A few states remained in the upper midwest and I set about visiting them before the next major move in this road trip. From Dayton I proceeded north to the Toledo area and spent the night. Radar images on my computer revealed a cold front about to overtake Toledo that evening, but the rain didn’t look intense enough to generate hail, and so I didn’t sweat it. Normally, I would look for covered parking such as covered mall parking or airport parking, but the Toledo area offered none. With a bit of looking around, I came up with a list of future hideouts if hail was a possibility. Remember that the Tesla is an aluminum car are should be protected from major hailstorms.
Hail Hideouts in Smaller Towns:
* Gas stations (most have the refueling area covered)
* Car washes (hey, I would pay for a self-wash as the storm approached)
* Bridge overpasses
* Evasive maneuvers- If you can pull up radar images that update regularly (Wunderground.com, for example) , you can drive north or south and find a weak spot in the line
With no desire to catch up with the cold front as it pushed east the next day, I chose to remain in Toledo and blog away. It was also my first opportunity ever to see a 3D movie (Everest). Right after the show, Iceman and I pushed north about 15 miles to cross the Michigan border, bag another state, and then we headed back to the supercharger for a top-off and then dinner.
The next day I set out for Buffalo, a trek that would take me either north or south of Lake Erie. I chose south, but if I had it to do again, I would brave the customs procedures of entering Canada and then the U.S. because the route is shorter and it takes you right by the Canadian side of Niagara Falls (the better side to see the falls). Instead I recharged at the Buffalo supercharger and then backtracked to the falls.
My plan was to gather data points on my drafting tests, but clearly uneven terrain makes this task more difficult. One approach is to maintain a set speed for the entire duration of a leg and then grab the average energy efficiency with the knowledge the departure and arrival points are nearly identical in elevation (use evtripplanner.com for this purpose).
My impressions of Niagara Falls? I need to see from the Canadian side next time, the rising mist is cool, and I was totally surprised that the sound of the falls is so quiet from this viewpoint. Oh yes, I trust the experience would be better with the company of a beautiful lady, rather than my dog (no offense, Iceman).
En route to Buffalo, we passed through Pennsylvania, and so it’s 30 states down, 20 to go.