Arches and Canyonlands National Parks on Less Than One Tank

Ford C-Max Energi near Courthouse Towers

Ford C-Max Energi near Courthouse Towers in Arches National Park

My first road trip was a four-day Labor Day Weekend trip to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.  I’ve been putting a lot of “hybrid” miles on our new Ford C-Max Energi.  I haven’t been driving fast (almost always 65 MPH or slower).  I try to travel as far as possible on EV when the electric motor is efficient.  When ascending elevation, I use the ICE (internal combustion engine) and then let off the accelerator as soon as possible near the crest of the hill and run in EV.  I’ve also used the pulse and glide technique, using the ICE to gain speed somewhat faster than necessary, let off the accelerator a couple MPH and then let the Energi glide in EV.  Probably more than anything, I just sit back, relax, enjoy music and try not to be in a rush.

I filled the tank at a gas station close to my house on departure and return.  I started with a full charge with the C-Max Energi in EV Later mode.  I used the excess electricity when I thought the electric engine would be most efficient.  The trip was 564.2 miles according to the odometer.  The gas pump display stated I used 12.666 gallons at $44.95.  According to the C-Max Energi’s display, I used 4.1 kWh and 11.73 gallons.  The C-Max displayed my MPGe for the trip as 47.5.

I visited the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park stopping for short hikes.  My first stop was False Kiva at sunset.  It’s a classic photo location and it wasn’t a disappointment.  The sunset was spectacular.

False Kiva in Canyonlands National Park

False Kiva in Canyonlands National Park

I then spent the night taking nightscape photos at Mesa Arch.  I spent the entire night at the Arch (I slept for a hour or so without pad or bag on the slickrock, no food, camping gear, etc. – just water).  It was quite warm.  The classic photo op of Mesa Arch at sunrise was worth it too.

Mesa Arch at Sunrise

Mesa Arch at Sunrise

I spent the next three days with family in Arches National Park and the Moab area.  Every night I drove to the Windows section of Arches at night for photography.  There were a lot of other tourists and photographer’s there every night, but not as many as during the day.

North Window Arch and Milky Way

North Window Arch and The Milky Way


I love the many spectacular locations nearby on the Colorado Plateau.  Arches was quite crowded though.  One location near the Devil’s Garden Campground turned out to be a favorite without the crowds.  Broken Arch at sunrise is spectacular.

Broken Arch at Sunrise

Broken Arch at Sunrise

I’m getting to know the Energi better.  I really enjoy driving it.

It’s Earth Day. How “Green” Is the Ford C-Max?

It depends on who you ask. “Green” is subjective. There are a lot of opinions on this matter. Kelley Blue Book announced last week that the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi is the 6th most “green” vehicle, the Ford Focus Electric is 3rd, Tesla Model S 2nd and 2013 Nissan Leaf is the greenest. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has a different opinion. It was founded in 1980 as a nonprofit organization that works with business, government, various organizations and consumers to improve energy efficiency according to their website. They have another website for promoting energy-efficient cars to consumers. For 2013, they chose the thirteen “greenest” vehicles. The Ford Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid tied for positions 12 and 13. The Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, and C-Max Energi didn’t even make the top thirteen list. If you’d like to know more, pay a fee and they’ll give you online access. If you live in New York or California, your taxes are subsidizing the complete report but the fee is the same, just $8.95 for 30-day access. (This is definitely not a recommendation to buy access to the report.) The C-Max Energi lost to the Fusion Hybrid for the first Canadian Green Car Award recently. Last month the Los Angeles Times listed the C-Max Energi as the car with the best gas mileage based on the EPA fuel economy (the MPGe/MPG calculation confuses the matter).

Ford and KB Homes announced the Ford C-Max Energi and KB Home’s ZeroHouse 2.0 last Friday as part of Ford’s “MyEnergi Lifestyle”. KB Homes has been building homes since 2011 which combine low energy consumption with solar panels to achieve net-zero energy usage. These homes have been built in Tampa, San Antonio, Austin, Waldorf Maryland, and San Marcos California.

It’s Earth Day. I’m not blogging much lately because I enjoy the remote canyons of the western U.S. this time of year. I’m not spending much time worrying who thinks the C-Max Energi is green either. My camp with a view last week was in a remote area of a remote park, Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

Canyonlands National Park

Backpacking in Canyonlands NP with View of Salt Creek


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