Day 5, On to Austin

Our day began, once again, with donuts.  Today we stopped at one of Texas’ many old, local donut shops.  It was Palace Donuts in Van, TX. The little shop was super retro, a little dingey, but the donuts were great.  And at great prices. Rob’s glazed donuts were only 60 cents and my perfectly sized, absolutely delicious, apple fritter was $1.00.  It looked and sounded like a Vietnamese family that owned and operated the donut shop. It struck me as fulfilling the quintessential American Dream.  Coming to America and opening a donut shop.

As we drive through the countryside, we are constantly admiring the wildflowers in the ditches and fields we pass.  They are mostly blue, orange, and purple. We have also been admiring the trees in all their spring green splendor. The trees at home hadn’t yet sprouted their leaves, but we’ve reached an area where they are all pretty much green.  It reminds me of the “spring green” marker I had in my Crayola marker set as a kid. Another field dweller that we have noticed is a lot more donkeys than one might expect. It seems about 30% of the fields we pass have one donkey in them.  Who uses donkeys these days? Well, thank you to Google, we now know donkeys are often used in fields to help protect cattle (and sheep, although we haven’t seen any sheep) from predators like coyotes, foxes, and similar. I figured it wasn’t for riding or for hauling.  

Our first charging stop for today was in a small city called Corsicana.  As we pulled up to the chargers we were totally surprised to see another Russell Stover factory and store just down the road.  Of course, we had to stop and get another photo and some more chocolate. While charging, we wandered over to the Home Depot, where we found that they sell tornado shelters that you can bolt down to your concrete slab (patio or what have you).  The one I took the photo in is supposed to hold 8 people. I guess, in a pinch.

While in Corsicana, we planned to stop at Petroleum Park.  As we were driving down a small side road in town, Tessie suddenly popped up a warning that the tire pressure was extremely low and we needed to pull over as soon as it was safe to do so.  We stopped right away and could hear the tire hissing out its air as soon as we got out of the car. What a pain! She’s too heavy to use a normal jack and spare tire, so whenever she gets a flat, she has to be towed via flatbed to a tire service center.  We started by calling Tesla Roadside Assistance. They suggested that we have an authorized tow company come out from Dallas with a loaner tire. They would then take our tire to the Dallas Tesla service center (with us following on the loaner, I think) and then we would have to wait hours or a day for the service center to figure out if they could fix our tire or needed a new one.  At which point we would need to give the loaner tire back to the authorized towing company. Now, Corsicana is about an hours drive south of Dallas (so in the wrong direction for where we needed to go today). This didn’t sound like an awesome option to me. I figured if the Tesla guys were just going to fix the existing tire, than tire guys here in Corsicana should also be able to fix it.  Ironically, we were stuck in an area with about 4 tire places within a 6 block radius. But, by now, our tire had completely deflated, so we would need to be towed to one of them. We called Texas Tires and they said they could try to fix it, or a replacement could be ordered and arrive tomorrow around 10:00 am. They gave us the number of a tow truck company that they knew had a flatbed. We called him.  Initially, he said it would take half an hour because he was at the scene of an accident on the nearby interstate. But then he called back a minute later and said his boss had let him go and he could come tow us. When he asked what kind of car we had, he had never heard of Teslas. Not exactly instilling confidence in us that this would go smoothly. It was a bit of a challenge getting her on the flatbed, since she’s so low, especially with one tire completely flat. Thankfully, the tire guys were able to fix the flat and put our tire back on.  We didn’t need to alter our plans and stay the night in Corsicana. Phew!

With Tessie back in commission, we stopped for lunch at Collin St Bakery.  We had charged at one yesterday, and I’d gotten a really tasty BLT sandwich on croissant.  I had another today for lunch, after which we finally made it to Petroleum Park. It was much smaller than I was expecting.  Just about the size of 2 house lots. It commemorates the site of the first oil well west of the Mississippi River.  They were drilling for a water well for the town and found oil instead. There were a couple other oil related pieces of machinery in the park.  We spent all of 5 minutes there. If only we hadn’t decided to stop there, we wouldn’t have been on the street that punctured our tire.  Ah, well. It worked out fine in the end. We arrived this evening in Austin right around dinner time. We have a nice room overlooking the river.

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