LA to Chicago: Day 1

Los Angeles, CA to Chandler, AZ

This is a chronicle of the journey my 16-year old son and I are taking from LA to Chicago. We’ve just moved to the West Suburbs and the last step is to drive our car there.

I wish I could say we are starting this trip bright-eyed, high-fiving, and ready to take on anything, Thelma and Louise-style. But alas, we are exhausted and sore from three days of loading a truck, and we’re ready to chill. If it were a movie it would be closer in vibe to Midnight Run than the aforementioned T & L.

And that’s okay. Because we are chill, and we’re excited on the inside.

We’ve stayed the last three nights at the Warner Center Marriott while we packed up the last of the house. I arranged to have a “room with a view” and it did not disappoint.

Goodbye, San Fernando Valley. Your mountains were nice.

After bagels and coffee, we had a little more energy. H cued up his playlist, which he organized state by state. That also helped wake us up a little.

Because we’re driving in a Tesla Model 3, we have an approximate range of 256 miles. That means the safest thing to do is charge before the battery gets below 10%, at which point the car starts telling me to find a charging station like right now. It’s probably not wrong. Thankfully, Tesla has a handy trip planner that tells us where superchargers are on our route. I mapped it all out weeks ago, and we’re following that course. It’s part survival and part geekery. I really don’t want to know what happens if we run out of juice in the middle of nowhere.

Today’s first stop was Fontana, conveniently located next to a Super Target. So we loaded up on snacks and drinks while Betty White (our Tesla) charged up. Before we got there, we got down to 22%, which is the lowest I’ve ever experienced. I was a little nervous, but I also knew there were other non-Tesla chargers along the way if it came down to it.

The dicey one was Quartzsite, AZ. We got down to only 12% before pulling up to the charger. I was nervous because there were no other options out there. It turned out fine, but you know… nervous.


Now we’re in Chandler, AZ and our next charge will be around the corner in the morning. Then we head to Payson.

Nights are Netflix and chill and, of course, writing this blog. And apparently and important part of our mission is to find a Mexican poncho for H.

Want to follow the trip in one convenient place? I made a page.

Or, skip to Day 2 –>


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