The Not So Short Cut

We’ve had a lot of long halls in the car and are all feeling a bit road weary. Today on our way to see Chris’ old college roommate, Eddie, in Incline Village, NV, we decided to bypass the main interstate and take a short cut on an alternate high way. We were commenting to each other how or short cut was a good choice and probably prevented sitting in traffic in Sacramento.

All was going well, until we stopped in Nevada City. We pulled into a gas station as we were low on diesel, but that particular station didn’t have diesel. So, we went to the next gas station. They had diesel, but not ultra low sulfur diesel. Chris explained to me that if we put the wrong type of diesel in the car it would do major damage. He also said that all diesel cars built after 2007 are required by law to run on ultra low sulfur diesel. As we were having this conversation, we continued to look for fuel at a couple more stations, but to no avail. We got back on the high way, we got off at another gas station, with high hopes as the sign had a D on it, indicating that they sell diesel. Once again, they only sold the wrong kind. At this point Chris exclaimed that he just didn’t understand how an environmentally conscious state could not carry the more environmentally friendly fuel!

What could we do? We continued on the highway watching the fuel monitor that indicated 35 more miles could be driven before we ran out of fuel. Then we hit a national forest. I must admit, that I didn’t really appreciate the beautiful scenery at that moment. I was too busy scanning for gas station signs. The fuel gage continued to drop. Chris informed me that you can’t just restart a diesel engine that runs out of fuel. It would have to be taken to the dealer to be re-started. The numbers got lower on the fuel monitor, 25, 20, 15, 10 and the prayers increased. We had lost all cell phone service. Finally we saw a gas station and prayed that we would make it there.

Once we arrived we discovered that they did not have any diesel fuel. Our cell phone still did not work. So, Chris went into the gas station, gave the guy a dollar and called our friend in Incline Village. He valiantly agreed to come to our rescue, but warned us that he lived about an hour away. So, here I sit as I write this at a Valero Station somewhere between Nevada City and Lake Tahoe. The kids are drinking apple juice and watching an episode of the Swiss Family Robinson series on the portable DVD player. Chris is taking in the scenery and snacking on M&M’s while I am finally getting the chance to write an update for our blog.

Eddie should hopefully arrive in the next half hour with ultra low sulfur diesel. Then hopefully we will get to his house around 9:00 for a late dinner. So much for a short cut!

P.S. I wrote this on Friday, but am only just now getting the chance to post it!