We left the El Paso KOA on Tuesday just ahead of a blowing dust and wind advisory was to take place. I had driven through one such event years ago driving from Tucson to Phoenix. Tumbleweeds the size of a car blew across the road and when the dirt/dust storm hit there was zero visibility. I remember sitting on the side of the road, engine off of course so it did not plug the air filter, eating dirt despite every window shut as tightly as I could get them to. While the storm lasted less than 30 minutes, it left a memory I’ll never forget. So with that in mind we headed out of ElPaso and across the Texas/New Mexico border headed east.
Both my GPS devices took us along Texas Highway 180/62 that lead straight toward the Guadalupe Mountains and through the Texas Mountain Pass.
What we didn’t realize was that there were absolutely no gas stations, markets, anything all along the route.
The first half of the trip was on a mostly two lane road headed into the mountains.
When we were below half a tank I started to worry. Monica searched the GPS for other options, used the CB to try and contact trucks or anyone for assistance, none to be found.
Finally on the other side of the mountains, in a small town? village? called Mentone, we happened upon a few trucks filling at a lone gas and diesel pump. No store, just a few pumps only one of which was working. Hoping it was not a company pump just for the trucks lined up there, we found it was a commercial station that used just credit cards and linked via telephone line to authorize the purchase. After what seemed like an incredibly long time waiting for authorization (remember dial-up?) we were approved, filled up, and headed for our destination in Gardendale Texas. In this day and age I never expected to be on a road so desolate and devoid of any type service. Lesson learned: there are still places in this country that are as remote and wild as they ever were.