I drive eastbound on I-84 from Boise to Salt Lake City. I have my new trailer in tow. Everything is going well. Truck and trailer are towing straight and true. It is late afternoon. Beautiful, sunny day. Enjoying the scenic surrounding snow capped mountains that surround this remote valley. Glance at the gas gauge. Little more than a 1/4 tank. Should be more than enough gas to the next exit. Quick glance at a road sign. Next gas stop and exit, 68 miles. Quick mental calculation. I am going to run out of gas. Yes, I have a pocketful of Roadside Assistance cards to call for help. Fact of the matter is, I am going to be stopped, alongside the highway out of gas. I get angry. First trip with my trailer and I make this dumb mistake. I press on.
Gas gauge begins to drop like a rocket. The stripes of the highway continue to pass underneath me. It won’t be long until sundown. Looking at the dashboard of my truck, the 50 mile countdown to “Out of Gas” begins. 50 miles, 49 miles, 48 miles, 27 miles, 15 miles……… A sign alongside the highway looms in the distance. It comes into view “Gas – Open 24 Hours.” Can this be true? 12 miles to empty. Gas next exit. I gather my wits to make sure I do not miss the turn off. I exit, follow the signs, cross over the highway and there it is, a small gas station with a single pump. I made it. 12 miles to go on my gas gauge and I have found gas.
I get out of the truck, look at the screen on the gas pump.
What? I have stopped in the “Middle of Nowhere.” Forget that gas is a $1.00 more a gallon here. I will gladly pay it. Fact of the matter is, I have arrived at this place.
I see Llamas in pens everywhere. I could walk up to a Llama and pet it. Probably, it would spit me in the face for being stupid about almost running out of gas. I glance over at the small store building.
This is surreal! Gassing up and petting Llamas in the “Middle of Nowhere.” I finish pumping my gas and walk in the store. I ask the late middle aged gentleman for directions to the rest room. He points to a door in the back of the store. I enter the restroom and find these two signs posted on the wall.
As I leave the store, to make small talk, I ask the gentleman behind the counter, how long have you lived here? About 20 years I suspect. And this place was here here 20 years before that.
As I head for my truck to leave, I finally get it. Now I know where I have been………..
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension—a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone. Rod Serling