I grew up in New England, born in Vermont and then raised in New Hampshire. Every fall, when the trees would transform their leaves to vibrant red, orange, and gold, I would lament the influx of leaf-peeping tourists instead of taking the time to simply enjoy the beauty around me. I didn’t appreciate the reason why thousands of out-of-staters were making the trek to my home states… until I became one of them.
This October, I had the opportunity to visit my old stomping grounds with my husband during foliage season on a special trip with Chevrolet. Why? To try out their new Volt electric car and tour New England’s spectacular foliage-lined roads.
The Volt was a treat to experience. I currently drive a ’96 Subaru Outback, which gets me where I want to go. But it runs 100 percent on gas. In comparison, the Volt is a high-tech “computer with wheels” that runs smooth and silent with a mostly battery-powered engine.
I like to think I have a light carbon footprint, because even though I have a car, it sits in my driveway because I bike to work. As one who spends a lot of time in the outdoors, I want the air to be as clean as possible. So I’m excited to see car companies build electric cars with lower emissions to lighten their carbon footprints.
According to several transportation studies, 80 percent of car commutes are less than 40 miles. Our Volt had a battery charge for up to 35 miles. So if most people were driving a car like the Volt, the bulk of their drives would use zero gas. If they have solar panels, they could charge the car and drive these daily commutes both carbon- and guilt-free!
When the battery ran out, our Volt’s engine automatically shifted to using gas. On our first day driving just under 60 miles, we barely used any fuel and averaged 68 miles per gallon becasue of our 35 battery miles. That’s pretty amazing.
It’s been almost 20 years since I last experienced autumn in New England, and it was special to revisit there behind the wheel of a car of the future. I hope to one day own such a car and be part of the move to a clean energy future. I also hope to return sooner than later to those beautiful hues.
In this Issue
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Gift Guide SPECIAL SECTION
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Traveling to Teach
Helen Thayer travels the world to immerse herself in its multitude of cultures and bring those experiences home to kids through Adventure Classroom.
Molly, Donna, and Michele are active philanthropists who help others get to the next level in their sporting endeavors and support good causes.
Get ready for the white stuff! Snowshoes and layering systems for winter.
On the Map: A world of adventure awaits
Pinpoint: Backcountry bliss
Trends: Snow style
Media Reviews: Winter reading
Manhandle: Say what?
Psychobabble: Adventure travel alone?
It’s Personal: Closing the generation gap
Discuss: Worthy of note
I’m Proof: You’re never too young for adventure
Destinations: TX, FL and WA
Try This: Snow biking
Dream Job: Founder of Las Olas Surf Safaris
Roar: Peaks Foundation
Beyond: Being a wild thing
Your Adventure: Women’s Adventure Trip