Pattison on Wheels

Friday, April 25, 2008

4-25-08: Return To Planet Earth

Up and rolling on wheels again but rather spacey. during the night, planning, I put it together that I now had propane so could cook breakfast here at the state park. When I got up and packed I forgot and drove off without breakfast thinking I would have to eat in a restaurant somewhere as there is no wood gathering allowed at the park. Maybe it’s like a week long meditation retreat: it takes a while to re-enter.

I cruised down the highway feeling good but not quite of this earth. I stopped for fuel and spotted the pump with the green handle indicating to me the diesel fuel pump. While filling up I was watching a long military convoy entering the highway from a dirt road by the station. The drivers seemed to have quite a problem steering them. I speculated on whether military vehicles had very high steering ratios.

About twenty minutes down the road the car started surging a bit and missing so I took the next exit and pulled over to see what was happening. I shut it off and it wouldn’t re-start. I was trying to think what had happened. The only thing new was the fuel. Did it have water in it? I looked at my receipt from the pump and it was for gasoline. It seem BP stations use green as their signature color and don’t care what pump they put it on. (Of course there would have been plenty of other cues had I been more on the planet.)

I had put gasoline in my diesel car! I had a sinking horror that I might have ruined my engine—melted a piston or something. Phone calls revealed that, no, I hadn’t destroyed anything. All the fuel would have to be removed from the tank. I called Triple A and learned that my emergency road service insurance now only covers three (3) miles and the car must be unloaded first. Impossible. So I found a local (Clinton SC) mechanic who could do it and they called their local tow service. I was back on the road in a few hours having spent the time on a bench outside the garage reading, listening to a virtuoso mocking bird on the roof above, and pleasuring in the perfect temperature and soft breeze.

I suffered nothing but a $152 charge including the tow and gained a slightly diminished ego. I got some Chinese veggie take-out on the way to my sister’s house and we had dinner together. Then I started transcribing the hand written journal from the last eleven days and uploading it to the blog.


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