Road Trip Report: Gas Shortages and Lots of Trucks

We get a good look at the Southern states, mask compliance, gasoline shortages, the economy, and eat plenty of biscuits.

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.

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Prepper Diary January 12: How to be Prepared When you are in your Car

As the snow sets in again, we prep our vehicles to help us stay warm and well fed if we are stranded or need to walk home.

We woke up to snow today, which was unexpected.  It started with small flakes, but as the air warmed they became larger.  This is one of those snows we get because of our elevation but most of the area misses out on.  If you are ever are driving around and you see a snow-topped mountain, think of us.

There was minimal accumulation, but I was happy enough to let this delay my planned outdoor activities and spend the day working indoors, mostly more unpacking, consolidating, and moving boxes from a giant pile to a more permanent storage location. I am down to less than a dozen boxes that remain unpacked.

We had carried firewood into the house the day before, not due to any advanced planning but simply because we were running low.  I had also split enough kindling to last the better part of a week.  We have almost completely killed the second of our woodpiles.  That means that by the time we finish the stuff that is inside, we will have burned through two cords — and it is only mid-January!

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Prepper Diary December 30: I Finally Buy a New Truck

We finally reached the point where it was getting tough to live without a pickup truck. They are just so useful around rural property.

It has been a long time since I talked about buying a pickup truck, but the big news around here is that yesterday I used check from our insurance and some money from the sale of our house and bought a 2021 Chevy Colorado. 

My “free” rental provided by the insurance company expired some weeks ago.  I didn’t worry about it over the holidays, but we are already running into situation where having a truck would be useful.  I’ve driven a pickup truck for 24 years and it became one of those things where we didn’t appreciate its utility until it was no longer there.

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Prepper Diary December 2: More on the Move, the Truck, and COVID-19

It’s a busy week at Pete’s house as the move gets closer, COVID-19 gets worse, and he still needs a new truck.

Packing continues.  I have become an expert at using rolls of toilet paper to fill in voids in large boxes.  I also excel at using clothing to pad electronic equipment in boxes.  The downside of this approach is that if we don’t unpack quickly, I’m going to have a limited supply of clothing to wear.  The positive is that in some future where there is no toilet paper, I will open a box labeled “Pete’s Office Supplies” and find two pristine rolls of toilet tissue, making me the hero of the hour.

We are at that weird place where we are trying to eat everything in the refrigerator and freezer so we don’t have to move it or toss it.  For example, we’ve been drinking a river’s worth of sparkling water, tonic, and we’ve been eating hors d’oeuvres for dinner.  Today, we munched on some rather large green olives that are flavored with vermouth and meant to go into martinis.  My wife is making popcorn for snacking to prevent us from having to move the few popcorn kernels left in the bottom of Orville’s jar.

We’ve already have condiments at the other house, so things like the half jar of relish and partially used bottle of ketchup are going to be sacrificed when we go.  I was happy to note that the maple syrup has made the cut and among the glass bottles in an old liquor carton.

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Prepper Diary November 29: Truck Travails and Making Moves

Our impending move is made more challenging by the destruction of my pickup truck, but we persevere by renting a Ram 1500.

We have finished the leftover turkey, but there is still stuffing and pie left over, so I really have nothing to complain about. 

My youngest daughter came over and smoked a turkey breast.  With only the three of us for Thanksgiving and us being in the middle of packing, it just didn’t make sense to cook a whole turkey.  We did have most of the standard fixings, including my wife’s excellent stuffing, which include sausage. 

We debated what time to eat, and we kidded my daughter who is usually late.  She said, “I’ll aim to have dinner ready by 3:30, and that way we’ll be sure to eat by 5 p.m.” We all laughed, but sure enough, we sat down to dinner a few minutes before 5 p.m.  She now has a Thanksgiving dinner under her belt, so whenever she is called upon to cook Thanksgiving again, she’ll have a practice run under her belt.

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Prepper Diary November 25: Now I Gotta Buy a New Truck

In the aftermath of the car crash, Pete heads home and embarks on some truck shopping.

I have made the trip back home safe and sound, which is a relief after my last excursion!  Passing through the intersection where the accident happened, even though I am driving the opposite direction, is a bit of a weird feeling.

In any case, I made it back to the tow lot on Sunday and picked up my garage door openers.  I also found a phone headset I had left in the vehicle.  No idea how I missed that the first time.

Thanks to all for your patience when I missed a day or two of posting.  It was a rough week!

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