So far, we had driven Tesla maximum for 200 miles and it was working out fine. The grass was green and we were happy. This time we needed to drive 370 miles one way! We needed to worry about our drive!
I had two alternatives. I could take the most popular, LA to San Francisco route on Freeway 5 or I take scenic Route 101. Both routes have almost same miles for us. 101 is probably 10 miles longer. However, before we bought Tesla, most of the time, we chose to drove on 101 for our trips to northern California.
Freeway 5 has first charge at 122 miles from our home and then next one was at 77 miles. Normally I charge my Tesla up to 215 miles but this time, I intended to charge it to max possible. Not sure what was the max but I set it to 235 miles. Anyway, the first supercharger at 122 miles was too soon and the second supercharger at Coaling would be at 199 miles which would a sort of risk if we ran out. So the choice was to charge car at Buttonwillow supercharger. Then we had 188 miles to drive before we could charge at Gilroy. This also seemed a kind of risky. We were not ready to make 3 stops during our trip- at each supercharger on the way. On the other hand, on 101 freeway, the supercharger at Atascadero, 174 miles away, made perfect sense. Then Gilroy was 138 miles! This was within our comfort zone. Also, we knew 5 had more traffic. That meant that the superchargers were more likely to be busier. If possible, we intended to avoid waiting at any supercharger. From this perspective too, it made sense to drive on 101 instead of 5 freeway!
On 101 freeway
6950 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93422
174 miles (3 hours)
Gilroy Premium Outlets
Gilroy, CA 95020
138 miles (2 hours)
We had another stop of an hour at Gilroy. Wastage of time! I had no mood to make a stop as we were only 24 miles from our destination. However we needed to charge our car. We needed full charge as there were no superchargers or free chargers around Dolce Hayes Mansion. While car was charging, we roamed around the mall. Bought certain things that we really didn't need! Even though the superchargers were free to use, it was too expensive to spend one hour. So total 2 hours of charging on the way. Most other relatives who started around same time from LA region had reached the Dolce Hayes Mansion faster then us. They were probably in slower cars but they reached the destination earlier than us. So another lesson: Tesla is a fast car but it would not take you to your destination faster than any other regular car!
Anyway, we made fun of Tesla on our way back. We were in a super fast car but most of our relatives had reached home before we did. When we reached home, it was almost midnight!