1st Post-Vaccine
in our Model 3

Mark D Larsen
May 17, 2021

Correcaminos corre caminos
(Click to enlarge)

Now that we’ve both been vaccinated, we took our first post-pandemic daytrip to Las Vegas. Well… that’s not entirely true: toward the end of January we did drive there to take delivery of our new Pomeranian puppy, Moxie, but this time we planned on going to a restaurant and miggling with other people —something we haven’t done for well over a year! We needed to replenish our preferred brand of dog food for Moxie, only available from a pet store in Vegas, so this gave us a good excuse to put the pandemic behind us and enjoy ourselves in public, even if there are still paranoid conspiracy theorists in this country who are refusing to take the vaccine. As the saying goes, “you can’t fix stupid,” but we are relieved to finally be able to get back to a more normal routine in our own lives. Below are photos and commentary of the daytrip.

NOTE: You can click on the following photos to enlarge them.

You can see that we reset are trip odometer, ready to depart a little before 11:00 AM.

Correcaminos had 38,900 miles on the odometer when we left.

We set the navigation to take us to the pet store, and it predicted that our 80% charge would shrink to 38% upon arrival.

Unlike our usual trips to Nevada, however, we were going to deviate from the plotted route and take I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge instead of Highway 91, because DOT is currently repaving the that road.

Here we are starting to enter the Gorge.

This is actually the most scenic route, because the road parallels the river as it cuts deeper through the canyon.

Here is the narrowest part of the Gorge, right before the freeway leaves it.

The Virgin River then meanders across the plains near Mesquite, with desert mountains to the east.

Farther along it then empties into Lake Mead, near the ranches and town of Overton in the distance.

Nearly two hours later we could see Las Vegas in the distance, shrouded with haze as usual.

Nevada is an hour earlier than Utah, if you're wondering about the time on the clock display. You can see that we arrived at the pet store after driving 133 miles, with 77 miles left, i.e., about 26%, instead of the predicted 38%. I attribute this to taking the longer route through the Virgin River Gorge.

After purchasing the dog food and some puppy toys, we wanted to set the navigation to the south Las Vegas Superchargers because they are near a restaurant we wanted to try, the Lazy Dog, that allows customers to have their pets on the patio area. Unfortunately, that Supercharger was showing a “tool” icon instead of the usual red marker.

We decided to drive there anyway, even if the Superchargers were under repair. Sure enough, the display indicated that they had “reduced service.”

We plugged in anyway, but found that the service was not at all “reduced,” but charging at a rate expected from a 150 kW unit.

We walked across the parking lot to the Lazy Dog Restaurant. It was lunchtime, and very busy, but we didn't have to wait too long to be seated.

This was quite an adventure for Moxie, as she had never been on a daytrip before, let alone at a restaurant with many other dogs.

We’d barely placed our orders for lunch, when Correcaminos had finished charging to 80%, so I went back to unplug it. The price tag for the charge was $10.12, which was actually a lower rate (22¢) than the last time we charged there in January (31¢). I’ll take it!

I moved Correcaminos to a shaded corner of the parking lot and then rejoined Tamara to enjoy our lunch. It was delicious —better than we expected— and I now regret not having taken a photo of our meal. Well… next time!

As we left Las Vegas, we could see the huge solar farm that NV Energy has installed just beyond the northern outskirts.

The energy efficiency graph predicted that we’d arrive home with 28% in the battery, but I knew this wasn’t accurate, since we would again take the longer route through the Gorge.

Moxie had learned that daytrips make for long rides in the car, so she snuggled down in her seat to take a nap.

Tamara was also feeling sleepy, but distracted herself playing around with music streaming.

We could see that there were rain clouds over the hills ahead.

We passed Glendale, where there are now two CCS/CHAdeMO fast-chargers. I wish they’d been there when I had my LEAF, because I had to plug in to a lowly TT-30 outlet there when driving to Vegas in years past.

Moxie woke up after a while just to check out where we were. “Are we there yet?”

The rain clouds were growing more ominous as we drove.

We could see that they were thick to the north.

We would probably end up driving through rain the closer we got to home.

There was a bit of sunshine still illuminating a desert mesa as we got closer to Mesquite.

We made to Mesquite and were glad we weren’t taking Highway 91 on this trip, since it was clearly raining over that route’s summit.

Here is shot of the Casa Blanca casino, where we have attended concerts and had dinner many times before the pandemic hit.

A few miles farther we reentered the Gorge.

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the windshield wipers automatically turned on.

The rain let up as St. George came into view, although Pine Mountain was still shrouded in clouds.

Approaching our exit in St. George, Pine Mountain loomed above us in a rainy mist.

When we exited the freeway, Moxie sensed that we were close to home and could now recognize the streets she was more familiar with.

As usual, we took Snow Canyon Parkway toward home, and could see the Red Mountain behind our house in the distance.

When we pulled in the driveway, we had 47 miles (16%) left in the battery, just as I had anticipated because of the longer route.

We’d driven a total of 292.6 miles on the entire roadtrip, using 83 kWh. That calculate to ~3.5 miles-per-kWh, nearly what the EPA predicts for Correcaminos’ energy efficiency. No complaints from us! It was so great to get out of the house, spend some time on the road, view the desert landscapes, and finally enjoy a meal at a restaurant again. We’re looking forward to many more trips in the near future. Maybe we’ll even pull out our tiny camping trailer and spend a few days in nature!