To Houston and Smithers

Determined to make it all the way to Houston before charging, I drove mostly at 50 mph. Plan B was to stop at Burns Lake, quite a bit short of Houston. When faster cars approached, I put on flashers, and pulled to the right to encourage a pass if it was safe. The leg to Houston required nearly 4 hours on the road, but the Tesla navigation program had finally given up trying to send me back to Kamloops for a recharge, and it calculated that I was gaining, not losing, expected miles of charge for my Houston arrival. I now knew I could make it. I used only 51kwh of my 70 kwh battery.

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The world’s largest fly rod stands in front of the Houston visitor’s center. Below that tree to the right of the rod sits a little blue Tesla.

Charging at Houston took over 8 hours because a typical public charger can only deliver about 22 mph of electricity. It seems every Canadian town has an A&W Root Beer and Houston was no exception. Iceman and I walked over and lightened their load of teenburgers. Canadians are typically friendly,and I enjoyed showing the car to several, plus a couple groups of curious German tourists. Shortly before my departure, council members from Houston showed up to get a photo for a story about my visit.

I had discovered a great resource for finding RV Parks both in Canada and the U.S.: www.rvparkreviews.com . Through this site, I learned of the Par 3 RV Park in Smithers, and phoned ahead to reserve a tent site with 15 amp electricity. Why not use more power for a quicker charge? Par 3, as with many RV Parks, lacked 50 amp hookups, and Tesla does not offer a 30 amp charging adapter for U.S. and Canadian RV parks. Instead, I had taken someone’s advise from a forum and ordered a 30 amp to 14-50 (50 amp) adapter, but I had been given bad advice and the adapter would not work. Thus my only option was the slower than molasses 15amp 110 volt electricity, which is the same as a standard wall plug in any house. Nonetheless, I needed less than 40 miles range at Smithers, and by the time I departed the following morning, I had a full battery.

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My campsite at Smithers. A grass tent site is a luxury for us campers, and our hosts at the RV Park had both recently taken a drive in a Model S when a Tesla rep came north for an event an at nearby location (WTG Tesla!). The tent is a 5-man Coleman and contains an enormous cot, cot pad, and plush sleeping bag. The combination is actually more comfortable than my bed at home.

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The mountains near Smithers are gorgeous and made me eager to drive that last leg to Alaska.

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