Eco-Trip Day 3— More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

Campground level-2 in action...

Campground level-2 in action, with rigged-up adapter.

Well, day three was eventful. I knew from my planning that there were a few places along our route where there weren’t any good backups in case we had trouble with a charger. One of those places was Altoona, PA, and when we got there this morning, the charger wouldn’t read my credit card and wouldn’t turn on. Hmmmm. Nothing on Plugshare within 50 miles, and we had 29 on the meter. Short version of this story—after a bit of rigmarole, we realized that there was a Nissan dealership just two blocks down with three level-2 chargers, it just wasn’t on Plugshare. But, it took several hours at level-2 to get back on the road, so we were running a bit behind. (I added it to Plugshare while we were waiting, so the next person might have an easier time).

Most of the rest of the day went well, until the very last leg. I realized about 20 miles in that due to a slight mileage miscalculation, that we either weren’t going to make it, or would be cutting it very, very close. Not a situation I wanted to get myself into, and I couldn’t slow down to gain some miles because we were on I-70 and it had a 70 mph speed limit. (It would be dangerous to go noticeably slower than all the other vehicles going 70+). So we pulled the plug (ha, no pun intended) on that plan, and stopped at a closer state park in Ohio. Very nice place, so it all worked out. My new 220v adapter worked well, but for some reason the level-2 charger kept tripping the breaker, so I switched back to the level-1 cord. The car will still get to 100% by morning, so that will be fine.

But, now we’re off schedule a bit, and in the middle of another one of those charger gaps. We’ll have to find someplace to charge between here and Columbus, but there are a few campgrounds between here and there, and a Nissan dealership, so we should be able to figure it out.

And, oddly, just like yesterday, the most frustrating part of the whole day was dealing with my new smart phone. I just got it a few days before we left, and I don’t find all of its features intuitive, which is a bit maddening when I need to use it to solve a problem. In fact, the other electronic gizmos were also causing problems again today, because we went to sleep last night without plugging them in, so halfway through today we had devices that weren’t charged up. Anyway, I think we’ve gone about 800 miles now, and should be getting close to my friend’s house in Illinois by tomorrow night.

So, off to bed, right after I plug all those devices in.