BUT NOT THIS SIGN
I broke into a sweat instantly. I blinked my eyes several times. Trying to make sure I saw the right thing. . . maybe trying to blink back some tears, I am not sure. But I thought, if there is someplace to eat and someplace to camp, SURELY there has to be someplace to get gas!
We pulled off the ramp and saw the gas station, with dust covered windows and tumbleweed blowing through the gas pumps. I swallowed hard, determined to not let me kids know that I was in a panic. We pulled into the "place to eat" called Desert Center Cafe.
Does it look like it is from out of a movie? Because I felt like I was IN a HORROR FLICK! I didn't have the where-withall to take pictures with my regular camera, so, my cell phone would have to do. We hopped out of the car with the kids yelling. . "Where are we going? What are we doing? I thought we were gonna get gas?" and my response was, "WE ARE". Even though I didn't exactly know how that was going to go down.
There was a older woman mopping the dirty and cracked floor and a kind grandmotherly lady behind the counter. I am sure she was wondering what on earth I was doing traveling by myself with 4 small kids, and at this point, I was too. There was one couple sitting in the cafe, eating, I think, over in the corner booth.
Jaxon instantly asked me why the place was so dirty and old (autism is great) and I immediately shushed him as I didn't want to make enemies with the people who were going to SAVE MY BACON. . . (I am sure they have some BACON!) I asked the lady behind the counter how far the nearest gas station was. She said it was 19 miles down the road. Since my gas light had been on for at least 10 miles, I didn't want to risk actually running out on the SIDE OF THE ROAD. I figured, for now, I was in a better spot than having to walk, or be on the side of the road. She said, "You outta gas?" I am sure a sheepish grin crossed my face and I said, "Yes, it should have said on those road signs that you don't have a station here!!!!" She said, "Oh, they just shut that station down about a year ago, sorry."
She then hollered over her shoulder to Jed, "Hey Jed! Do you have any gas you could sell this poor lady?" His reply, " I just sold it to the last guy!" [Insert multimillion dollar scheme of selling gas for $10 a gallon in Desert Center out of gas cans for poor suckers who think there is going to be a gas station there] Anyway, "Jed" (I am pretty sure that was his name. It at least fits his description) asked me if I wanted to step outside to talk about "it". His woman friend instantly protested noting that I had a 3 month old in my arms and it was hot out. We stepped out and he said he would get me gas, but it would take him an hour. AN HOUR??????? Good gracious, my kids had already started to dismantle this eating establishment and it was only gonna get worse! I asked if there was anyone who did AAA and he said maybe Parker Towing.
[Insert Angels Singing] I asked the ladies inside for the number to Parker Towing and had Abby take my cell phone over and enter it in. Meanwhile, I was changing an "explosion" (you all know what that means) of my 3 month old (NICE TIMING!) in a vacant booth.
Parker towing said he was just down the road, had gas, and he would be there in about 10 minutes. He said it would be $85 for the service call and $5 a gallon for the gas. I asked if he took AAA and he said he did. (AAA paid for itself on this instance alone) He arrived in just a few moments and walked into the Desert Cafe. He snorted to himself when he saw me standing there with my 4 kids. Two of which were running in circles and one of which was keeping herself busy with a scale that took pennies.
Wade running in circles. . .
The kids entertaining themselves with the penny scale.
After our 25 minute "rest stop" we were on our way with two gallons of gas to get us to Chiriaco Summit (19 miles away) to get ourselves some gas. . . All the kids had time to stretch their legs, use the bathroom and have a fun little run around the Desert Cafe. . . . Yeah, I planned it that way.
Is that all? Oh no, that is not all, that is not all AT ALL!