22-12. THEFT FROM THE CAR!
Not before we began packing the car in the morning did we notice our generator was stolen! And a multimeter, a mobile-phone and a blanket. We were frustrated and angry but could not do much. We left New Mexico on a biting cold, grey and sad day and entered Texas. As we now travelled without the safety of the generator we did not turn on the heat in the car to conserve energy. Along the road we saw the modern, industrialized feed-lots with giant feed elevators and KZ-camps for thousands of cattle standing neck to neck being fattened before the slaughter. Then endless fields with corn and cotton. The prairie was numbingly flat and the road bereft of bends. Here and there we saw shacks, rusty farm machinery and old cars. Small industry and farms were pushed aside by big ranchers like the Waggoners with their 500.000 acre ranch. In Amarillo we found Honda generators, but not with 220V outlets and the police in Clovis had not retrieved our Honda. We have to continue without generator or perhaps have one sent from Denmark. In the evening we had dinner at a historic bar in Amarillo on Route 66 with Elliot in the stroller.
Nina and Hjalte
21-12. ROSWELL TO CLOVIS, NEW MEXICO
20-12. BILLY THE KID IN LINCOLN, NEW MEXICO
19-12. TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCE TO CARRIZOZO, NEW MEXICO
The day began with hot baths at the Charles Bathhouse. With rubbery legs Hjalte and I walked up to the RV-park where we found Green Car fully charged. The camp-host had never before had a electric car visiting and he said we could pay $ 4,5 for the electricity and gave us the best wishes for the journey. EVs seems always to bring out positive reactions from strangers. We collected our stuff and ate brunch. The barren mountains to the East guard the huge White Sands Missile Range, site of the very first atomic bomb explosion in 1945. We had a break in San Antonio, where friendly Anne Lund from Denmark ran the gas pump and a small shop and cafe. Try her cakes - home cooked and a treat! She gave us coffee and electricity for the car. The sun dropped and it got very cold. A full moon shone over the desolate landscape. We had hundred kilometers to the nearest town. We scaled some high hills and could roll down for ages. But not enough. We had to pull out the generator and charge for an hour before we could make it to Rainbow Inn in Carrizozo.
18-12. LORDSBURG TO TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCE, NEW MEXICO
It was Saturday and in Deming town we could not find an open workshop with a power-outlet. At the city RV-park the host had gone. But there was power and we plugged in Green Car anyway and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Charging takes time so we also went for coffee and cakes at a cosy Christian bookshop. Three hours later we returned to the RV-park and Green Car was almost full, and the host, a tiny round woman, did not want any money for the power. We thanked her and continued into New Mexico. The day's goal was Truth or Consequences, famous for hot springs. Most springs were fully booked and we coasted up and down the town trying to find power for the car. We found rooms at The Charles Bathhouse. Nina and I brought back delicious pizzas to Ida from Bella Lucca and we had a great meal. Finally we drove up to Cielo Vista RV-park. It was around midnight and nobody was awake. We ran around with the voltmeter until we found a 220 V outlet and plugged in Green Car between the big RVs.
17-12. BENSON, AZ TO LORDSBURG, NEW MEXICO
With just 62% charge in the morning we had to take a long lunch-break if we should have any hope of doing just 200 km. The weather had cleared up again, and the air was fresh after Ida with a well-aimed kick sent our old leaking camp-stove to Hell, where it belonged. A tree had dripped sap on the car, but Hjalte got it cleaned. In Willcox we had a tasty fish-meal in a restaurant in an old railroad-car while Green Car got power from an auto-shop. One-street historic Willcox boasted Arizona's oldest functioning shop. Here Ida found a a smart warm cover-all and I bought a pair of Wranglers sewn with gold-thread. In Lordsburg the chain-motels could or would not give us power for the car. Instead we found a KOA-camp and had to pay for a small cabin and a RV-hook-up for Green Car. It was first time the owner had to deal with an EV, and we did not bother to discuss too much with him. But KOA should find a better way to host EVs.
16 -12. TUCSON TO BENSON, ARIZONA
Bookman in Tucson is a big bookstore where the owner Mike has put up free charging points for EVs, including the new standard-plug for electric cars in USA called J1772. The Zero-race EVs we met in Shanghai had also been charging at Bookman's a few weeks previously. It was a very well stocked bookstore with a good WiFi, but nevertheless we wanted to move. At the cafe across the road they laughed at our somewhat out-of-town appearance. The weather got much colder during the day and when we finally had enough power to leave Tucson the rain was pouring down. We said goodbye to Jerry Asher, our good helper from the Electric Auto Association. We made it to Benson on the I-10 and skipped the motels and choose instead a RV-place with a small cabin. Too late we discovered that the whole park only had 110 V outlets. And our generator was only allowed until 22 and from 8 in the morning.
15-12. WHITE TANK REGIONAL PARK TO MILAGROS, TUCSON
At first light we jumped out of the tents and saw the sun rise on a flaming sky over Phoenix. In this country of spectacular sunrises it was the most impressive. Green Car rolled down the mountain past the tall saguaro cacti. Down into sprawling Phoenix on wide freeways chasing trucks. Most of the land between Phoenix and Tucson is Gila Indian reservation. We stopped to buy food, but all you could get in the only shop in the little town was booze, chips, sweets and soft drinks. It was our good luck to find two big Indian women cooking food on the road. We got tortillas with beans and salad and later found a quiet spot in the desert where we could charge with the generator and have long walk. When the sun dropped a 300 pound police officer pulled up and told us it was illegal to make a stop off the road in the reservation. Also it could be dangerous. We were not far from the Mexican border. It was late in the evening when we arrived at Milagros, a communal eco-housing project just outside Tucson. Only to discover there was no charging for Green Car. Jerry Asher had invited us to the place and he gave us a nice room to sleep. He is a great EV-friend and has gone all over USA in his modified Toyota Prius.
Nina and Hjalte
14-12. QUARTZITE TO PHOENIX, ARIZONA
At long last the day arrived when I, Green Car, could start fully charged. Nina, Hjalte, Ida and little Elliot also wanted to be part of a fully charged team, so I drove them down to a truck-stop cafe where they had hearty breakfast. While the East Coast is lashed by snowstorms it is warmer than ever here in Arizona, up to 27 degree C. My dear passengers soaked in a hot spring in the middle of the day while I got a plate of 120 V. Later we all had lunch at Alice's Restaurant (the one from the film) - I got power from an X-mas decoration. Then I could work my way up a mountain to a park just outside Phoenix. It was dark and to be true I was running low on power. But we were all lucky and the ranger gave me a spot with 50 amp power and tall saguaro cacti next to our tents. Thus ended my best power-day in USA.
Greetings - Green Car
13 - 12. DESERT HOT SPRINGS TO QUARTZITE
At Sam's Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs we enjoyed the basins with the perfectly hot water all the morning. The road into the desert just went down and down. Green Car rolled at very high speed for hours until we reached sea-level. Then we crawled up in the lane for slow trucks. It was dark when we crossed the Colorado-river into Arizona and late when we found an utterly unromantic RV-park between two busy freeways. Here only Snow-birds stayed, pensioners moving south to escape cold winters back home. Power for Green Car was good and in the activity-house we could use a kitchen and heat some canned food. It was not easy to pitch the tents. The ground was as hard as concrete and Hjalte's and my tent had to be tied between the spigot and the car. Ida's tent don't need pegs. We inflated our mattresses and went to bed. The night was cold.