Road Trip Outtake: Remote Mitchell, Oregon (pop. 130) Has a Tesla Charging Station But No Gas Station – A Portend of the Future?

We got home Friday night after a seven day tour of Eastern Oregon in the van. It was superb, exceeding our expectations every day thanks to perfect mild fall weather, Oregon’s endless tapestry of mountains, deserts, lakes, and hot springs, and the comforts of the Promaster van. I will try to get up a bit of a travelogue in the next few days; today I was pretty tied up cleaning out a layer of very fine dust that accumulated on every surface in the van thanks to many miles of back country dirt roads.

But I had to share this with you, which occurred on our first morning after a serene night somewhere off a forest road in the Ochoco mountains, in Central Oregon. We spotted the charming little hamlet of Mitchell on the other side of a stream off highway 26, and decided to pull in and stretch our legs. I noticed (but failed to shoot) the former gas station, which was now a rock shop. And a few more buildings down, I spotted this little…whole in the wall, and took a shot. I was framing my shot and didn’t even notice the Tesla sign, which Stephanie pointed out. What the…? A joke, surely. But then I walked around to the side of the building…

There on a recently built kiosk were a pair of chargers. For real?

Yes, for real. And I specifically noted the junction box and conduit that fed them. Wow; I would never have expected this.

Curiously, I now went to Tesla’s charging location map, and Mitchell (in the center of this screen shot) does not show up as a destination charger location. These are lower power charging station being installed in an ever larger number of hotels and such. More mystery. But there it is, and it’s not a fake.

Looks like that’s the brand new meter box that feeds it too, via an underground conduit.


And I did notice this Halloween decoration in front of the Tiger Town Brewery, which is clearly catering to visitors from the Bend area, about 85 miles to the east. So maybe the charging station is an effort to cater to the rapidly growing number of Teslas to be seen in upscale Bend. In fact, the only other car we saw at one trail head up on Mt. Paulina on our last trip was a dusty Tesla. Offer them juice, and they will come, hopefully.

As a parting shot, here’s the heart of Mitchell, about four buildings up from the Whole In The Wall.