Monday, October 10, 2011

No gas at the gas stations, fruit and salt

It 350 miles from home to where I'm at in Northern California.  I stopped for gas twice, although my tank would have gotten me from home to here on the one tank.  I stopped for gas about 60 miles south of here. Or at least I tried, and tried again.  It was after dark, I was getting tired, but I had a reservation and I needed to keep plodding on.  I was driving on Interstate 5 and got off at an off ramp where I've gotten gas before.  That gas station was shut down.  Not a problem.  I got back on the freeway and got off at the next off ramp.  There was one gas station there.  It had about 10 pumps and about 30 or 40 cars waiting to pump.  Yes, each pump had a car filling up and had three or four vehicles stacked up in each row wanting to fill up.  The gas was about 20 cents a gallon cheaper than other gas stations had posted along the freeway.  I don't need this wait.  I got back on the freeway.  I got off at the next off ramp.  That gas station was open but they didn't have any gas.  Each pump had a sign that they ran out of gas.  What?  Sunday night and all the pumps are dry?  I got back on the freeway.  I got off at the next off ramp.  That station was open and not busy.  I filled up with gas.  This station was about ten miles past the first exit I had originally taken to try to get gas. 

If I was really running low on gas rather than having 15 gallons still in my tank I may have panicked, or waited 15 minutes to fill up at that one station.  If I wasn't smart I would have just said forget it and traveled the further distance to my destination and just worried about getting gas before I head back south on Wednesday.  No, I'd rather be up here with a full tank. 

The class I taught went well.  34 students enjoyed class, at least until I said it was exam time.  Normally I don't give exams, if you show up you get a certificate.  This year is different.  They need to earn their cert.    We had a couple of people who got a little worried that they weren't going to pass.  I think the entire class did well enough.  We'll see when I get around to grading these things. 

I did a little research and several of the schools in the northern part of the state have planted small orchards on the school grounds.  This website lists schools that have planted trees.  Here's an example from their site: Public Schools in Redding, California February-May, 2010: FTPF's "Fruit Tree 101" program plants 60 fruit trees with environmental lessons for 50 students at Lassen View Elementary School, 14 trees at Cypress Elementary School, 36 trees at the Shasta College Community Teaching Garden, and 42 trees with 400 students at Shasta Meadows Elementary School.   Check out programs like this in your area to see if there's any public plantings. 

It's raining today so I didn't do anything after class other than go back to the hotel and eat free dinner.  Not much on their menu tonight: salad and meatballs.  The meatballs didn't look good so I just had salad.  One of the cadre members and one of the students we out to eat something other than the salad.  I ate so much at the breakfast and lunch that salad was plenty for dinner.  I'm sure I'll be famished in the morning though. 

Tomorrow after class we are going to take one of the new cadre members plus whoever else wants to go on a field trip.  We'll only have about an hour until it starts getting dark so it'll have to be quick.  The sandstone in this area naturally produces salt.  Nothing more fun than laying on your stomach and licking rocks to get salt!  There are salt crystals that form during the summer but for now, it's just licking rocks.  Do you know of any local salt producing areas where you live? 


  1. The gas story is a good lesson is preparedness, "What you thought was, may not be now." How many times do we expect something because it has always been a certain way. Glad you found gas.

    One of our elementary schools used to have a garden, mostly because of one teacher. That teacher no longer tends the garden, so it is not being worked much. Too bad.

  2. I had trouble finding sugar, and you had trouble with gas. Good thing we didn't really need it, but more or less wanted it.

    I always think it's odd when a station is completely out of gas, to me that's a business that might not make it long term. Many places won't take credit/net 30 for gas anymore and wan to be paid on delivery, so it's all about cash on hand I suppose.

    I had a big salad for dinner and it didn't make a dent. Next month I start my vegan diet for 60 days and it's going to be my downfall.

  3. With my vehicles, the rule is never go below half a tank. I have to stop more often but I have not run out of gas. Running out of gas up here in these mountains, on a back road in the middle of the national forest, could do you.