Victoria BC to Valemount BC
What a week! My life has rarely been this chaotic. After a marvelous Send-Off from Mile Zero including two TV interviews (Thank you, CTV and CHEK!) and a beautifully quiet electric car convoy to the ferry, we spent some time with family in Vancouver BC. I had ‘reserved’ two days just in case the Vancouver media would be interested in our 100% electric adventure as well, but it wasn’t so; maybe a good thing, since Rolf and I were really sick with a cold. Regardless, we went to the Tesla Social on Sunday and also showed our car in Panorama Park, Deep Cove/North Vancouver the same day. Thank you, Bruce, for joining us with your Model S for this impromptu Vancouver EV Association Show & Tell!
On Wednesday, we drove to Chilliwack to stay with friends from Rolf’s model glider days. Arend was world champion in F3J glider competition two times and Rolf managed a bronze medal for Canada with Arend’s help a few years back. That evening, Arend enjoyed flying our drone instead. Our visit led to a very interesting talk with Arend’s friend and neighbour, who uses a windmill to power his airtools. Rolf took a video, so I won’t go much into it. Now Rolf just needs to find the time for the video editing, but he’s busy with our ‘Clearwater weekend’, so who knows when he gets to it. Time is something we didn’t have much this first week. We’re already way behind with documenting… You can either be social in person or social online, but we haven’t found a way to combine the two yet. It’s all pretty new to us! Did I mention chaotic?! 😉
After Chilliwack, we enjoyed an evening with Andy, Jody, David, Jamie and little Duncan in Kamloops, before another Meet-up at the Kamloops Supercharger the next morning, for which CBC joint us for an interview, and continuing on to Clearwater. (Thank you, CBC!)
In Clearwater, we spent a wonderful two days with Andy, Jody and little Duncan, their 5 months old puppy, at the KOA Clearwater Campground. Kye and Duncan hit it off superbly! They just played and played and played. Our all-electric trip into Wells Gray Provincial Park and hikes to the various stunning waterfalls made for some tired and happy doggies! And adults, too! 😉 Check out the Clearwater/Wells Gray Photo Album on Facebook for our photos (you don’t have to have a Facebook account to do so). Looks like Rolf and I got really excited about all the flowers and plants we found along the way… Who would have thought that an iPhone can take such amazing photos!?! Also, in one of the parking lots Rolf happened to do another interview. He talked to Johann, who was selling real Belgium Sugar Waffles and also makes artisan chocolate. He’s planning to install solar panels on his house and do his chocolate promotion tours in a Tesla Model S at some point in the future. Again, more about that in Rolf’s video.
One problem we ran into at this, our first campground: The TT-30 adapter that Rolf got for the 30Amp charging outlets didn’t work! Luckily, we were allowed to charge our car at a 50Amp outlet with the NEMA adapter while Rolf, the engineer, fixed the TT-30 adapter at the same time.
While in Clearwater, we started to worry about two things: How would we get from Clearwater to Valemount and again from Jasper to Banff, both distances being more than 200km?! Our previous, very recent experience towing our camping trailer – we only got our Model X two weeks ago! – left us a little dismayed about the reduction in range from 415km on a full charge without the trailer to 220km with a trailer. We actually panicked a little, asking for feedback on Facebook with regard to possible charging stations between Jasper and Banff for next week. I had picked that route without taking charging stations into consideration, just because I wanted to go to both parks. Women, right?!! 😉 Now we had to make sure we could actually do it. The distance between our two campgrounds, Whistlers in Jasper and Lake Louise in Banff, is going to be 231 km, with no charging station in between.
Luckily, this most recent trip from Clearwater to Valemount showed us that we can make it further than 220km after all! Even with a 400m climb over 196km, we arrived with 27% battery charge left by going 70km/h without air conditioning (not required anyway) and on range mode. Some tail wind on the last stretch probably helped us along as well. At 70km/h, we had to let all other vehicles pass us, but at the same time were able to enjoy this stunning scenery a lot more. We use the App InRoute to determine elevation, precipitation and wind, all of those having an impact on an electric car’s range. InRoute shows you the predicted temperature on a pre-set route as well, but this time of year we’re not really worried about temperature.
Once arrived in Valemount, we chose Canoe River Campground because it has 50Amp outlets along the scenic river, so we were able to combine beauty with practicality, something that doesn’t often go together. Turned out that the 50Amp outlet only had a 30Amp breaker, so we had to reduce our charge, but it was still enough to charge the car over night.
Today now is the first day in a while that we actually have time. We’re staying one more day and now Rolf is in the trailer doing his video editing, while I’m sitting in a camping chair outside, laptop on my legs, dog at my side, happily typing away on this blog post while the river is rushing along right beside me. Oh, how I missed this kind of camping! Slowly now, things are falling into place. We’re getting a grip on the much tighter than used to space in the camping trailer. We downsized from a 24 feet motorhome to a 17 feet camping trailer after all! We are also getting more confident in our electric car’s range. Feels good!