When I saw that our friends, Andy and Lesley Peters were hosting a seminar to share their marketing plan, I knew we needed to go. The only problem? The meeting was the very next day, in St Louis. I sidled into our admin office, knowing they would look at me like I was crazy! But we worked it out last minute. Jessica and I bought tickets, booked a hotel room, and prepared to embark to St Louis the next day. Our impromptu road trip turned into quite the adventure and learning experience!
After a full day’s work on Tuesday, we loaded up the Tesla and hit the road. I was a little worried about taking the Tesla on such a long trip (it gets about 275 miles on a full charge), but we had planned out our route and knew just where we were going to charge along the way.
We stopped off in Normal, IL to charge up. We found the charger with no issue and plugged in. A fellow Tesla driver pulled up alongside us, and remarked, in what turned out to be an omen of things to come, “These batteries sure do drain quickly in the cold, don’t they?” We laughed politely and thought nothing of it. Although I’ve owned a Tesla for the past 5 years, I always seem to forget that everything drains the battery faster in the cold weather (the heated seats, the heat inside the car), especially in the winter when the temperature drops below 20 degrees, or even to single and negative digits with the windchill.
While the car charged, Jessica and I braved the 11F cold and found a place for dinner in downtown Normal. We ended up at Medici, which we recommend if you are ever down that way! Cool décor, great food!
We ate our burgers, (and I fielded a long call from a seller while chowing down on cheesecake! As a side note, they make their own homemade cheesecake daily) and retrieved the car, all charged up and ready to head to St Louis!
Well, once on the highway, we realized what that gentleman in the parking garage was talking about. The Tesla immediately warned me to stay below 70 MPH if I wanted to make it to our destination. Even following this warning, we soon realized that the counter for the number of miles we had left on the battery was going down much faster than the counter for the number of miles left in our trip.
We made it into St Louis around 10:30pm (with Jessica watching those mile counters nervously!) and sought out one of the chargers we had mapped out prior. Lo and behold, all these chargers were owned by hotels, and only available to hotel patrons (and of course our hotel was not one of these!) We hopped from one to the next, hoping to be able to plug in, and anxiously watching as the battery counter decreased. We were able to juice up on a charger just off the side of a city street, enough to get up to about 24 miles. We were trying to get enough mileage on the battery for us to arrive to the nearest supercharger, which was about 10 miles out of the city. We head to the closest public supercharger, which we found in a dark JCPenny parking lot. When we got to this charger, the battery life read 2 MILES LEFT! We were white-knuckling the whole way there!
But we made it! We charged up and then finally got checked into our hotel around 1am. We crashed immediately.
The seminar was right across the street from our hotel at the St Louis Ballpark, (Luckily! The cold was still bitter) and it was wonderful! Lesley and Andy shared a lot of great information that we couldn’t wait to get back and start implementing. I also got to reconnect with a lot of friendly faces! It made the whole nerve-wracking trip worth it!
We hit the road home right after. We charged in Normal and ate at Medici on the way back as well. This time we had pasta: butternut squash gnocchi and beef stroganoff! Definitely a warm welcome in the cold weather. We made it home without issue, all with zero emissions! (Which was almost worth all the hassle, haha!)