Everyone, including myself, were so happy during May and June when the temp never really got “HOT.” Normally June can have some of the hottest temperatures of the entire year, so basically getting a month long reprieve from the summer heat was great!! But, OMG is Mother Nature making up for lost ground. As l write these words, we are now setting a new record each day for consecutive days of over 110 degrees in Phoenix.
Terry Joy and l have been friends for over 55 years, starting way back in the late 1960’s in the Portland Oregon area. Terry moved to the Phoenix area a few years ago and says that the heat doesn’t really bother him that much. He even goes golfing during the summer months. I mention Terry, because he and l had a pretty scary heat-related experience a few weeks ago. It happened on yet another of those consecutive 115+ degree days on a late Thursday afternoon. We were driving back to the Roddin’ Arizona office and had just transitioned from the westbound I-10 freeway to the northbound I-17 freeway near the airport. Suddenly my car began to stall out and luckily I was able to get over to the right shoulder where l coasted to a stop. The driver ME had somehow run out of gas and at the worst possible time, during rush hour going home traffic. All l can say in my defense, is that my gas gauge needle was just below eighth tank and not even touching the empty line yet. Yes, the Low Fuel warning light was on, but I thought l should be able to go at least another 30-40 miles-WRONG won’t make that mistake again. I quickly called AAA which will bring you 2 gallons of gas. Unfortunately, because it was late afternoon at the height of rush hour the dispatcher said it could be up to 45 minutes before the driver could get to us. With vehicles zooming by just a few feet from the car, Terry and l decided that exiting the car and stepping over the guardrail was the safest choice. Did I mention that it was over 115 degrees? Well, there we were standing in the blazing heat and we had very little water left. Neither of us even had a hat, but I remembered that l did have one of those aluminum-based window shades. There was no place to sit, so there we stood with our floppy little shade device hoping the AAA driver would get there soon. Another AAA flatbed tow driver down (about 50 feet down) on the outside road stopped and threw us a couple of bottles of cold water, but he didn’t have any gas. We stood out there in the blazing sun for about 35 minutes until the AAA driver arrived. He offered us water and quickly dumped in the 2 gallons of gas, and made sure the car started. We sincerely thanked him and headed off to the nearest gas station.
I told this story in hopes that it might help someone to get better prepared for things like this that can and certainly do happen. My car now has a blanket and big umbrella and l always have water, but probably not enough and the car gets gas before it hits the eighth tank level. I really can’t remember if I’ve ever run out of gas before and hope this was the last time. Of course, Terry is still ribbing me that I tried to kill him along the freeway, but hey that’s what friends are for. Before this happened, Terry and l were both on the fence about renewing our AAA membership because we hadn’t really used it. Well as of right now, we have both upgraded to the Premium plan.