Jun 14, 2010

Running Out of Gas

Day 226

I betcha you all thought that I was running out of ideas to blog about right? Well, I'm getting there.

Kristy and Logan are back from their vacation all safe and sound. They had a real good time (you should take a look at Kristy's blog when she updates it for more details) but I am glad to have them home. Kristy and Logan called me last Saturday night to tell me that they had driven a bit further and are staying over in Dillon, Montana. Which reminded me of an experience I had many years ago.

My mom and I were heading to Canada to visit Dave and Jennifer driving our old Dodge Aries. We were making excellent time (we have made the trip numerous times) and were having a good road trip until we got into Montana. The trip to Edmonton is a long one and takes about 22 hours to make. Typically we stop over in Helena for the night, which is about halfway. We usually make a pit stop in Dillon to gas up for the final stretch of the first day of driving.

Ah.. the Silver Bullet. Good memories. This was right before the car was sold. So no more black smoke and no more running out of gas.

What we didn't expect was that our Aries was getting older and was not the runner it used to be. About ten miles out of Dillon we realized that we were very short on gas but we thought we would make it.

And then we were only a few miles out of Dillon and we were riding on fumes. We had made it up this hill (which ate up any remaining fuel we had) and we were coasting down the hill, hopefully to use that momentum to get to the exit to Dillon. But no such luck.

After we had finished coasting down our car started to shake and we knew we were OUT. Out of luck and definitely out of gas. We pulled over and went as far as we could and only made it about twenty feet before the Aries stopped. Mom looked over at me and asked what should we do now? I looked back at her and shrugged my shoulders. I told her we should pop the hood and I will see if someone will stop for us.

I waved down some cars with no luck but finally a big truck pulling a boat stopped. Without hesitation I ran up to the truck and told the couple driving what had happened. He offered to take me into Dillon (they were stopping there anyway) and buy some gas and then bring me back.

Relieved, I ran back to my mom and asked her for some money and told her I would get a ride from them. Mom gave me twenty bucks and I ran off and hopped into their truck. We took off and left my mom stranded on the road. the other way! We left without saying anything to mom, she didn't even see these people, she watched as her only son, a kid only thirteen, leave with some strangers.

I was not afraid. Maybe it was because I was naive but I didn't fear these strangers. They saw that I was from Utah (from the license plates on our car) and they asked where in Utah I was from. They were pretty familiar with Utah and said that they loved visiting it. Then they told me that they were from California and he was a retired detective for the L.A. Police Department. He said hitchhiking was not the best thing and was dangerous for both parties but said he would rather take his chances with me than with me taking my chances with someone else. We dropped his wife off to do some grocery shopping and we went to the gas station to fill up this gas can. I paid for the gas and picked his wife and we went back to the car. The funny thing is that we had to pass my mom going the other way so we could make a u-turn and come from behind. We beeped the horn as we passed my mom Going in the other Direction! I had no idea that might panic my mom. The guy driving also mentioned that maybe beeping at my mom was not a good idea considering it would be about twenty minutes or so before we could turn around to meet up with her. We laughed about it.

We pulled up and my mom was happy to see us all. We thanked the couple and we went to Dillon to drop off the gas can and to properly fill up. We were thankful that this ended well and we filled up the Aries every chance we could on the rest of the trip.

1 comment:

  1. Great story!! I had a real good laugh! I can't believe that you were brave enough to ride with strangers (I'm so relieved that they weren't psycho killers!) Your poor mom, having to wait behind during all of that!