, tomatoes and spices were delicious. Steve drank a glass of Chilean Carmenere and Cabernet. We shared a dessert of apple/date/cranberry cake with vanilla ice cream. Like everyone else, we shot photos of the backdrop while posing behind the yellow butterfly sign
.
Thirty years back we bolted out of San Diego over Thanksgiving week, like we are doing now. We stayed in Poco Diablo resort down the hill, spending a lot of time in the Jacuzzi in our suite while cold winds whistled outside. We visited the Grand Canyon in the 1970 Buick but were chased by snow back down towards Flagstaff and Tucson, where we spent Thanksgiving at the Lodge on the Desert.

We’re thirty years older, and hiking is not on, but we can still appreciate the beauty of this place. Sedona was our first long driving trip together at the beginning. Now, like the other side of the bookend bracketing our lives, we return.

sbeggs | 23 novembre 2015

Desert Southwest trip somehow got moved back to Southern California forum. Is someone trying to tell us something?

Bighorn | 23 novembre 2015

I was wondering how it got moved!

NKYTA | 23 novembre 2015

Weird, noticed as well...

SbMD | 23 novembre 2015

I thought you had moved it, @sbeggs!

sbeggs | 23 novembre 2015

ha, ha, I must have pressed the wrong button!

Bluesday Afternoon | 23 novembre 2015

Great descriptions but a little hard to follow sometimes. ;-)

sbeggs | 24 novembre 2015

.

sbeggs | 24 novembre 2015

If a Meteor Fell on our Car
November 23, 2015

In 2013, as our car was getting long of tooth (17), we asked ourselves, what would we do if a meteor fell on the Mark VIII? We had no plan to buy the Tesla. Until we drove one.

Oak Creek Canyon’s hairpin turns were lit by the sun on our way north to Flagstaff Supercharger. One white P85D from LA going to Santa Fe, NM was charging. Snow lay in shady areas.

We set out for Meteor Crater, feeling pretty confident that no meteor would strike the T today. Our family visited Arizona in the 1960’s, and I retained a precise visual memory of how the crater looked from a certain vantage point. Dad was an electrical engineer and amateur astronomer and loved meteorites. The old viewpoint is no longer open to the public. The current red brick structures were built more recently.

We paid $28 and watched a 10 minute film about the 150 foot diameter meteor which came whistling in at a speed of 26,000 mph from the east, pulverizing an area the size of 20 football fields. The resulting “stadium” with its tall rim could hold 2 million people!

Meteor Crater was the first crater that was proven to come from a meteorite impact rather than a volcano. Since then over 200 such impact craters have been found over the planet.

It was lunchtime, so we headed east on I-40 to La Posada’s Turquoise Room in Winslow. Steve noticed a grey lightning bolt on the main display in our car. Sure enough, 2 Tesla 80 amp stations had been protected with cones. We picked up 63 miles with our dual chargers while eating a scrumptious lunch.

The inn, last of the Santa Fe railroad’s hotels, was completed in 1930, and lies just between old highway Route 66 and the train depot. We noticed trains with 6 engines pushing and pulling trains up to 100 cars long . The hotel is a historic place, designed by Mary Jane Colter for Santa Fe railway and Fred Harvey company.

At dinner the restaurant offers great wild game dishes. The best lunch menu choice for us was the juicy and succulent Churro lamb meatballs lightly dusted in panko crumbs and sautéed. Inside were currants and pine nuts. Dipping sauce was mint and yogurt, with spinach salad and agave honey corn bread on the side. Bizarrely, mineral water came from Arkansas (pH 7.8) and we ordered a half bottle of Qupe Syrah. Delicious!

Another quick stop at Flagstaff Supercharger. But with 4 Superchargers 50% occupied, we would be sharing a charge no matter which of the other two spaces we chose. We picked up 35 more miles in 20 minutes, said hello to a Nebraska couple with a 3 year old green Model S and a family from Merced (hello @Sorka!).

I drove back down Oak Creek Canyon in brilliant afternoon light. From the 6900 foot point down to 4,500, with downhill regeneration, 25 road miles only took 5 from the battery.

Trees in an orchard near Slide Rock park were shining an intense yellow as if they were festooned with Christmas lights, stunning. We were exclaiming how beautiful it was all the way down the road.

NKYTA | 24 novembre 2015

Painting another picture with words. :-)

I can see the Oak Creek Canyon drive in my minds eye again, thanks!

Bummer that the old MC viewpoint isn't available any more tho.

sbeggs | 24 novembre 2015

T is consistently at 261 miles on range charge, compared to 265 upon delivery of our Classic S85 in March, 2014.

muddy | 24 novembre 2015

We love your travelogue. About 10 years ago we visited some of the places you describe, driving a lovely old Jag. And I made a note of the places on your itinerary which we missed.
Your words bring back some nice memories.
Because the Jag was such a pleasure to drive, We too hadn't considered buying a Tesla until we drove one. There was no question about the decision.
It's 36 degrees outside and soggy snow is falling here in Western WA right now. As I read your post, I really want to jump into our Model S and head for Sedona. But my wife took it to work.
While in Sedona, I hope you visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross. And to all you MS owners who may enjoy the stunning cliff side views of the Chapel, regardless of your faith pause for a moment and say a few little prayers. One of thanks for your Model S and the people who made it happen. One for safe travel for everyone on the road. One for all of our fellow inhabitants of this fragile planet, that we take care of it. So that we can continue to enjoy places like Sedona.
Keep the travelogue coming. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

sbeggs | 25 novembre 2015

Thanks, @NKYTA for your nice comments and recommendations! Travek safely over Thanksgiving ...

sbeggs | 26 novembre 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone and everyone celebrating today...

Weather in Sedona is holding at overcast with temps in 50s F.

Most severe snow and ice conditions are to the north and much further east of here. Travel safely out there!

Tomorrow we'll head south to Tucson.

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