Y’all know that I am passionate about being prepared … it started young when my dad taught me to fill my tank at 1/2 full and not wait until it is sucking fumes in case something happens (sometimes I do that). Anyway, my preparation has always focused on ‘home’ … what happens if that ‘something’ happens when you away, far away from home? Have you ever thought about that? I hadn’t … until … last week.
Road trip! Our bags packed into the Escape, we tossed in a tiny cooler for some snacks and topped off the gas tank. Hello Kanab.
After a couple of days kickin’ it in the redrocks of Bryce Canyon & hiking Wire Pass we entered phase two of our road trip… Moab, Utah. We headed north up Utah State Highway 89 turning left onto Interstate 70 … totally failing to heed my dad’s advice by rationalizing that we had more than enough fuel to get to Green River where we would stop for lunch and gas up.
The drive from Salina to Green River is a multi-sensory experience (especially if you have an imagination like mine) … over the top and through forested mountains, down into a landscape of white and gray rocks and gravel that I always imagine a SciFi film being made here … maybe a few UFOs on the horizon … with the mesas of the Book Cliffs to the left and further south the lands of the San Rafael Swell glimmering red and gold … it’s an eye full of contradictory color and textures. If we had more time we may have taken a detour to view the immense walls of ancient petroglyphs in Nine Mile Canyon (outside of Price, Utah).
Stomachs growling and the water and fuel tank running low we exited I-70 into Green River Utah. The first station we pulled into had no power … no problem, we headed further into the town … still no power. Which meant no fuel & no meal. We had ‘enough’ fuel to get Moab, about 50 miles or so away … Sweetie & I ate another tangerine, crossed our fingers, and took off.
We reached our destination with 40 miles left in the fuel left countdown. The traffic was backed up for miles … no electric here either. Traffic lights weren’t working and the police were working hard to get the mobs flowing down the main street. Finally we checked into our houses … still no power … We went to fuel up, the tank now with the ‘fuel up stupid’ light on. No power … anywhere. No lunch … however, the taco truck was doing a booming business, but the 100 plus people in line discouraged us from even attempting to stop there. As we drove on through the town, every gas station was populated with vehicles patiently waiting for fuel. My hangry meter was reaching critical when we saw folks exiting the grocery store; with full sacks! Jackpot!
With an emergency generator running the store had power for a few lights, the ATM and the debit/credit cards machines … but, they wouldn’t sell any cold food; deli, frozen pizza, cheese … (we might get sick). After a brief telephone confab with the rest of our party Greg and I filled the cart with bread, tuna, salad dressing, some lettuce and melons … not forgetting some chips. (and a box of Milk Duds). While we were waiting to check out, the lights came on, the machinery began whirring and there was a collective sigh of relief from the panic’d customers.
With enough food for lunch we stopped to fill our tank before meeting up with our traveling companions to have a bite before we headed to Arches National Park for an evening hike up to Delicate Arch.
Our hike was beautiful, windy, and over populated … it was also visit your national parks for free week. All of the cars and people and the vision of seeing the them clustered around every gas pump and being unable to fill up brought those always ready to spook myself thoughts … what if the power NEVER came back on? What if the store could only take cash or was closed? What if all the fuel in the car (all 19 miles left of it) was all the fuel we had and we were more than 500 miles from home? What if the only food we had was the couple of tangerines and peanut butter pretzel bites left in the back seat?
I admit, this scenario is not something I’ve every thought of when I thought of being prepared. But one quick internet search taught me that though I was limited in my thinking, many other people are not … rather than create a list to think about … check out some for yourself. I googled What to pack as a traveling prepper. Lots of things came up; some more scary than others.
My big take away from our far from home, hours without power experience … I’ll be packing a bit more conscientiously when we head out of town on our next road trip. Come to think of it, some folks would consider our two hour drive from Boise to Council as a road trip …. hummm…