San Andreas Rift Zone In The Bitterwater Valley, Usgs Quad Section.

Surprise. Surprise. Range anxiety isn’t the sole province of EVs and their drivers. This hadn’t occurred to me before this weekend, but should have. I nearly ran out of gas in the middle of South Dakota—at night—once some fifty years ago driving a VW bug. I still remember the experience vividly to this day.

Fall 2021 Road Trip In A 2020 Bolt Ev.

At the end of this past summer it looked like the pandemic was finally winding down. In celebration, we planned a two-week excursion to Northern California and Southern Oregon in October to see family and friends we haven’t seen in nearly two years. We were vaxxed, boosted, and raring to go. The state of California had finally—after many delays—installed a slew of new DC Fast Charge stations, Electrify America had opened more of their Diesel-gate stations, and the weather was good. It was time to hit the proverbial road.

Rtemagicc Darwin Falls Via Ridgecrest And Return Jpg Jpg

Darwin Falls on the western edge of Death Valley National Park is a 3.5 hour drive from Bakersfield via Ridgecrest, California and the Panamint Valley. This requires one charge stop at Inyokern in a Chevy Bolt or equivalent EV. You can make a big loop by returning via a charge stop at Coso Junction. The falls are a two mile roundtrip hike. This is a trip in an EV that’s best done with an overnight in Ridgecrest.

Abb 150 Kw Kiosks At Coso Junction.

While we’ve had no problems with Electrify America stations elsewhere, their Coso Junction station continues to give us trouble. Fortunately, there’s now a Caltrans’ station at the rest area nearby so there’s some redundancy.

Baker Point Lookout Hike Is 2.75 Miles Roundtrip And 500 Feet Of Elevation Gain. 2021.

As part of our Covid-19 inspired exploration of Central California, we headed back into the Greenhorn Mountains of the Sequoia National Forest to reach the Baker Point lookout. The lookout is a two-hour drive from Bakersfield and a one and one-half hour hike to the summit.

The View From The Summit Of Saddleback Butte State Park. 2020.

It dawned on me after we’d returned from another 200-mile Covid-19 Escape that I hadn’t written a trip report in some time.

Our Bright Blue Chevy Bolt Following Our Guides In The Prius On A Graded Forest Service Road In The Greenhorn Mountains, 2021.

This Covid-Escape wasn’t as adventurous as most. It required an hour’s drive east from Bakersfield into the Greenhorn Mountains where we met our friends, experienced amateur botanists, at the Shirley Meadows ski slope. From there, we threaded our way down a graded Forest Service road in search of the rare Greenhorn Fritillary (Fritillaria brandegeei).

Chimney Peak Road From The Kern Plateau Looking Down Into The Kern River Valley, 2021.

Since air travel was prohibited during the pandemic, we took the opportunity to explore our region of central California by car. We dubbed these our pandemic peregrinations and used our Chevy Bolt EV to take more than 50 day trips from Bakersfield during the past year of the pandemic.

Rtemagicc Great Western Divide Highway Jpg Jpg

The Great Western Divide Highway takes you through the heart of Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Monument where the big trees are located.

Rtemagicc Ridge Route Map Jpg Jpg

This trip was an adventure that I’d thought about since I moved to California four decades ago. It’s legendary. Mythic even. And I never thought you could still do it until we visited the Ridge Route Museum in Frazier Park pre-pandemic. There the curator mentioned that there’s a movement to preserve the road that still exists and “some” still drive it she said. The implication in her voice was that we couldn’t.