Road Trip Report: Gas Shortages and Lots of Trucks

Containers in a port
Containers in a port

In the middle of the gas shortage, we hit the road and drove down I-81 into Tennessee where we picked up I-26 and took it through both Carolinas and then got on I-95 through Georgia and into Florida where we are spending a long weekend with friends we had not seen for four or five years. The road trip itself was interesting because there was always the chance that we would get stuck somewhere without gas.

Gasoline Shortage

We strapped four 5-gallon tanks of gas on the back of my truck, loaded our gear into the backseat, and headed south and east to hook up with the Interstate. We never had to tap the tanks, but we were glad they were there as multiple stations were out of gas. It was not at all unusual to get off the highway and see three stations: One would be out of gas. One would be out of several grades but offer one or two. The third would have gas but no diesel. It was rare to see a station with all fuel grades available.

We also ran into stations that were closed and one that took cash only. We also saw a station that was advertising gas for $7.88. Immediately after than exit, we passed a billboard that advertised “El Cheapo Gas” for $2.99 five miles down the road. It gave us a laugh.

North Carolina and South Carolina were the worst off. Florida had plenty of gasoline.

Trucks and Containers

Whenever I travel the Interstate system, I see many trucks, which I find reassuring. I believe that when the trucks are moving, the economy is doing well. This trip, we saw thousands of trucks. They dominated the slow lanes, charging along at a steady 70 miles per hour. All the large companies were represented, along with a good number of double trailer trucks from Fedex and UPS. If there is any validity to my trucks and the economy theory, then the economy is still banging along on all cylinders.

As we headed into South Carolina, it became evident that there were a great many trucks carrying containers on both I-26 and I-95. While I didn’t to any kind of count, it appeared to be more than I normally see on the highway. Perhaps this is because we were heading toward the Port of Charleston, but it may also reflect the rapid pace of international shipping that are driving up prices for intermodal shipping. Boats are booked up, delivery costs are sky high, and yet we still have shortages.

Speaking of Shortages…

I have to wonder if food shortages are going to get worse, driving prices even higher. Christian over at Ice Age Farmer believes we’re going to see a shortage of corn and beef.

I anticipate a global food shortage that will cause sever pain and suffering in some countries and pain in the pocketbook in the U.S. We’ll still have food, if we can afford it.

I am always a strong believer in storing food. Nothing I have seen or read makes me regret that. Some things make me want to double down.

No Masks

As I alluded to yesterday, our trip was marked by an absence of masks. I don’t think I put one on once.

I’m used to that where I live, but when going to more populated or more urban areas, I’m used to seeing masks everywhere. It was very much the opposite, and those wearing masks stuck out like a sore thumb.

I’ve been reading about people who are afraid to unmask, even though they are fully vaccinated, young, and healthy. There has also been much written about whether we can trust the non-vaccinated to wear a mask since most stores won’t be verifying vaccination. Of course not. Those who don’t want to get vaccinated are likely the same people who didn’t want to wear their mask in the first place. Expecting them to comply is foolish.

I expect the CDC knew this declaration will effectively be the end of mask wearing in all but the most tightly controlled areas, such as airplanes, and I expect they are fine with that, despite Biden’s blustering

Biden Admin Smacked Down by Supreme Court

To end this post on a positive note: The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police were prohibited from entering a man’s home and seizing his guns without a warrant. It’s nice to see the Supreme Court drawing a line in the sand in relation to the 4th Amendment and unreasonable searches and seizures. It’s even nicer to see the Biden Administration get smacked down in a 9-to-0 ruling.