Off the Grid: My Ride from Louisiana to the Panama Canal in an Electric Car

Off the Grid: My Ride from Louisiana to the Panama Canal in an Electric Car


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Off the Grid: My Ride from Louisiana to the Panama Canal in an Electric Car by Randy Denmon

The rollicking tale of a first-of-its-kind adventure—driving a Tesla through Central America.

Only a week after the nation’s newspapers were filled with headlines of the first cross-country trip in an electric car, two Louisianans slip quietly across the Rio Grande in south Texas in an attempt to do the unthinkable—drive a factory electric car across seven Third World countries to the “end of the road,” Panama City, Panama.

Without support and armed only with a toolbox, a bag of electrical adapters, and their wits, author Randy Denmon and his friend Dean trudge on through jungles, deserts, volcanoes, rivers, and crater-sized potholes, all the while trying to avoid the drug cartels and corrupt border guards that could mean a quick end to their adventure . . . and their lives. Through it all, the same enormous problem loomed daily: how to charge the car in such a primitive and desolate setting?

Despite the numerous setbacks, Randy never lost his sense of humor. Off the Grid is as much a spiritual journey as a physical one about two guys who dropped everything for one grand twenty-first-century adventure—traveling back in time in a car that seemed to come from the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510717398
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 811,145
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Randy Denmon is a writer and engineer. His novels have been reviewed in numerous papers and magazines and have won the Western Writers of America Spur Award and the Faulkner-Wisdom Award. A lifelong Louisiana resident, he currently resides in Monroe, Louisiana.

Jim Motavalli is the author of two books on electric cars, Forward Drive and High Voltage ; cofounder of; and blogger for Car Talk at National Public Radio.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

We're Off 1

One Day Earlier 7

Drug Lords and Federates 11

Don't Come 21

Latin Electricity 29

Out of the Desert and Into the Tropics 34

The Riddle of Mexico 40

Ancient Mexico 45

Second Thoughts 50

Highway to Hell 56

Topes and Potholes 66

Bouncing into the Clouds 75

Stranded by a Snowstorm 80

Land of the Maya 84

Crazy Drivers, Big Mountains 89

The Car Steals the Show 95

Southern Slimmer of Love 100

Guatemalans' Hospitality and Short Memory 104

Guatemalan Math and Bridges 115

We Ain't in Orange County 125

Fleeced or Robbed? 135

Poets, Volcanoes, and Hugo Chavez 149

Through the Lobby 158

In Mr. Twain's Footsteps 165

Just Another Border Crossing 173

Highway of Death 180

Gringo to the Rescue 187

Touch and Go 192

Redneck Engineering 199

The Real Jungle 207

Saved by the Marriott-Again 213

Sometimes You Just Have to Wing It 223

Postscript 232

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