Tuesday, March 17, 2009

running on fumes

No, not me. It is St. Patrick's Day, but no, it's far too early to be on fumes. Perhaps tonight, I'll pour a pint, but that's about all. This story is about this weekend.

I got pretty spoiled with the Danger Ranger. When my fuel gauge hit E, I had about three gallons left. That translated into 60-70 miles of highway driving before I'd be pushing her up a hill. Well, in Florida, that never amounted to me running out of gas. Closest I ever came was a half-gallon left in the tank, but I did that on purpose trying to drain my fuel tank so I could change my fuel filter. Little did I know that the fuel line won't drain on the ground when you disconnect it. Who knew?

Another complication of the Danger Ranger was that my low fuel light never worked. I've grown accustomed to never seeing one, and now that my car has one, I get a little freaked out. I'm not quite sure what it means and how much is left in the tank. Used to be, I could trust my own instinct, but I just don't know this new(ish) car all that well.

Throw a new monkey wrench into the system. A rental car. Forty miles of highway with nary a filling station in sight. I was sweating. Turned the air and radio off. Slowed down to 10 below the speed limit. Drafting behind a trailer. Called AAA in anticipation of being stranded in No Man's Land with a flight to catch. AAA was no help, said if I happened to be stranded that calls were taking about an hour to fill. Called her, freaking out. All she could do was try to calm me down.

I finally did find a gas station, two miles from the rental company. I might've had a quart left in the tank. Made it there, got my receipt, and dropped the Jeep Compass off without a hitch. This traveling nonsense is far too stressful sometimes.

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