LA to Chicago: Day 4

Oklahoma City to Fairview Heights, IL

I should mention that I have driven across the country a few times in the past. In fact, I’ve driven the exact reverse trip from the West Chicago suburbs to Phoenix twice — once in 1980 and again in 1995. Then there was NYC to L.A. in late 2000 with two toddlers in the backseat. No stranger to the long distance road trip, me. For 16-year old H, this is his first car trip longer than an hour or two. It’s a completely new adventure for him.

And while I’ve driven extensively around the U.S. and Western Europe, driving in a Tesla is also a new adventure. When you drive an ICE vehicle, you have to calculate for gas fill-ups along the way. However, the ubiquitousness of gas stations makes it pretty easy to figure a route. For the most part you can leave it to guesswork as to when and where you’ll fill up next. With the Tesla, not so much.

Tesla has a handy trip planner that helped me plan our drive, but it doesn’t factor in things like extra stops and cold weather. The Tesla battery doesn’t enjoy the cold, so our range would get reduced and charging would take a little longer. Thankfully, it was a balmy 70-80 degrees and sunny all the way to Missouri. Not too bad for March. And while I had a solid plan about where to charge along the way, there were a few times where I got a little nervous that we would make it. So far, so good.

Tesla charger with Kum & Go gas statiin sign in the background
Supercharger in Joplin, MO. Gas prices? What gas prices?

The original plan was to stop in St. Louis. However, I did some reconfiguring, adjusting for food proximity and Tesla supercharger vectors, and came up with something just across the mighty Mississippi in Fairview Heights, IL.

I mentioned to H that our oldest got a trip with me to NYC when he was 14, our daughter went with me to St. Louis several years ago, so this was H’s Big Trip With Me. He’s been the Spotify DJ the whole time. He created a few playlists organized by state, but those played out and he had to go rogue. Which was pretty cool because he got to share his favorite bands with me and I’m all about new music that may be headphone-worthy. I also got to share my favorite albums and songs with him. We listened to Born in the USA all the way through, as well as Bodeans’ Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams. H turned me onto Refused and Neurosis, and rekindled my love for Modest Mouse.

As we approached Missouri things got greener — and colder. There was a minor incident at a Fairview Heights Chipotle where a man got extremely angry at the “wrong” server making his food. It was weird. But since we’ve been watching Breaking Bad together, H got to make an apt reference saying, “That guy went all Tuco Salamanca on her.” Heh.

He also got to see the glory of the St. Louis Arch. I think it’s actually easier to see at night, and he was thrilled by it. I wish we had more time to stay and explore, but we have to get to Chicago to take care of stuff like our 1966 VW Beetle that we had shipped.

This is our last night stay before we arrive in our new home. Weeeeeeee!

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

Or, skip to Day 5.


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