Sunday, June 30, 2013

BC2BC: Here We Go!

Sabrina and I drove our first day of the BC2BC All Electric Vehicle Rally yesterday.  In total, we covered  340 miles going from Bellingham, WA into Canada (more on that in moment), and south to Cornelius, OR.

To start the trip, we stayed with Dave and Ilene Green in Bellingham on Friday night.  The stay with the Greens was such a nice visit.  They afforded me plenty of time to evangelize and promote electric vehicles, and stretched my thinking on other sustainable endeavors.  Sabrina and I had two fantastic vegan meals while at the Green's house!  

After putting Sabrina to bed, Dave and Ilene stayed up late with me to go through our 17 day itinerary.  There was a point when we each had our phones/computers going while searching for fun activities and sights to see while Sabrina and I are in California.  I am so excited to show Sabrina the Morro Bay Rock on the central-California coast.  Dave actually let us borrow his binoculars to maximize the viewing opportunities!

In heading to the Peace Arch Park in Blaine for the start of the rally, I accidentally ended up driving into Canada.  This, of course, is not a problem unless a daddy does not have ANY identification showing that the child in the backseat is, in fact, legally his and that they are not on the run.  It took us about 45 minutes to get back across the border and into Blaine.  The border patrol agent that we worked with was very thorough, and rightfully let me have it for attempting to take a five-year-old across an international border without the appropriate documentation.  

The start of the rally fun, as a few dozen EV owners showed up to show their support.  I was extremely nervous in those couple of hours leading up to the rally start, and sure appreciated everybody's excitement and enthusiasm to help keep my mind off of the challenges of the trip itself.  Sabrina and I departed Blaine at about 12:15 in the afternoon.  

The 13 hour drive yesterday was a definite haul.  Something that I did not expect was the comradery from fellow EV drivers on the road and the fun bantering with other rally participants all competing for places to charge.

Yesterday helped me realize that I may not be in this thing to win it.  Actually, last place is all but guaranteed.  This is fine with me because this trip is really all about the memories I am making with Sabrina (as I write this, Sabrina is playing with her cousins and uncle and having an absolute blast).  

Today, we will be covering less than 100 miles.  Every summer when I was a kid, my sister and I would spend a week at our Grandma and Grandpa Coram's house in Salem, and the highlight of the trip was always the trip to the Enchanted Forest.  I am sure that this will be a fun time!  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

17 Day Road Trip: Lookin' for Some Fun!

My five-year-old daughter, Sabrina, and I will be leaving in two weeks to start a 17 day road trip in our all-electric Nissan LEAF.  For as long as I have been licensed to drive, road tripping has been a favorite vacation activity.  Tanya and I have driven many road trips together, most of which were measured in thousands of miles driven across many states and/or provinces.

Traveling more than 3200 miles in an electric vehicle (EV) is certainly a new endeavor, though.  We own two EVs, a 2012 Nissan LEAF and a 2013 Nissan LEAF.  On a day-to-day basis, I drive the white 2012 LEAF and Tanya drives the black 2013 LEAF.  For this trip, I will be driving our 2013 as it has a much faster onboard charger for Level 2 charging.  Even with the faster charging, we will be charging every 80 miles, or so.  In Washington and Oregon, most charging will be done at high-output Level 3 stations that will have us back on the road in about 20 minutes.  However, in much of California, we will frequently charge with Level 2 equipment.  When that happens, Sabrina and I will need to find things to do for a few hours until the charge completes.  

This is where we need your help! Please share your ideas of some activities in the areas we will be Level 2 charging.  Also, if you know of a cool roadside attraction on I-5 from Blaine, WA to San Diego, CA or along U.S. 101 from San Francisco to Portland (return trip), please do share in the comments section at the bottom of this blog!  

What to do in...
  • Albany, OR
  • Grants Pass, OR
  • Weed, CA
  • Yreka, CA
  • Redding, CA
  • Chico, CA
  • Vacaville, CA
  • Hollister, CA
  • King City, CA
  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Santa Maria, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • Oxnard, CA
(return trip)
  • San Fernando, CA
  • Lebec, CA
  • Clovis, CA
  • Turlock, CA
  • Ukiah, CA
  • Willits, CA
  • Garberville, CA
  • Arcata, CA
  • Klamath, CA
  • Crescent City, CA
  • Coos Bay, OR