May 20, 2021
The penalty for having a nice time in Saluda and the Gorge was that we then had only two days to get home, a trip of about 1200 miles.So given the need for charging and time for eating, it was going to be pretty intensive.
On the other hand other than just driving until exhausted there is not that much to tell. But lets start with day 10.
We had another wonderful breakfast at the Orchard Inn and got rolling about 9:00.
We left the Orchard Inn with 100% charge and after a short run we started down out of the mountains. It was mostly downhill for miles. When we started down we had about 95% SOC still. We were getting 4.5 M/kWh for quite a while and staying at 95% the whole time.
Our first charge was in Commerce, Ga. We only took on 12 kWh because we had used so little charge and our next stop would be in south Atlanta someplace where there was plenty of back up. The first charger I pulled up to had a software failure as I watched. When I plugged in, I watched as it failed back to the operating system. Did you know they run Windows embedded? It explains so much. The second charger worked just find and we headed out with 80% charge.
ABRP picked the next charge to be at the Walmart in East Point, Ga (just south of Atlanta). This is the point where I started to understand why my wife seemed so discontent: "Another Walmart? FOR LUNCH?". Atlanta has lots of charge sites; so, instead I found a EVgo at a Schlotzsky's. This was great for me, I love their sandwiches. Sky was happy too with much better fare and much closer than would have been the case at the Walmart. It was more expensive, we took on 29 kWh at 50 cents each. But, oh well.
The next stop was the Georgia Visitor Center. I had to do some loop-de-loops on the interstate to use it, because it's for people entering Georgia, not for those leaving. But, I really wanted to charge here because: 1) it was Greenlots which I had never used, 2) it was free. It worked flawlessly by the simple procedure of following the instructions on the screen.
We took this opportunity to walk the dog. The visitor's center was beautiful and it was a beautiful day, we walked around much of the property giving Annie (the dog) a good workout. We took on 20 kWh for 0 cents per kWh (yeah, I like free). The brought us to about 80% SOC.
Originally ABRP suggested a stop at Auburn, but after our stop at the Georgia Visitor Center it said we should not stop there or Montgomery, but go on to Greenville.
The Georgia Visitor Canter is kind of the start of the great desert of DCFC of the south east. So even though it was not recommended by ABRP we stopped at Montgomery and charged. We had stopped here on the way out and it was a Sam's club. They were nice, even though we were not members, and let us use the restroom. This is one of the places I just had to pick the broken charger first. At least this one said it was out of service on the screen rather than failing as I watched. We took on 24 kWh at 19 cents each and were on our way with a little over 80% charge.
We drove to Greenville and went ahead charged again. We did not really need to but, because there were so few charging stations we wanted to be sure we could get to our hotel. While the car charged we went and ate at the Subway in the Walmart. I'm opposed to eating in restaurants in Walmarts or in gas stations, but we were very tired and did not feel like hiking around looking for something better. We added 27 kWh to get enough to get to Gulfport. It was a little more expensive (27 cents) because the car was over 50% when we started and it was billed by time. I did see an ID.4 charging here. It was a pretty purple color; it's nice looking car in general. It was sitting there charging at 125 kW with just over 50% charge. (I was jealous.)
We then traveled on to Saraland Al. We did not need to charge to get to the hotel. But this hotel did not have a charger and we needed the EA station in Gulfport. Just to hedge my bets I charged enough to get to to Mike Brunos HD in Slidell. We did not intend a stop there but it was a good backup. We needed a restroom break, but after that we set watching the My Chevrolet's energy screen. And when it said we would get to Slidell with 10% we took off. We only added 10 kWh at 18 cents each.
By now it was 9:30 I had been on the road for about 12 hours and I was pretty tired. So we just pushed on to Gulfport (another 80 miles or so). Here we checked into our motel for the night at the Best Western Seaway Inn. Sorry, I can't recommend it, unless you just have to stop in Gulfport with a dog. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't much. But it was two blocks from the EA station. It was 11:00 before we got settled in, I never even considered charging that night.
Google says its about 580 miles. ABRP says 590. My Chevrolet says 518. I would swear I saw 600 on the trip meter. I really regret depending on My Chevrolet to track my mileage. We charged a total of 122 kWh for $30.20.