Test-la: 1-day road trip from Tacoma to California with Tesla Autopilot

The plan was sound - get a good night’s rest, leave the house by 5 am, and drive to California. I wanted to see if Tesla’s autopilot really did remove the majority of driving stress on long road trips. What better way to do this than by driving down 101 and seeing some beautiful scenery on the way to Cali in one day?  

Truth be told, it didn’t start as I had expected. The night before, our tabletop game night went longer than anticipated, but guess what? My character went through some heavy life things, came out the other side a rank higher, obtained a flame bone klaive and was declared the alpha of our pack. Totes worth the missed sleep. 👍

We left home at 5:30 am, and got to our first supercharger stop at 7:30, in Vancouver. I must say, the first leg was not bad at all. I didn’t feel groggy, or like I had been driving for two hours already. We listened to our audiobook, my fiancé took a quick nap and after a charge up we were on our way, this time with Oregon as our next stop.  



We got back in the spaceship and launched. After a short 2 hour drive, we were in Lincoln City, Oregon! Plugged into a supercharger, set a 1 hour timer and got some grub at a delicious Thai restaurant. A little skeptical due to our last Oregonian Asian cuisine run-in which granted us a +5 food poisoning debuff, we will continue to monitor our health. I was worried that we were not going to have enough available in our nearby area, but Tesla has done well to inject chargers in places of business and food. Go Elon! 


Our last non-destination supercharger - right next to the cleanest Dollar Tree I had ever seen (Bandon, OR; props). I still didn’t feel like I’d driven for seven hours! Aside from a handful of manual driving takeovers, the Autopilot was the star of the show as I was hoping it would be. It’s outperformed many winding roads and multiple times I drummed the steering wheel gleefully while saying “good girl!” We left for last last two-hour leg of driving, with California in our sights. 

Before we got to our hotel, we had to stop and get some beach photos. No, seriously; Dorothy was drooling over the sunset so obviously we stopped to capture it. Look at these.

After our pit stop, we checked in at our hotel and got some grub at Pizza King, as exemplified by our very serious photos below. 

We finished up our food and turned in for the night. 

The road home was quicker (we took I-5 home) but still had some stuff to see before we left the winding roads of the mountain.  

And at the end of the 9 hours driving home, I didn’t feel drained or tired. It was the first time that I had been on a trip where the drive itself was the reason for going. Where have you traveled to where the adventure itself was the purpose of your travel?