Vacation 2021

These pix & vids are in more or less a random order, so there ya’ go… 

I took a vacation from September 6th through September 24th, 2021 and drove about 3500 miles in muh’ 2017 Tesla Model X… It was fun. It was also very easy to figure out how to arrange my Tesla Supercharger stops so that there was never any "range anxiety” of any significance… 

The various stops along the way were (in order) Crested Butte Colorado, Aspen Colorado, Silverton Colorado, Durango Colorado, (and up to Silverton then back to Durango on the D&S NGRR), Tucson Arizona, and then back home on September 20th.

In Crested Butte, I met up with some of my widespread worldly pals and provided one of 3 support vehicles for the 45th Annual Crested Butte to Aspen Bicycle Tour. That was fun! 

Following that I drove my Tesla from Crested Butte to Aspen, picked up 4 of the riders that rode over Pearl Pass, and returned them to Crested Butte. It’s about a 4 hour dirve in each direction, over Kebler Pass via Carbondale CO, for those of you that would like to follow along on a map. Kebler Pass is about 30-ish miles of graded gravel road, and because US-50 is closed just east of Montrose CO for much of the day, is the “only” way to get to Crested Butte from the west… It’s a good road, and incredibly scenic, and it would have been my choice anyway, even if US-50 was open… 

Then, on the way to Silverton CO I drove via The Million Dollar Highway, from Ouray to Silverton, and because there was construction on the highway south of Ouray, when I arrived there at 2:00 PM, the road was closed, and was scheduled to open at 5:30 PM. I parked in the big dirt area as instructed, and cooked my lunch, and visited with many of the other peole that were parked there. Around 5:00 PM, I noticed that the local constabulary was having a chat with the road crew, so I moseyed down and inserted myself into the gathering. The Law was explaining how they wanted to move all of the cars and motorcyles up around the switchback, to clear the dirt pullout for bigger vehicles in preparation for the road opening. At the end of the dissertation, he looked right at me and said “You’re the guy driving that RED Tesla, right?” and I of course affirmed his observation. He said “You are the head of the line. Go up there and organize the motorcycles just ahead of you, and I’ll let you know when to go”… 🤣💖 Whee! So I got to drive much of The Million Dollar Highway with not many vehicles ahead of me, except of course, one of the motorcycles, because it was not very powerful… There’s a short section in the middle that has one of those portable traffic light things installed, where we all stopped for the red light, and I got out of my car, and walked up to the motorcyclists and said “Well, now I now who is driving the Practice Motorcycle”! They all though that was pretty funny, even if it was sort of at the expense of one of them! 

Next I drove down to Silverton CO, and stayed over night in The Wyman Hotel, in the Bunk Room. It’s a 10 person bunk room, and I was the only one in there! I can *totally* reccommend the Hotel, as it’s recently remodeled, and the staff is totaly great! Thanks Natalie! 

The next morning (Early!) I drove to Durango, and rode the Narrow Gauge up to Silverton and back… That’s 3-1/2 hours up, a 2 hour layover, and 3-1/2 hours back down to Durango. The train left at 8:00 AM, and returned around 5:30 PM. I rode in Knight Sky, the First Class car, and I suggest that you spring for that car if possible. The car attendent was Liz, and she is a Professional Foamer (for those of you that don’t know, a ”foamer” is a person who is *very* knowledgeble regarding trains and everything surrounding them, so much so that they “foam at the mouth"🤣… It’s sometimes used as a humerous drerrogative, but in this case it’s like, TOTALLY a complement because Liz knows *everything* about trains and geology and the history of the railroad, and I was the only person on the car that could come up with a question which “stumped” her… So… I bought Liz drinks at a local bar (The Office, in Durango, which I highly recommend!) as a consolation… She also got to drive muh’ Tesla and she took me on a beautiful Sunset Tour of Durango which was totally enjoyable!

That evening I drove back to Silverton where I once again stayed in my little bunk at The Wyman. 

Then the next morning on Thursday I drove south and headed for Tucson, where I met up with my pal Beth on Friday evening. We had Drinks & Dinner, and then on Saturday she drove my Tesla on the Mount Lemmon Science Tour. It’s basically a drive up Mt. Lemmon, with Narration and music playing from the Mount Lemmon Science Tour app on my iPhone. The Tour is super informative and fun, and I suggest that it would be great for you to to get the app, and listen to it, even if you’re not on the drive, because it would work as a “stand alone” thing pretty well, and you’d perhaps learn some interesting facts about the Tucson area… On that drive, it was 97° in Tucson, and 66° at the summit, which was  “Air Conditioned”!

And then on Sunday I started for home, via The Tehachapi Loop, where unfortunately, I arrived just about sunset, and didn’t see any trains… it was windy as all-get-out too! Oh Well… 😢

I got to drive up I-5 from Bakersfield to home, and once again, Superchargers are stragegically placed all along the route. Unfortunately, the Harris Ranch site was closed, so I didn’t get a chance to see the biggest Supercharger site of all… (100 Stations!) 

——————————— NOTES ——————————— 

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 © Howard Hammermann 2020