Home > On the Road > Last Gallon, Last Dime

Last Gallon, Last Dime

Play

In 2011 my wallet was stolen in Kalispell, MT, which is a long way from my North Carolina home. My bank has no branches west of the Mississippi so I was in a real jam. Listen to the podcast to hear my sorry tale about banks that wouldn’t help me with a legitimate cashier’s check and my encounter with a payday lender. I managed to make my way ALMOST home on the money I had, but my last night on the road was bewildering. Using my last dollar to fill the gas tank, I headed for KOA’s beautiful Townsend/Great Smokies property after dark.

Alas, the wrong turn

But I took a wrong turn. By the time I got re-oriented my fuel light appeared. I was down to one gallon of gas, which would carry me about 60 miles. Sure, I’d make it to KOA, but I wouldn’t have enough gas to get to the closest bank branch in the morning. And remember, my last dime was spent. My husband had already paid for my campsite with his credit card, so everything was in order as I pulled into the campground. I erected my tent as the nearby campers roasted marshmallows, hoping that being this close to my home in Charlotte, NC, I might run into someone I knew who would lend me $10 for the tank. It was the classic case of being so close (to home) yet so far away.

KOA to the rescue

Looking at the campground map I saw that (Eureka!) KOA had a gas station itself. I slept well, knowing that the friendly folks there would surely help me out of my jam. Sure enough, the next morning I explained my plight to the general manager, who took my husband’s credit card information and let me fuel up. An hour later I strode into the bank, in sympathy with  the desert traveler who finally finds the oasis. Am I just the world’s most fortunate woman, or do I have a guardian angel? I don’t know, but I’m going with it. Some things defy explanation.

_IMI6756
And here I am at Kickstands Down…with a road-weary bra!

About Tamela Rich

Author Tamela has extensively traveled the U.S. and Canada, delivering her message to Pack Light | Travel Slow | Connect Deep. Her keynotes and workshops include life lessons she has learned through chance encounters on the road.

Check Also

Four Mobile Apps for Finding Great Roadside Stops

Planning a great road trip might start considerations like a final destination on a specific arrival date, but why not add some roadside kitsch and history along the way? My philosophy is that the journey is an equally-important part of the vacation. #TravelSlow #ConnectDeep.