2.3 2022 07 09 A Good Day
The next morning, we got lucky. We drove in to Petro Canada at 7:10 hoping for a quick charge and an early start. At first, we couldn’t get connected. Then I wondered if it might be my problem, not the machine’s. I remembered that I got a new credit card since l
ast year. I opened up the App, deleted my credit card and put in the new one. Sure enough, with an up-to-date card, we connected. By 7:40 we were charging and by 8:45 we were off to Regina. A good start. Thank you Petro Canada, for having a Humpty’s attached to your station where we could grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast while we waited.
In Regina we got our first charge at a Co-op and repeated last year’s run with a stop to charge in Whitewood. In Whitewood we had two choices and started out at the Petrocan. For the second time, we found another person charging at the same time. They were happily getting a good speed of charge, but when we hooked up and started charging, it was cut in half. We had never discovered before that if two cars are charging they split the power load between them and each one takes longer. We left and went over to the co-op but didn’t connect well there. The charge stopped after 2 minutes. We went back to the Petrocan. The other party was finished, so we got our charge in good time.
We decided to cut our trip short and booked a hotel in Brandon with a level two charger rather than going on to Winnipeg. It was great to get a good night’s sleep.
2.4 10, 2022 -- The Kindness of Strangers
We felt very comfortable with the next leg of our trip. We had done the same route last year, and knew where all the charging stops were and the hotels. We settled into our hotel in Brandon and started checking out the route. By this time, I had figured out that you could not make any assumptions or you might be in trouble, and I wasn’t trusting anything to be just so. I looked in Plugshare.com to check our first planned charge at Petro Canada: Deacon’s corner on the other side of Winnipeg. To my shock, both units had been down for almost a week and they weren’t repaired yet. (I was so mad, I wrote Petro Canada a letter of complaint.) That meant we would have to go into Winnipeg to get a charge. At least there were two or three options (there were none last year.). We planned to go to the St. Vital Co-op.
Next we looked ahead for our boost in Kenora at the famous A&W stop from last year. To my shock, both of those units were out. (I later found out that Kenora had had major water problems and the A&W parking lot was flooded out.)
My thanks to Nicholas Oddson for posting the photo on the
Mid-Island Vehicle Association Facebook page.
But what how were we going to get across this leg of the journey to Dryden?! (Read consternation.). A charge in Winnipeg could not deliver us to Dryden without a boost. I began to seriously search the route between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay to see what was possible. To my great relief, Ontario had included two new Ivy machines, at Redden’s Store in Longbow Lake, and at one at Upsala, East of Ignace. So far in my experience Ivy had always been reliable, so thank you, Doug Ford. We left Brandon with confidence that we had a plan.
All went well at the co-op in Winnipeg. (They even had a couple of nice picnic tables for us to eat our lunch.) We drove slowly by the flooding at the A&W in Kenora and proceeded with confidence to Redden’s Store. We had 165 kms to spare.
We drove up to the chargers and tried to hook up. No connection. After several tries and no small anxiety, we telephoned Ivy to find out what is going on. (There was no point in asking at the store. Ivy hosts never know anything about the machines.) The woman on the phone was a good communicator and very knowledgeable, understanding and kind. She tested the machine from her end and said it wasn’t on line. It was still out from the Roger’s breakdown and hadn’t yet been reactivated. Then she was able to look ahead and tell me that if I could make it to Dryden, I could successfully charge there. That machine was running. Very helpful to know.
We had been practising efficient driving as we drove across Canada (rarely exceeding 90 km/h) but this was going to be our big test. It was 123 kms to Dryden and we had 165 kms in the bank. Was it enough? There was little room for error. But it was our best option. We decided to take the chance and drive to Dryden. After a while we figured out that we were losing ground because we were climbing. We changed drivers. I was the micromanager when it came to getting the most out of our mileage. We spent the next two hours driving around 60 km an hour when we were climbing and boosting the speed to 85 to get better regeneration going downhill. It worked. We made it. Our apologies to all the cars and trucks that had to wait till we could pull over on that narrow, winding, 2-way traffic road. We pulled up to the IVY machines at Mark’s Work Wearhouse and started to charge. It worked. Thank goodness. We walked down the street and found a restaurant for dinner.
Our hotel was waiting for us, and had agreed to allow us to plug in our level one charger for the night. This was one of the many kindnesses we experienced to help us along our way. It was a beautiful older log building right on the river and I only regretted that we didn’t get there soon enough to take real advantage of what it had to offer. The staff was so friendly, welcoming and supportive. But one thing I did notice, -- we couldn’t get the TV working. The hotel was still not fully operational after the Rogers failure.
We got off to a decent start the next day with a full charge.