As I drove from Phoenix to Los Angeles I passed what would be the last gas station I'd see for roughly 100 miles. At that time I had about a half a tank of gas, so I didn't have any urgency with filling up. But as I exited the highway through the desert towards 29 Palms, it quickly sank in that I was down to a quarter tank with about 60 miles to go. Not good. I thought about turning back, but that seemed counter-intuitive because I had been driving for 4 hours already, plus who wants to back-track that far. I immediately put the truck in 3rd gear and kept my rpms at 2000 to consume as little fuel as possible. Anytime I felt a decline in the road, I shifted into neutral and rolled. I did this maneuver for what felt like the longest hour of my life. I even passed some 20-something kids who were walking down this never-ending desert stretch a few miles away from what looked like a perfectly good honda civic. I'm guessing they had made the same mistake. I wanted to stop, but as I was testing the limits of the "E" on my gauge at this point, I was too nervous to slow down or take on any extra weight. As the sun began to fade, I remember seeing 12 miles to go on my GPS and thinking, "Well, at least I can run to town from here if I had to." Every mile after that was a gift as far as I was concerned. My engine started puttering about 100 yards from the gas station and so I gave it all the gas I had left and actually coasted in to the pump. It was a miracle.
The next morning, I snapped this Joshua tree as it was getting its daily sun bath. It will always remind me to fill up anytime I get the chance.
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