#Travelblunder: Almost On Empty

For this post we would like to share our #travelblunder with you, so that history may not repeat itself! 

Ever been stuck in the middle of the desert at midnight as your gas light turned on with absolutely no civilization in sight? 

Heading towards Yosemite National Park.

Heading towards Yosemite National Park.

A little background info: After leaving Burning Man a few days early due to our generator battery exploding (yup), we decided to stop in southern Lake Tahoe. We then passed through Yosemite National Park before ultimately making our way to Las Vegas for some much much needed luxury - I mean, we were cramped up in an RV for almost a month and 3700 miles!

Incredibly eager to get to Sin City, we were just a few miles east outside of Death Valley National Park, one of the hottest (and most ominous-sounding!) places on earth, running on nothing but fumes.

No cell service, no people, certainly no gas stations.

Does this sound like the beginning of a horror movie or what?

We should have known by now that filling up early and often when you're heading towards the desert - I mean, it's deserted, duh - is essential, but we had over half a tank when we left Yosemite National Park and gas prices were inflated by at least $2 per gallon in the area, so we figured it wouldn't hurt to wait it out a bit to find better prices as we drove towards the Nevada border.

The twists and turns through desert mountains quickly ate through our tank, and 30 miles with no gas stations turned to 60+ miles. We had crossed into Nevada and were approaching Route 95.

A blinking red light appeared in the distance, giving us a glimmer of hope as we seemed to inch towards it.

"There has GOT to be gas at this intersection," Jim and I agreed. "There's no way there isn't."

But you know how this story is going, don't you? If there was gas there, it wouldn't be worth writing about. 

On Empty - oh no.

On Empty - oh no.

The gas light still hadn't turned on, so we both remained positive as we gritted our teeth and kept our eyes glued to any signs of life ahead. Every single sign, light, or car seemed like a mirage in the distance, teasing us about the prospect of a gas pump. 

At this point we had driven nearly 100 miles, and we were growing anxious. I pinched into Google Maps to check for signs of humanity in the desert night. 

"Bonnie Claire," I pointed on the map. "It's a town a few miles ahead. We're gonna be fine!" I wasn't sure if I was reassuring Jim at this point or myself.

And yet again, nothing. More lights in the distance that led to disappointment. 

*ding* *ding* 

That's the gas light going off, right as we passed that BS excuse for a town. Bonnie Claire, whoever you are, I hate you.

Beatty, the next town, appeared to be about 35 miles away. We knew we had only about 30 miles before we ran out of fuel entirely after the gas light had turned on. 

It's a miracle! The hotel / gas station we found.

It's a miracle! The hotel / gas station we found.

Jimmy and I said very little to each other as we headed in that direction, being careful not to jinx ourselves. We silently prayed positive affirmations. I pointed out when it was 11:11 so we could both make a wish to make it to the gas station, or at the very least to run out of gas in a place with cell reception and human life within walking distance. 

We were driving closer and closer to Death Valley National Park. It was almost humorous how unironic it would be to run out of gas there...To be stuck in a valley of death. 

Every mile seemed to take a lifetime, especially once we went almost 30 miles on Empty. How many miles, minutes, seconds do we have before this thing gives, we both wondered in silence. We were quite literally driving on nothing but prayers. 

And then, the lights. The beautiful city lights! We were finally coming upon Beatty - or should it be called beauty? I held my breath, knowing that it wasn't yet time for celebration. 

"I see a big neon sign - it looks like a Motel 6!" Jimmy exclaimed, pondering. "That usually means there's gas nearby. There HAS to be gas nearby."

How does a 50 gallon tank fill up 51 gallons?! Miracles, I tell you.

How does a 50 gallon tank fill up 51 gallons?! Miracles, I tell you.

And as we made it to the neon sign, Stagecoach Hotel and Casino, there was the gas station. We made it. We laughed. I opened the car door and couldn't help but scream at the top of my lungs. 

What a freaking MIRACLE! A baby Jesus miracle! We filled our 50 gallon tank - we put 51.047 gallons in. It's as if we borrowed gasoline from the Gods.

Moral of the story? Pump that gas early. Pump it often. Because yes, you CAN go over 100 miles on the highway without a gas station in sight. Who knew?



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