Captain Safety Says…
We are moving this week! Our movers load up our truck on Friday and we will be driving across the country beginning on Saturday. We have been getting quite a lot of advice on how to travel across the country safely during winter. My brother, Jason, is the most vocal about his concern. However, my brother is vocal about all of his thoughts, so this is really no surprise to anyone. Extroversion and aggressive expressiveness runs in my side of the family (it’s not just me). We grew up at my grandmother’s kitchen table surrounded by our mother and her three sisters and we learned that conversation is a competitive sport. We learned that our voices were valued, but if we had something to say, nobody was going to politely wait for us to say it.
Anyone who knows Jason gets the irony of me calling him “Captain Safety.” He’s always been the most likely to blow something up, break something, hurt himself, or get electrocuted. Now, the electrocution thing wasn’t his fault and also runs in the family, so I can’t be too hard on him on that one. And, he was working on my house, so it’s kind of my fault. What I heard was my brother yelling and flying across the kitchen and a ladder crashing to the floor and him getting up and saying, “The $@*&ing green wire is NOT supposed to be hot!!!” I remember the first time I tried to electrocute myself. I was 3 years old and put a Christmas tree hook in an electrical plug. I think that’s why my hair is still “naturally” curly. I also remember the last time I tried to electrocute myself. We keep a pair of scorched scissors in the house that I tried to use to repair a lamp to remind the kids to help me when I ask instead of waiting for me to try to electrocute myself again. “Don’t make me get my scissors.” Okay, so I am definitely not Captain Safety. And, you probably see why the people around me have some concerns.
My brother’s primary concern is that we’re driving my Tesla, Kirby, across the country. Honestly, this is everyone’s concern. Somehow, driving a vehicle that takes gas and having to go gas station to gas station across the country doesn’t worry people. But, the idea of going SuperCharger to SuperCharger across the country is not as common and seems scarier to people. I guess if we “run out of gas” along the side of the road, we can’t just get a gas can and fill up. I have no intention of running out of charge. I have NEVER, ever, ever, even once in my life, run out of gas. And, I have no intention of becoming irresponsible about my vehicle’s safe range now. Because stranding my Tesla by running down the battery isn’t even a possibility I have ever considered, I don’t even know what you’d do in that situation. So, I looked it up. And, I laughed out loud at what I found.
If you do happen to run out of charge on the side of the road, you have to call a flatbed tow truck to tow you to the nearest charger. Lol. Okay, that’s even more motivation not to let that happen. But, I am not alone in this commitment. My Tesla, with some artificial intelligence survival like programming, really, really, really does not want to let me run out of charge. First off, there are about three times as many superchargers along our route as we will need and the car calculates when, where, and for how long we should stop and charge along our trip. Additionally, the car will notify us if we’re leaving the range of known chargers and strongly recommend charging or changing our route. If we try to leave a SuperCharger without enough charge to get us to the next supercharger, the car will tell us to go back and complete charging. When you get low on range, the Tesla recommends speed reductions (from 75mph to 65mph) to conserve range. I hear that it is aggressive with these recommendations. Kirby (supported by all the SuperGeniuses at Tesla) really is Captain Safety. So, with all of this support in place, I think that we can figure out how to navigate from SuperCharger to SuperCharger without running out of power.
But, really, that’s probably the least of my brother’s concerns. The rest of his concerns are born of his experience doing Search and Rescue in the winter in Oregon. He says, “Nobody plans to hit a patch of ice or a bad snow storm and spin out off the road and get stuck.” So, he has made me promise to carry the following things: snow chains, a snow shovel, rubber gloves, cat litter (I’m taking rock salt because I have some and I don’t have cat litter), ice/snow scraper, blankets, water, and enough snacks to kill us. I have also promised to check the weather and the roads all along our trip and to stay in touch along the way. We’ll stay in touch with you, too.