HI - I'm Got Plug? I'm a Mini E. That's an electric car being field tested by Mini. I have a few hundred siblings in the United States. We mostly reside on the left and right coasts where brave volunteers are pioneering with us. The volunteers are, for the most part, humans. You know; feet instead of tires, eyes instead of headlamps, pretty weird but they seem likable enough.

So, I am going to try to keep you interested with a diary of my activities here in the USA. I come from Germany which, of course, means I am very smart, good looking, fast, and thrifty.

Me on the MINI E E*Tour

Me on the MINI E E*Tour
All tucked in for the night

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

GOT PLUG? Chapter 6 MINI E E*Tour Post 12


@ 1300 hrs. to Nauna’s

We headed South and I got to thinking about my friend EF OPEC that I met few weeks ago at an “East Coast Mini E Meetup” at Nauna’s Restaurant in Montclair NJ. She let me drink 50 amp juice from her straw. Well, I guess Don got to thinking about Nauna’s whole wheat pizza. So we stopped in, said hi to Tom, who drives EF OPEC and own’s Nuauna’s, and filled up. Yum for both of us.


GOT PLUG? Chapter 6 MINI E E*Tour Post 11

2009.10.24 - @0800 hrs. to Gordon, Tracie, Lea, Aiden and Kylie’s place

Don and I broke camp in more pouring rain, drove to the Miller’s in Pearl River NY. No people were home but a pre-agreed passcode got me some 50 amp juice. Talk about nice people, opening their home and garage, to a pair of strangers. I did get to see Kylie; that always a bonus because humans can be hard to take after a while. They always want to be in charge - not once has Don let go of the steering wheel.

Anyway, the Millers are as nice as any people I have ever met, including Shawn, the kind Flying Doctor who checked me out before the trip.


GOT PLUG? Chapter 6 MINI E E*Tour Post 10

2009.10.23 - Woodstock NY, Bethel Woods, and the KOA

We left the campsite Friday morning and headed back to Woodstock. Don put me back on the charger and went off exploring. He told me about finding the spot where he and his pals circled five VW buses with about 20 people and camped for a week 40 years ago. He kept saying “what a long strange trip it’s been”.

When we left Bethel Woods that day we stopped at Hector’s where Don went in a had a beer. I was warned about people drinking beer and then driving me but I trust Don and didn’t really have much choice in the matter. It turned out really great. Hector, whose name is Jim, is a legend. Apparently 40 years ago he heard hundred of thousands of kids were coming up his way so he wisely bought up all the been in the county, hung out a shingle, and went into business.

When Don brought him out to see me; Hector said: “Pretty cool car, but can she peel out?” Don started babbling about torque but Hector wanted some action. For the first time that we have been together, Don thankfully threw the range thing out the window. He laid on my horn and my accelerator, and obliged him to the cheering of Jim and various afternoon bar sorts. Now they like electric vehicles just fine.


GOT PLUG? Chapter 6 MINI E E*Tour Post 9

2009.10.22 - Newburgh KOA - Thanks for the juice, and they even tossed in a bath.

When we cruised out of Woodstock, we headed for a campground. Don had bought a Eureka Sunrise 8 Tent for the trip because staying in B & B’s just didn’t seem in line with the Pioneer spirit. Well, he got his share of pioneering done that night!. When we got to the campground it was pouring and I sat there plugged into 110 with my headlights on watching Don trying to set up his new tent. I got to admit I was proud of him, it had a nice tight floor and a warm, dry sleeping bag. I never could understand why people sometimes love being wet and sometimes do about anything to avoid it; I mean why on earth would a person pretending to be a “pioneer” carry a portable garage to sleep in?

Anyway, I slept like a brand new car enjoying sips of 110v and a free wash.


GOT PLUG? Chapter 6 MINI E E*Tour Post 8

2009.10.22 - Woodstock Reunion - Thanks to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

“We are stardust, we are golden,

We are billion year old carbon,

And we got to get ourselves back to the garden!”

What a great run this afternoon. Don had a back-up charger location at Truckstops of America in Maybrook NY, but it was a nice warm day and we had a solid 100% charge from the Miller’s, so we decided to go for it. Two hours later I exited Rte. 17 with 4 miles remaining as I passed a sign that said Bethel Woods, 10 miles ahead. Oops.

I was getting pretty tired, and hoped Don realize the obvious, and slow down . Lucky for us somehow he got the message and we dropped to 40 mph. Then topography took over and saved the day on Rte. 17B. I was re-gening full bore down hills and creeping back up. I arrived at the venue with 14 miles to spare! I received a fine reception and enjoyed a 50 amp charge.

Don got me a great photo op and a nice newspaper article in the River Reporter available at: http://riverreporter.com/issues/09-10-29/news-minie.html .

There was a very cool tour of the Woodstock grounds, Museum, and performance areas for Don to enjoy while I rested and charged up. Although I was not part of it, I could see from my charging station Bethel Wood’s incredible solar lighting successes.


GOT PLUG? Chapter 6 MINI E E*Tour Post 7

2009.10.22 @ 1000 hrs. - Solar Breakfast at the Millers, Meeting 217, Kylie, & some people.

Upon my arrival at Gordon Miller’s home I am welcomed by a sweet, wonderful sign on the garage door, courtesy of Lea and Gordon Miller. Tracie and Kylie are home. Tracie is very kind, helps me to get set up, and offers Don a beverage and the comfort of a people garage.

Kylie is a bit suspicious and stand-offish to Don, and why shouldn’t she be? After all, humans are pretty weird and you should never trust them at first sight. Maybe it’s just a boy dog thing but much to my joy, she shows no attraction to my tires.

I’m all set in a couple hours, and before long Don checks on me, and off me go!


GOT PLUG? Chapter 6 MINI E E*Tour, Post 6

2009.10.22 - Morning Run Along The Hudson

If you like scary movies with happy endings, do I have a drive for you! Leave Queens NY in peak rush hour, take the Cross Island Parkway North to the Whitestone Bridge (just to get warmed up), and then hop on the Cross Bronx Expressway. Shoulders are for sissies and not available here. You are surrounded by Semis and Box Trucks. The road is more potholes than pavement. Tall, unfriendly buildings lean over you threatening to collapse and crush you. You know if you exit by mistake or in an emergency, you are pretty much dead meat. Every car on the road pushes you to get closer to the truck in front of you, blocking any chance of ever seeing a sign for your exit.

Then here is the George Washington Bridge with a great view of the Hudson River. Sometimes I wish my side marker lights were bigger so I could really take in the view. Suddenly the sun comes out, autumn leaves are in their glory, and I am running up a beautiful clear parkway alongside the river surrounded by trees, water, sun, and an occasional friendly Ferrari or Aston Martin that zooms by with their person giving me a thumbs up! On look, there’s a gas Mini full of smiling faces right behind me.

What a great way to start the day.