I planned my gas stops pretty closely when I organized this trip. So I wasn’t worried when I left my lunch stop in Medford and headed east on Hwy 62 toward Crater Lake. I had checked my map and knew that as long as I got gas in Prospect I would only have to stop one time on this last leg to Eugene.
It was a bit out in the middle nowhere that Prospect appeared. I was quite relieved to see a “Fuel Next Right” sign as I approached the town.
Since Oregon has this strange law that you can’t pump your own gas I thought nothing of it when an attendant came out to meet me, when I pulled up to the pump. He was very friendly even though he looked very much the stereotypical country hick, Missing teeth and everything. He was apologetic as he told me that they had just lost power a little while ago and that he couldn’t pump any gas. It took a while for this to sink in, and for the implications of being out of gas nowhere near anywhere. I asked if there was a station nearby that would have power and he said he was pretty sure they were out all over, but he would check. He wandered off toward the little market and I peeled off my gloves and helmet worried that I might be there a while.
He came back saying that the closest station (about 20 miles away) was out too, and asking what my range was. I told him that I could do 20 maybe 25 more miles. We spoke a bit more about where I was headed and where I had been. As we spoke another man came out of the Market and headed toward us. He was a big guy with a big full beard, very mountain man looking. He told me that he had some gas at his house, I said that I could pay and all I needed was a gallon or so (I was thinking I would just head back to Medford and then head up 5 to Eugene giving up on my mountain ride). He said sure and just follow him to his house he pointed to his car (a Kia) and headed toward it. I started putting on my gear and as I did the attendant assured me that it was fine and not to worry and that his parents owned the market.
I wasn’t worried… until he said that.
As soon as he did I realized how crazy this could be. Following a stranger to his house in the middle of nowhere Oregon… sounds like the beginning of a movie. A movie in which a lot of people die.
It turned out fine. Mike was a super friendly guy, used to ride a Harley until the mother of his son was killed in a drunk driving accident and he did not want to risk leaving his child an orphan. Especially after he had a rear wheel blow out on him on Hwy 5 while going … um the speed limit?
Anyway, he filled up my tank and would only take $10 for the gas. There are really good people in the world and Mike is one of them.