June 7, 2012
Mountain Dews for Breakfast
A long hauler turned tow truck driver dropped us off in a large dirt parking lot behind a Chevron station some 100 miles west of the lonely stretch of road that we broke down in. After three hours of sage advice on topics ranging from float shifting techniques to picking up women through Facebook, our tow truck driver shook our hands and headed back towards his “Old Lady” in Bullhead City. It was 2:30 and Tim and I quickly folded down the backseat and laid down side by side in the back of the Syncro. We were unusually quite. Despite having lost its power of movement, the vans familiar smells were comforting, and I was asleep within minutes.
The 18 wheelers rumbled into motion shortly before sunrise and hit I40. The change of their diesel engines from idle to load baring woke me from a deep slumber. At 4:45, it was already 75 degrees. “Fuck, It’s going to be a hot one..” I thought to myself before rolling over to sleep for an hour or two more. By the time, my thumping bladder finally drove me from my sleeping bag at 6:30 in search of secluded place to pee, only a few of the last stragglers were left.
Walking back through the empty parking lot towards the van, a man in faded Levis and cowboy boots stood brandishing a Subway foot long and inspecting my strange vehicle. He cracked a fresh Mountain Dew and took a long swing.
“You guys broke down?” A thick southern accident crept past his grey mustache.
“Yup, we got towed here last night.”
“Not sure, but I think its the fuel pump.” Turning the ignition, the started cranked in vain.
“Yup, sounds like a fuel pump!” the man laughed in agreement, echoing years of constant smoking.
Confirming my suspicions, I didn’t tempt fate a second time and left the keys in the ignition. “We are getting towed to LA.”
“Plenty of places work on VW’s in LA. You boys should be fine. Back on the road in no time.”
“So I hope. Where are you headed?”
“Wisconsin. Was supposed to be there…” He closed one eye and peered up at the sky, “….Five hours ago.”
“No shit? how long will it take you to get there from here?”
“Well…” he closed the same eye and looked up at the sky, clutching the Mountain Dew in both hands, “…its about eighteen hundred miles, so if I beat feet I could be there in twenty five hours. Which reminds me, gotta hit the road.”
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