When I decided to go on this road trip to participate in the Allen Oldies Band Marfa Invasion Tour I made a conscious choice to leave my vehicle behind and cast my fate with some friends. Typically I don’t like the idea of not having my own transportation in a situation like this but after much agonizing I decided that the stress of driving the 10 hours by myself would be greater than the stress of not having my own car so I decided to go for it.
I was picked up at 7:30 on Thursday morning and we headed out. Everything was going well. We stopped in Luling, TX to gas up and get some food at Buc-cee’s.
After that it was smooth sailing to Junction, TX where we stopped for some BBQ and then on what I thought was going to be a stop in Ft. Stockton for another bathroom break and petrol.
After we cleared the multiple exits to Ft. Stockton with their signs promising food, bathrooms and GASOLINE it became apparent that we would not be stopping and since I was a passenger and the driving logistics were not up to me I didn’t say anything figuring it was not my place and that there was an alternate plan.
After we turned off of I-10 on to 67 it was obvious by the commotion in the cabin of the rented minivan that the low fuel light had come on. Discussion turned to how many miles could be driven once this had happened and a decision was made (by my hosts, not by committee) to press on in hopes of finding a gas station between our current location and the next town which is Alpine.
Let me just say for the record, there are NO gas stations between Ft. Stockton and Alpine Texas. And it should also be noted that a minivan with 6 passengers and their luggage can go about 25 miles. Much less than the 40 or so needed to get to Alpine.
We did, in fact, run out of gas.
After pulling over one of our hosts got out of the van and was able to quickly flag down a passing motorist. A woman in a van travelling with an infant child. I was surprised at her willingness to help and before long our hosts were in the van and off to find gas leaving myself, Jim Henkel, Bill Shirley and Tricia behind to wait and watch our stuff.
It occurred to me as our hosts were heading off with a complete stranger that this seemed remarkably like the beginning of a bad horror flick…
Bill introduced us to a card game called Tichu which we played to while away the time as we waited for rescue and distract us from the dangers the surely lurked all around us.
We played Tichu and we were even visited by a DPS officer who checked in to make sure we were OK. While hot, it is a dry heat out here in West Texas and we were never really uncomfortable. After about an hour our hosts returned with gasoline and profuse apologies.
All in all it was not a horrible experience and it wasn’t long before we rolled into Marfa and got settled.
Of course Marfa is a small town and word of our experience got around and there has been a bit of good natured ribbing over the last few days.