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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/924146-Recovering-From-Saturday
Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1921220
My thoughts released; a mind set free
#924146 added November 21, 2017 at 3:18pm
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Recovering From Saturday
I feel I'm finally recovering from Saturdays adventure. My wife and I had taken the day off to visit a friend and help celebrate his birthday. It was a three and a half hour drive, but the weather was nice and we enjoyed the scenery along the way, arrived a little early, and had a wonderful evening, then called it a night and headed for home. We almost made it before things turned bad.

Being my wife's cousin, she knew more of the people there than I did, at least on her side of the family. Since they had been out of touch until a couple years ago, there were also some she didn't know, and then there was his wife's side of the family as well. So, not only was it a fun time, but we also met quite a few people and hit off with them quite well.

Of course, there was beer and pop, as well as plenty of food and cake. Since we had a three and a half hour drive home after the party, we restrained from any heavy drinking, although I did have a two beers through the evening before switching over to coffee. He received a gift of moonshine, distilled in a micro distillery that was pretty good. It was only eighty proof, had a cinnamon and apple flavor, and of course, I had to have a couple of light shots with him for the occasion. I say light shots, it was likely two, one ounce shots, and sipped, not downed. This was still early in the evening, and after the second, I refrained from anything stronger than coffee for the last few hours.

If we had not had to work on Sunday, we could have stayed the night, but I doubt I would have drank much more, maybe another beer. But since Rhonda had arranged to be to work by eleven Sunday morning and I was scheduled to be in at four Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed the party, then helped clean up a little before leaving about nine-thirty for the drive home. This is where things went down hill for us.

Normally, we would have topped the gas tank off when we got there, or if time was running short for the occasion, before we left. In fact, the party was held right next door to a truck stop, so filling up would have been practically right as we exited. But, we were both talking and reliving the fun of the evening and drove right past without a thought.

Half way home, or there-a-bouts, we stopped at another gas station for something to drink and eat, as well as a bathroom break. We picked up some Piccadilly Pizza, some bottled water, and a bottle of Gatorade to share, then hit the road without a thought about gas, again. of course, the Jimmy's fuel gauge read just over a half a tank, so no problem. Wrong!

We passed through a few small towns were we could have filled up and paid at the pump, but never even thought about it. This in itself is strange. Of course, I did keep an eye on the gas gauge, but it was still just above half a tank. In fact, it stayed right there, just above half a tank the whole drive home. Again, it was strange that i never realized it wasn't moving.

Now, had I been drinking more, or even later into the evening, I could blame it on the booze, but two cans of beer spaced out over three hours, along with a couple ounces of eighty-proof during that same time frame really didn't get me buzzing at all. Then, I switched over to coffee and had a couple cups before we left. That was another three hours after I had stopped any intake of alcohol. I was doing fine, but caught up in the fun of the evening, the wonderful time spent with my wife, and a bit out of things because it was Saturday and I wasn't at work.

So, like I said, strange. Just as strange, my wife is always keeping an eye on things as well, even if she's not the driver herself. It would have been normal for her to suggest filling up when we stopped on the way down to the party, when we got to the party, and if we had not filled up by then, before we left the party. She would have also suggested we fill the tank when we stopped on the way home for a bathroom break, beverages, and pizza, just because we had to work Sunday and would want a full tank for driving to work. Very strange that neither of us thought anything about the fuel situation.

But we did not, and we made it with no problems most of the way home. In fact, we did not get a wake-up to the situation until we turned onto the highway that we live on. Upon turning, the engine died. Of course, it was now about one o'clock Sunday morning, so no traffic and we just coasted around the turn and stopped at the end of someone's drive way to ponder what could have possibly caused us to stall. Everything was fine, the fuel was still just above a half a tank; what could have gone wrong?

Yes, even at this point, neither of us gave any thought to the fact that we had just driven for six and a half hours without putting any gasoline in the tank! I shut down the ignition, put the vehicle in park, and then restarted the engine. It started right up and was running fine, but as it started, my eyes caught the dropping fuel gauge as it bottomed out on empty. Now, it finally hit, we were out of gas.

Of course, it died while turning, the little bit of fuel left in the tank had flowed to one side, but now that it was level again, it was running, so without hesitation I put it in drive and proceeded to drive the last thirteen miles home. We made it around the curves by the lake, one of the spots I anticipated problems and we made it up the hill past the lake, the other spot I thought it might stall out. From there, it was pretty much a straight line home with just gentle hills along the way.

I drove slower, to conserve the little fuel left, so I didn't need to slow down when we got to the only town along the way home. Not much of a town anymore, just a group of houses, no stores or gas stations, so no chance to stop and fill up. The only thing other than houses there is the community center and this is where we finally run out of luck and fuel. We were able to coast into the community center parking lot, and it did restart after we had stopped, but we both knew it would die before we went any distance at all.

Since we had a good spot to park it instead of being stalled on the side of the highway, we decided to shut it back off and leave it there for the rest of the night. We discussed options; who could we call? The only person to come to mind that I knew would bail us out of the situation was the same person who had to work right away Sunday morning for my wife. Since it was already after one in the morning, we decided not to call him. After all, we had already put him out by having him work for Rhonda Saturday afternoon so we could go the the party, and then he was opening for her Sunday morning so she wouldn't have to get up so early; we knew it would be late getting home.

There were a few other people we thought about calling, but knew they wouldn't even hear the phone at this time. Another person would have maybe heard the phone, but we decided that we didn't want to owe this person any favors, since it would come back and bite us in the ass later. We didn't have any roadside assistance, so that was out, only one choice left, hike it. Of course, we discussed the distance and thought it would be an easy hike, and since there tends to always be some traffic on this stretch of highway, it was likely someone would come along and give us a ride.

Being this late in the year, it can get pretty cold out, especially at night. We also tend to have wind blowing all the time. But, the forecast had been for a pretty nice day, not too cold out over night, and no wind. The moon wasn't out, but it was a clear night with lots of stars, and Rhonda had packed along warm hats and gloves, as well as a quilt, just in case. Now, if we had known how far of a walk it really was, we would have bundled up, snuggled up under that quilt, and napped the night away, then called for some help in the morning. But, since she had to be to work by eleven, and it wasn't that far, we should be able to hike it in a couple hours.

I will add here that we are both kind of let ourselves go a bit, but have stayed pretty active with camping, hiking, and kayaking. When we were still going out for walks, we averaged about three to four miles per hour and could do four miles with ease. Even hiking, we put on quite a few miles over uneven terrain and trails, so not a problem walking down a paved highway. We weren't certain on the distance, but knew it was about five or six miles, tops. Besides, it was likely we would catch a ride anyway.

Well, to wrap things up, we made the hike with only a little trouble. A couple of vehicles did drive passed us, but neither stopped to help or even see if we needed help. the wind had picked up a bit, but was relatively calm, maybe five to ten miles per hour. But, it had switched to the north and was bringing colder weather in. It stayed clear, but the temperature dropped through the early morning hours, down to a teeth chattering nineteen degrees when we got home.

Of course, having a light jacket on, I had brought a sweatshirt as well, Rhonda had a light coat, and had brought a sweater along. We dressed warm, put on warm hats and gloves, grabbed a bottle of water and headed out. It seemed to take forever to get to some of the markers we watched for, one of which was a sign that we thought was half way. By five o'clock Sunday morning we finally reached the house. It had taken four and a half hours of walking to get home.

Rhonda was dressed warmer and did pretty well, I had light pants on and my legs were pretty cold. My gloves helped, but they were not enough to keep my fingers warm. No frost bite, but cold and sore. The biggest problem was Rhonda just running out of steam the last few miles home. Of course, at the time, we thought it was just a mile left, but after getting home, and getting warmed up some, I looked online at Google maps to see why it took us so long to walk five, maybe six miles.

Turns out, it was over nine miles, closer to ten. No wonder Rhonda was running out of steam after hiking approximately eight miles in below freezing weather. Like I said, we had misjudged the distance, and when we started out, it was still pretty nice out for this time of year. By the weather app on my phone, it was just a little below forty degrees. Once we were underway, however, we both noticed the temperature was dropping. Still, with walking a brisk pace we stayed pretty warm most of the way.

No harm done except some sore muscles and very little sleep before Rhonda had to go to work and I had to get the Jimmy back home. I got up at the same time she did, we had a bit of coffee, texted the guy at work to let him know we had some vehicle problems and would likely be a little late getting Rhonda to work. I grabbed a couple of gas cans an we took the car to the Jimmy, put gas in the tank and I headed for home while Rhonda took the car to work. I created a sore on the bottom of one foot walking that far, even though I had good walking shoes on. I also, since I carry a few too many pounds, suffered some sever chafing on the insides of my legs, kind of rubbed them raw, but they are doing much better now.

All in all, a little stiff and sore yet, but not bad. It was a good wake-up call for both of us to get back in shape, lose some weight, and get some damn roadside assistance again.

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