We arrived here in sunny North Carolina on Friday night. We made great time. My phone told us the trip would take 13.5 hours, but we did the jaunt in 12.25.
I guess that’s not really a “jaunt.”
Talulah did great. The last leg of the trip is partly through the West Virginia/Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. The road is winding. Talulah stood in the backseat for a lot of it, and she almost looked green. I thought she’d barf at any second.
Maybe she liked it.
Around mile 325, I noticed we’d need gas in about 50 or more miles. We were playing the alphabet game. Technically, we’re still playing because we haven’t seen a Z yet.
Tina and I are competitive, and she whooped my ass so badly the last trip, I was trying my damnedest to kick hers this time … or at least get to the latter half of the alphabet. I think she beat me at K last time.
I looked down again at the fuel gauge, which shows you how many miles you have left on the tank. It read 20 miles and ticked over to 19.
“Shit, we need gas,” I said.
I told Tina to do a quick check on her phone for the nearest gas station. The fuel gauge clicked to 18.
“20 miles away,” says Tina.
“Oh crap, really?” I asked. “Lemme see.” The fuel gauge said 17 miles left.”
We did it again on my phone. Still no better.
The fuel gauge read 16.
“I’m going to get off at the next exit we see, and we’ll have to figure it out.” I thought to myself that maybe one of the locals would let me syphon a bit of fuel from a tank or something.
We pulled off at an exit, and the gauge said, “15.”
I drove into the town which was rundown. The first guy we saw was headed into a church. I opened my window and I said (in my best southern drawl), “Excuse me, where’s the nearest gas station?”
He turned to me, and he made a series of points and grunts that indicated there was one about a mile away.
“If you go to that stop sign and turn right, there’s one about a half mile down the road,” he said.
“Phew, we’re just about out of gas. Thanks!”
We arrived at the gas station, and there was a highway in front of it, but I didn’t know if it was the same one we were on. While I was giving Talulah a pee break, she got the attention of a local who told me in almost unintelligible English that he has a terrier that looks just like Talulah. I think he told me twice. Exactly what he told me, I have no clue.
Perhaps he said, “They’re good eatin'” or “They sure are a good lay.”
And all I did was nod my head and say, “Yep, they’re good dogs.”
We filled up the tank, and I went in the station to buy some windshield wiper fluid and a couple waters. I paid with a twenty, and the girl behind the counter said, “You want-a-sack?”
I politely declined a “sack”. I could carry my parcels without a sack.
There were no signs indicating the highway in front of the gas station, so we found the highway the way we came via a couple back roads. We jumped on our highway again, and in less than a minute, passed the damn gas station we were just at.
All that gas station finding drama for nothing.
The night we arrived, I picked up my dad from the airport around 11 p.m. He was laid over in Chicago, and his flight was delayed a few hours.
On Saturday, we hung out with family. Tina shopped with my mom, sister, SiL and niece. Dad, my brother and I had breakfast together, then Talulah and I stopped by my brother’s house for a few hours.
Saturday night, I took regular-reader Aaron to dinner. We had a big date. And talked late into the night over a pint or two of the best damn Octoberfest brew he’s ever made.
I stayed over at Aaron’s house on Saturday night, and then picked Tina up at my brother’s place Sunday morning. We got a little breakfast at this local delicatessen called “Bojangles” for one of their five-star southern spicy chicken biscuits … they are to die for.
Sunday was laid back, and we watched “True Grit” with my parents and sister. “True Grit” is a GREAT movie. I recommend it if you haven’t seen it.
This is going to be a good little week of family visits, and then we’re out of here again on Friday.
By then, I’ll be ready to carry my belongings out of here in a sack.