Going counterclockwise is a challenge in that its just under 230 miles to the DC in Port Angeles. This was my original plan but I quickly realized that even if the LEAF could make it in horrid Winter conditions without stopping, I could not. So the trip has morphed into checking out the various level 2 stops. So the plan is now evaluating the "stop worthiness" of the locations and amenities. Distance off route is how much was added by stopping as opposed to not stopping. Some instances will have a different route in and out so this can vary depending on your direction of travel.
The plan was to plug into the home EVSE the night before and leave early with 100%. The weather forecast was predicting very heavy rain thru out the entire peninsula so driving could be challenge depending on how hard the rain came. Flooding is a major risk as the 101 is where all the flood swollen rivers of the Olympics will be draining.
But I have never charged the E Plus at home and unfortunately that was still true when I awoke the morning of the trip. I plugged in immediately then debated whether I should cancel and do it another day. But part of the challenge was seeing the range in the least desirable conditions and we don't always get storm systems this large so, I decided to go for it.
Since I would be plugging into several level 2's on or near the route, I figured 98% was close enough. Besides the charge rate had dropped below 10 amps. I don't use the GOM for trips like this (or ever really) so...
Leaving Olympia, I was immediately deluged with rain. Rain was so hard that hydroplaning became an issue slowing my speeds to 50-55 mph on the 60 mph highway. This continued until I crossed the hill and began the descent into Aberdeen.
Quinault Beach Resort and Casino. Ocean Shores, WA
Although Aberdeen has a couple level 2 options, I don't consider either a viable option for a stop. Both are detours off the route. If headed south towards Long Beach then maybe but not for this trip. The Casino I have actually been to a few times including in my 2011 LEAF while camping near by. They have a very worthy buffet. It is a significant detour off the route but because its a meal stop, most of the range used will be recovered. But a few miles before the turn off at Hoquiam, I learned the buffet was closed on Thursdays. Guess they are closed 3 days a week. Well, it is a beach resort so definitely the slower time of the year for them.
24.3 miles off route
Amenities; Great food options, Beach you can both drive and walk on. Its a resort touristy trap of a place. Easy to spend a few hours here.
Lake Quinault Lodge, Quinault WA
No app required.
The rain respite was brief. As I exited town, the rain returned. A bit slower than before and puddles were minimal. I think it was more due to the road design. I was now paralleling the coast on a road that was once mostly traveled by logging trucks. Even today, they were the predominant vehicle on the road. Thankfully traffic was very light.
Unfortunately the weather again turned dramatic as I approached the lodge. By the time I got there, it was again back to monsoon conditions. It is a short detour off the route on a very twisty narrow road where speed limits dropped to 20 mph as I got close. The place is quite picturesque but the weather was not agreeing. The lodge was right on the road with the stations in back situated for easy access to guests at the lodge and cabins. Thankfully, no app required so it was jump out, plug in and jump back into the car.
4.5 miles off route
Charge time; 17 min. 1.75 kwh received
Amenities; There is a few shops, museum, and a restaurant to visit. The lodge sits on a wide spot (actually its very narrow but speed limit is 20 so...) about a block in length. Easy place to kill an hour.
Kalaloch Lodge Forks WA
No app required
Leaving Lake Quinault, I turned back towards the Pacific and the rain "seemed" to subside a bit. Although Kalaloch Lodge lists Forks as its location, it is quite a ways from town. Situated on the coast, it promised some great views and it did not disappoint. The rain was still coming down but not as badly so I ventured out for pix. But then again, it was near gale force winds so maybe the sideways rain just "seemed" more endurable? The chargers were located well off the road at least 200 yards from the Restaurant. They were situated among dozens of cute little duplex cabins. Each cabin had a kitchenette with fridge, no stove but small table, couches and a bed. A short walk from the chargers there was a gazebo like structure with informational plaques on it in front of a short trail that led to the beach below. Easy to spend hours here exploring the beach or grabbing a meal. Despite the short walk, I still got rather soaked so the rain was coming down harder than I expected.
Both the restaurant and store were too far to walk in these conditions so I decided I had enough charge, unplugged and drove up to use the bathroom.
There was no rain here so I leapt at the chance to stretch my legs and returned to the car... 2 minutes late. Oh well. Might as well get used to paying. Its only a few weeks away.