Got Gas?

Trip Start Jul 26, 2007
Trip End Sep 26, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Monday, September 24, 2007

After nearly 4 hours in the hotel, Renee and I were back on the road around 7 a.m.  We had, what we thought, a 14 hour drive ahead of us.  Our plan was to stop in Roswell, New Mexico for a quick tour of the UFO Museum and then drive to Austin, TX.  Our goal was to make it to my friend Megan's house before 9-10 at night.  Apparently, goals are good to have, but occasionally they are moving targets.  ;o)

Northern New Mexico seemed quite desolate, with very little to keep the two of us excited or even awake for that matter.  Our only excitement this morning was the mysterious noise we heard when we pulled into a gas station.  At first it sounded like my brakes were going, which with my luck with cars would make sense.  Though, it turned out to be a flap that I must have torn half off when I went off roading to get to Hahn's Peak last week.  It scraps the road when I turn certain directions...  I'll have to work on getting some burley, good looking guy to help fix that at some point.  Ha-ha! 

Reached Roswell, New Mexico around noon.  Took a few photos of the town that undoubtedly and shamelessly exploited the UFO phenomenon.  It was quite cute, but the actual museum was a disappointment.  The extra 6+ hours that we drove to get there might have been rethought if we had known better.  Any case, it's one of those places/events in life that I can check off my "to do" list. 

We grabbed some subs from Subway and headed out.  Renee called her husband as I drove us out of town.  The Texas state line was not too far from Roswell.  I noticed just pass the border that we had gotten on some other highway, with very little around.  When I say "very litte", I mean absolutely nothing around!  Not one gas station, only a few beautiful mountains in the distance.  It was at this point that I started to worry about our gas situation.  With not one place around and less than 1/4 of a tank left - I started to pray to the good Lord above for a place around each and every turn.  Minute by minute I started to wonder if I would see anything before we ran out.  Gas light is on and I'm really worried! 

We had slipped into the Guadalupe National Park.  It's the mountain range that borders Mexico!  Finally, out of no where, there were a few random, nondescript buildings.  I asked Renee if she thought we should turn in since it could be the last sight of civilization...  No answer...  So, I pulled in.  Turns out it was the Texas Department of Transportation and a building for Park Rangers.  Heck yeah!

We pulled a truck over that was leaving and asked if they knew of where we could get gas and that we'd pay double.  They escorted us to one of the buildings where we met one of the Park Rangers - we called him Park Ranger Grumpy.  He proceeded to chastise me on leaving what he calls the city without gas.  As if I knew I was going to slip into a 2 hour stretch without one gas station, especially since we weren't even suppose to be on that road?!  With him were two police officers that we got to know...  They said that they would help us if the other guy couldn't help us.  Park Ranger Grumpy comes back with 2 gallons of gas.  Apparently he is unaware that 2 gallons of gas will not take a loaded down, on empty SUV to the nearest gas station 37 miles away (in the opposite direction).  That's when our angel officers stepped in.  I payed Ranger Grumpy $10  for the 2 gallons and then followed the two officers who said they'd help.

They took us to the "hidden" gas pump they had out back for government vehicles that pass through.  They filled up our gas tank halfway, didn't charge us and then said they'd escort us to the nearest gas station in the direction we needed to go.  We followed them going, at times, 20 miles above the speeding limit for close to an hour.  We tried to pay them or buy them a coke, but they wouldn't take anything for their generosity.  While this seems like it would be the most stressful few hours, it was actually some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen.  Now, if I wouldn't have stopped at the DOT buildings, that would have been quite stressful.  Things just have a way of working out...

We said our goodbyes to the two of them and headed on to Austin.  The remaining drive, we made sure to fill up the gas every time we saw a station.  It took us until almost 1 in the morning to get to Megan's.  By the time we got there, we were exhausted!  Talked for a few minutes and then headed to bed in her son's bunk bed.  I was on the top bunk!  Can't beat it!  ;o) 

Not much else to report, other than we had started the day with less than 2 hours of sleep.  A good nights sleep couldn't come quicker or be nicer!  
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