Monday, May 11, 2009

Not much further down the road . . .

Believe me, if you have EVER been on a road trip with your kids, your gonna want to read this:

We passed Blythe. I am not too familiar with these stretches of land in between here and Disneyland. I guess I should have made myself a little more "familiar" because after we passed through Blythe, I started to wonder when my next gas stop is going to be. Trying to time it to be a good leg stretch for the kids.

The road signs said there were a few stops in between Blythe and Indio . . . I kind of consider Indio as the "your gonna make it!" city. Too far to turn back, and not much further to go. It was a good thing too because I was under a 1/2 a tank and due to my calculations, I was just BARELY going to make it to a city called DESERT CENTER. Pretty creative name for a place that is . . . you guessed it. . . in the middle of the desert. I started to get anxious when my fuel light went on (who wouldn't with 4 small kids in the car) but instantly felt relief when I saw the exit for Desert Center. . . .until I saw the little signs below the name of the town. There was 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!


the MomBabe said...

And that is why I haven't even TRIED taking my four people somewhere by myself.

Jeanelle said...

Oh but you are making me laugh...and hard!

jessica said...

No WAY!!!! Okay remind me to sign up for AAA if I ever decide to take a break from sanity and take a trip like that with all the kids by myself.

Leah said...

I can TOTALLY relate to the Jaxon comment. There is no filter with these kids.

Wow. I'm SO happy to hear it worked out in the end. It does sound like something that would happen in the movies.

Natalie said...

My kids don't have autism, but they don't have a filter either:). Totally relate there! Sounds like a delightful time Lindsey:).

The Grant Family said...

Oh, I can hardly wait to hear more! I was considering taking my 4 by myself up to Deer Park last month but opted to bring fly the grandparents down here to UT instead. I'm just dying thinking that I could have been you!

BTW, my 7 year old (Ethan) doesn't have autism but is BRUTALLY honest. The kid can't sugar coat ANYTHING.

Jessica said...

You know I am dying over this story! I am the queen of "dear HF please help me not run out of gas...I promise I'll never cut it this close again!"

Bridget said...

OH, I know that drive now. I can relate to that feeling of panic. There really is nothing there for that stretch of road. UGH. Glad you survived.

Melissa-Mc said...

Gotta love AAA. Can't wait to hear the rest.


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