Reporter& Farmer


Technology and me are not a good mix

You never know when or where adventure will find you.

The other night I was awoken from a deep sleep by a confusing noise that turned out to be the phone. Betsy and Josh were driving from Aberdeen to Sioux Falls in her electric car and didn’t think they would make it. She proposed stopping at our house, plugging hers in and taking mine. I could go to Sioux Falls the next day and trade back.

That sounded fine. Her car doesn’t charge quickly on a 110 outlet, but it would have all night. What was left of it, anyway.

They gave me a credit card sized device that would run the car, told me to call with any questions and drove off. I went back to bed.

By mid morning it seemed like time to go. I unplugged the car and put the cord in the trunk. Now, how do I get in? That was the topic of the first phone call.

There are so many other things I should have asked, but how do you know what to ask until you run into a problem? In Waubay it was time for a few more questions. But before calling I needed to figure out how to put it in park. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great car. But it’s nothing like anything I’ve driven before.

Things went well after that – at least for the next 20 miles. You should know, there was a very strong south wind on this particular day. Shortly after turning onto the interstate a message popped up that in order to reach my destination I had to drive under 80 mph. It’s not like me to drive under the speed limit, but I obeyed. Periodically other warnings popped up, each telling me to slow down another five mph. Grr.

Somewhere around Brookings a red warning said a charge was necessary to reach the destination. Uh oh. I talked to both Betsy and Josh. She said she’d send a tow truck if necessary. He said to drive 55 and hope for the best. I questioned whether 55 is even legal on the interstate and was assured that yes, the lower limit is 45.

Somehow I made it to the nearest charger, at a grocery store in Sioux Falls. Betsy talked me through getting it plugged in, then told me to look at the screen to be sure it was charging.

You know the screen you get on your phone when it’s charging after it has died? That’s the screen that her car had. It must have been that close!

After having lunch with my son-in-law I happily hopped into my own car, which they had thoughtfully filled with gas. The trip home was much less stressful.

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