Friday, July 31, 2009


My sister in Santa Barbara was celebrating her 80th birthday on July 30th so we decided to push the limits on 030. The first stop was Bob Smith Mini in Calabasas, a 79 mile drive. We thought that by leaving home at 9:15 AM would avoid the heavy traffic. Wrong! After crawling along a good part of the way, we arrived at 11:25. The Mini dealership is on the left side of the building and I missed the first driveway ending up on the BMW side. I was sent to the left side and waited my turn. It took 20 minutes to get to the charger located at the exit to the shop. Three hours later they took it for a 15 minute wash job, which was also appreciated. I learned where the coffee machine is located (on the BMW side) and that there is no restaurant within walking distance (take a snack with you!).

We were on the road again for the 67 mile drive to The Inn at East Beach, 1029 Orilla Del Mar, close to the beach and Hotel Mar Monte. Linda said they have hosted electric cars before and that her co-manager and husband Frank could get me hooked up to 110 volts. Unfortunately Frank was out until 8 PM and I was out until 10:00. The problem was that the ideal plug-in was a GFI and it was triggered by the charger. Oh yes, I then remembered that problem! Frank allowed me to plug into a non-GFI receptacle that was 25 feet away. Fortunately I had brought a 12 gage extension cord that did the trick. Also I learned what happens when you do not reset the charge voltage to 110 volt! The charger flashes "Charging Fault" and then does not work when the correct voltage is set. That was solved by disconnecting the 110 volt supply plug before it will worked. So, 16:45 later it had climbed from 43% to 78% charge. Traveling to the 80th birthday took it back to 58%. In 11 hours was back up to 87%. When I called back to Frank he reminded me I had not really said "Thank you for the charge". Oops! I did it then and promised myself that next time I get a charge somewhere I would properly express my heartfelt appreciation.

Back at Calabasas again on the 31st it took 3 hours to charge from 25% to 98% plus another wash job. The staff at Bob Smith Mini were very friendly and helpful during both stops. Leaving for home at 2:30 we were hopeful the traffic would be better. Wrong again! It took 3 hours and the charge was 32% upon our arrival at home 74 miles later. Climbing the 2 1/2 mile hill south of Camarillo had taken the charge down 3% per mile instead of the normal 1%. But that leg averaged less than 1% per mile. Interesting---

The trip could not have been accomplished with less than 2 nights in Santa Barbara because of the slow charge on 110 volts, the delay in starting the initial charge, our need to use the car while there and the hours the service is open at Bob Smith Mini. Except for the traffic problems it was a great trip and I was pleased to have the time available and the opportunity to make this extended trip.


  1. Congrats on such an epic journey. I plan on trying the trek from my apartment in Redondo Beach to our place up near Paso Robles some time this year (240 miles). But that will need to be a 3 day trip each way. Though it is through wine country so might be fun.
    -Jeff (#148)

  2. My wife and I have stayed t the East Beach Inn also. Pretty kool how it all worked out.