July 11 FedEx’d, Rochester, Buffalo and The Honeymooners

This is the longest we have been away from our grandbaby, Blaire.  We asked Lauryl and Neal to FedEx her to us for the remainder of the trip.  We decided to send her 5 day ground rather overnight in order to save a few bucks.

The charge at the Hampton Inn was not crucial as we had more than enough “miles” shown on our dash indicator to make it back to the Penfield charger, but the overnight charging gave us an extra boost and reduced the charge time needed at the library.For any of you thinking of EVing, and I recommend that you do, I think most motels have some type of receptacle that can be used for overnight charging.  You can call ahead and ask, and simply state that other hotels provide receptacles if the desk person seems unsure.

Back at the Penfield library, we had a comfortable, relaxing place to work on blogs and reading (remember that Deb has 40 books to review).  From Penfield, our goal was to reach a AAA Car Care center on the north side of Buffalo.  This would be our last charge before diving into the unknown of the Canadian wilderness.

While Deb was driving to Buffalo, I was fiddling with the navigation system in the car.  There is a lot to learn.  There are three ways to activate the system (touch screen, steering wheel and voice).  As I punched, poked and spoked, a screen came up that tells us the local price of gasoline at nearby stations.  I guess that is just for our amusement.The AAA Car Care center is a nice EV charging  oasis that has an “internet cafe” with free coffee and tea, allowing us to further catch up on e-mail and blogging.  The calm pace of the center was broken when Deb knocked a 3 foot tall stack of plastic cups over the floor, sending her and a couple of the staff into a frenzy.  I was sitting in a nice lounge chair to the side, sipping my coffee, and enjoying their slapstick routine.

We finished charging and left for Niagara Falls.  After all, it is our “honeymoon”.  I made a reservation at a Hampton Inn at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, and asked about plugging the car in.  They checked with the engineering staff, who said they would find some way to accommodate us.  We arrived in the late afternoon, and plugged in for the evening at a prime spot next to the building.We unloaded our things in the room, and went to the Rainbow Room restaurant on top of the Crowne Plaza for a gorgeous view of Niagara Falls. I informed our waitress, Lindsey, that this was our honeymoon.  I also told Lindsey it was the second marriage for both of us, to which Deb quickly corrected that we had renewed our vows.  It was a wonderful dinner as the sun went down with colored lights illuminating the falls, and the flashing glare of casinos lining the gorge.

 

 

July 10 – Canajoharie, Rome, Auburn Rochester

First, I have to apologize for not keeping this up in a timely manner.  I’m finding that if I do too much writing/blogging, it cuts into time where we are doing things, and if we do too much, then there is no time for blogging.  A lot of interesting things have been happening, and I’m anxious to jump ahead, but won’t.  You will just have to wait to read about the most recent happenings as I get them out.

July 10 was a “routine” day of driving a bit, charging/sightseeing.  We started off with a great breakfast at The Pineapple House B&B where Janine and Bill, retired middle school teachers, were our hosts.  We were just a day or two ahead of 500 bicyclists coming through town for an Erie Canal tour.  Here’s a picture of Bill as we finished packing and charging for the start of the day.

We headed for Rome, New York, which for unknown reasons, has a plethora of EV charging stations.  Rome is an old site where a number of battles took place during the French-Indian War and Revolutionary War.  This region was a strategic position as it was the portage from the Great Lakes to the Mohawk River (interior of New York).  Rome is also the site where the initial Erie Canal construction took place.

We selected a ChargePoint station near a nice city park and unfolded our bicycles and ourselves for a ride to a recreated Erie Canal village.  Luckily, the village was closed so that we could view the canal and sites without having a number of people from long ago following us around.

The Erie Canal significantly improved the efficiency of movement of goods between eastern locations and the expanding western boundaries of the US.  Similar to the telegraph increasing the speed of communication and decimating the Pony Express, the Erie Canal’s days were numbered almost as soon as it began with the rapid development of the rail system.  Our old friends Robert Fulton (on the Erie Canal board) and Peter Cooper (builder of the first American locomotive, named the Tom Thumb) were actively involved in these changes.

The ride to the canal in Rome was rather pleasant 4 mile ride, however it was mostly downhill, which means returning would be more of a chore…..and it was.  This was the first real workout for our folding Dahon bikes and us.  Based on passerby reactions, 9 out of 10 people thought the bikes are hilarious, and 10% thought they were cool.  But as you already know, seeking to look or be cool doesn’t really register with me.

From Rome, we had two possible paths for reaching Rochester.   Each path had only one potential EV charger, and the overall distance to Rochester, our end-of-the-day goal, made a charge stop essential.  One path went north of Lake Oneida to a town, aptly named “Fulton”, where a Nissan dealer was listed on the PlugShare site.  The second choice was to Auburn, just west of Syracuse, where another Nissan dealer was listed.

I called the dealer in Fulton, and based on his rudeness and hanging up on me when I asked about their EV charger availability, I decided to try LeBrun Nissan in Auburn.  Their response was much more pleasant, and so we headed to Auburn.  The LeBrun Nissan folks were great.  They helped us get the charge set up, and provided us with lots of information on Auburn.  We needed to return by 6:30pm for closing, which we did….barely.  Mike, the Service Advisor, gave us a map of downtown Auburn and some suggestions for eating.

Deb and I unfolded our bikes and ourselves again, and headed about 4 miles over some rolling hills into downtown Auburn.  Auburn is a pretty town with interesting architecture, a cascading river (the Owasco River), and nice bistros and cafes along its main street.  It was also the boyhood homes of William Seward (Secretary of State and of “Seward’s Folly” fame), and John Foster Dulles (another Secretary of State).  I’m beginning to think that anytime pundits of whatever era label something as a “folly”, that it is an indication of something successful.  After a nice meal, we headed back to LeBrun Nissan, and plotted our route to Rochester.  Thank you for the charge, LeBrun Nissan!Zeid Nasser, “TheCollegeDriver.com” website host, had contacted us about our trip, and as he lives near Rochester (he is an automotive engineer who works in the Rochester area), he told us of a free charging station at the Penfield Recreation Center and Library on the east side of Rochester.  We were hoping to meet with Zeid, but our delayed arrival unfortunately didn’t allow for it.  We charged for a bit at the library while making a hotel reservation at a nearby Hampton Inn, just to be sure the charging station was working, and figured we would return in the morning for a full charge.At the Hampton Inn in Webster, we found that many of the light posts in the parking lot had 120 volt receptacles.  That was a nice perk!  After unpacking, we connected the 120 volt charger for an additional energy boost.

And that was the end to a nice day with some fairly sore rear-ends from 16 miles of bike riding and site seeing.