Roadtrip to
Telluride, Colorado

in our Model 3

Mark D Larsen
August 19-24, 2018

Peak Experience
(Click to enlarge)

We took our 3rd extensive roatrip in Correcaminos, this time to visit my sister and bro-in-law in Telluride, Colorado. En route on the outgoing trip, we also took a day to tour Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and meander the highway along the Colorado River. I won’t prolong the introduction, but just let the following photos and movies tell the tale.

NOTE: You can click on the following photos to enlarge them, and the movies to play them.

We reset the trip odometer when we left, with a total of 6,255 miles on the car, and a 90% charge in the battery.

Here we are, ready to take to the highways.

Our first supercharge was at the Beaver, Utah, location.

This is how far we had driven, using 277 Wh/mi (3.6 miles-per-kWh) to climb to a higher elevation.

The display predicted it would take 25 minutes to recharge to 80%.

In reality, it only took 19 minutes.

Here are video clips of the drive to the next supercharger, in which you can see that the smoke from wildfire was obliterating the views.

The next supercharger was in Richfield, Utah.

We’d only driven 64 more miles, but knew that the next stretch would be longer and wanted to top up.

The display predicted 25 minutes to recharge to 80%.

It only took 16 minutes.

These video clips are when we were driving across the Colorado plateau to the next supercharger.

We arrived at the superchargers in Green River, Utah.

The town is apparently the “watermelon capital” of Utah.

We’d driven 125 more miles.

40 minutes predicted to recharge.

It only took 25.

The next morning, we recharged at the Moab, Utah, superchargers to do some sightseeing.

60 more miles behind us.

25 minute recharge prediction.

It actually took 26, the only time I have ever seen a wait time longer than predicted at a supercharger. I suspect that this particular unit was underpowered or faulty.

The entrance to Arches National Park.

I’ll just let the next few photos speak for themselves.

Here are some video clips as we toured the park.

In these clips I wanted to show how Autosteer and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control made the tour so much more carefree, relaxing, and enjoyable. I could actually let Correcaminos do the “driving,” while I contemplated the scenery and took photos and videos.

I hiked the trail to see “Landscape Arch,” the most impressive formation I’ve ever seen. It boggles the mind that its long, thin span stays up!

Since I had first seen the arch as a youngster, it had lost a big chunk underneath on the right side. I suspect that the whole span will fall before too much longer, and I am so grateful to have seen it again before that happens. It really is incredible!

More effortless “driving.”

Visitor Center

On the road to Dead Horse Point State Park.

Typical tourist trap.

One view at the Point.

Driving the highway and contemplating the Point. We were so discouraged to see that the wildfire smoke was obliterating the view. We then decided to drive up the highway along the Colorado River to visit the Castle Creek winery near Castle Valley.

The next morning I recharged again in Moab. We’d drive an additional 153 miles touring the area the previous day.

40 minutes predicted.

But it only took 30. This supercharger obviously had higher power than the one we’d used the day before at this location.

When finished, the 80% charge gave us 249 miles to drive to Telluride that day.

Photos of our drive to Telluride.

We took this clip to record the section of roadway in Norwood, Colorado, where I was given a speeding ticket. To read the irritating tale about being caught in that speed trap, and my subsequent suggestions to Tesla to thwart such traps in the future, see this post.

By mid-afternoon, we arrived in the San Juan mountains

My sister, Wendy, and her husband, Bob, took us in the free gondola to visit the shops in Mountain Village for dinner while Correcaminos recharged at the free EVSE on top of the parking garage. You can see it having its dinner in the photo at the top of the page.

Mountain Village photos. Wonderful area!

My sister is a professional equestrian, and this is the ranch where she stables her horses and gives riding lessons in the summers. In the winters, she does the same at another ranch in Mesquite, Nevada, near our home.

Calling her horses to breakfast.

A very clever homemade sauna built by the ranch owner.

I would love to see this horse cart in a Telluride parade.

The plaque says it was originally built in Oklahoma.

We got a kick out of the signs and cowboy humor posted around the facilities.


I was tickled to see one burro among all the horses.

More views of the mountains near the main street to/from Telluride.

These videos backtrack to show our drive to Telluride, but then jump ahead to also show the views touring the mountain roads near my sister’s home, and riding the free gondola to Telluride.

Here are two of Wendy’s pooches sharing the bed. It’s hard to believe that a Doberman and a Chinese Long-Haired Crested are both simply domesticated wolves —as is our Pomeranian, ‘Tisa.

We plugged Correcaminos in at the gondola parking garage again to top up.

They allow dogs on the gondola, so ‘Tisa came with us to the downtown area.

She wasn’t scared, but was a bit wary and wanted to stay close to us when so high above the ground.

Down we go.

Homes in Mountain Village.

Main street in Telluride.

Getting some lunch at a Mediterranean Cafe.

The sign at the “Gondogola.’

Going up.

When we got back to the car, there was a Tesla Model X plugged into the second free EVSE.

Driving the highways around the area.

The “Needles” outcropping.

We were delighted to discover that this was the very spot where Nikola Tesla’s AC electricity was first generated.

It’s a dog’s life at Wendy’s home.

We all drove to Ouray, Colorado, to have dinner that night.

They call Ouray the “Switzerland of America.”

Here are the odometer readings when we left Telluride to drive back home.

Since the electricity was free from the public EVSEs, we charged to 90% for the first leg of the journey home.

Scenes descending from the San Juan mountains.

When we crossed the border and were about to enter Monticello, Utah, I took this video of the impressive wind farm outside the town.

We arrived at the superchargers in Blanding, Utah.

I was glad to see that the facilities were powered by solar.

On the drive to Blanding, we had topped 7K on Correcaminos’ odometer.

The predicted recharge time was 25 minutes.

It only took 21.

More desert scenes driving from Blanding, Utah to Page, Arizona.

Why in the world the Navajo Nation is still running this coal-fired electric plant near Lake Powell is beyond comprehension. Why pollute and obscure the pristine views in these wondrous deserts?

At the Page, Arizona, superchargers.

We’d driven 202 miles in over 3 hours, and needed a good break.

The prediction was for 50 minutes.

Yet the charging rate was the fastest I’ve seen yet from a supercharger: 480 miles-of-range per hour!

The recharge thus took only 33 minutes. Wowza!

And once again, we had 248 miles of range with an 80% charge.

Scenes driving the highway along the Utah/Arizona border.

Near Kanab, Utah, near the highway to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We’ll be taking that roadtrip sometime soon, I hope.

As we got closer to St. George, a sunset started to blossom.

It expanded across the sky...

...and the colors grew deeper.

Here are the odometer readings when we pulled into the garage.

We still had 78 miles of range left in the battery.

I am more convinced than ever that Teslas are the ultimate roadtrip cars. Not only are they quiet, comfortable, powerful, reliable, inexpensive to fuel, non-polluting, but their Autopilot features make touring so much more delightful. We’d driven a total of 1,198 miles, using 269 kWh, i.e., an average 4.5 miles-per-kWh. Using the EPA estimate of 33.7 kWh per gallon, that’s the energy equivalent of 152 MPG —without all the fossil fuel pollution!

I can only shake my head at naysayers who then complain about the time it takes to recharge compared to filling a gas tank. Who do they think they’re kidding? Do they really drive for 3 hours, take 5 minutes at the pump, jump back on the road, and drive 3 more hours —just to arrive 20 minutes sooner than in our Tesla Model 3? Talk about bladder anxiety!

On this roadtrip our average “wait time” (ha!) while supercharging was 24 minutes, just right to visit restrooms, take ‘Tisa for a walk, clean the kamikaze bugs off the windshield, stretch our legs, get some drinks, snacks, even a meal. Correcaminos was usually ready to continue the journey before we were. Perfect! And the icing on the cake is that, if we’d kept our previous gas car, this trip would have cost us $205.46 for gasoline. The 7 times we supercharged amounted to... $36.30. I’ll take it!