Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

A Hero in My Own Mind

A woman should not hitchhike alone.  It can be dangerous.

I knew that.  I hated the thought of Miss Sugar out on the highway in Wyoming’s strong November wind.

It was that wind which diminished the fuel efficiency of our Ford F250 pickup.  That and pulling the RV trailer.  I should have calculated those factors when deciding to try to make it to Laramie.

There is a 45 mile stretch with no service stations between our northern Colorado ranch and Laramie, Wyoming.  In hindsight, I regretted not filling up the truck before we left.  Sure they sell diesel less than a mile from our place, but it is cheaper to buy it in Wyoming.  Less tax.  Plus, it would be inefficient to backtrack nearly 8/10th of a mile out of our way just to fill up for peace of mind.  One must have confidence, living without fear.

I thought we could make it, so imagine my alarm when the fuel gauge showed empty while we were still 20 miles from Laramie.

Twenty miles is too far to travel on an empty tank.  It is also too far to walk.  Fifteen, even ten miles are too far to walk.  Going there and back doubles the distance.  I doubted she could make it back before nightfall.  Not with her bum knee.

I was worried about Sugar’s bum knee.  Walking that far wouldn’t help it none.  In a bad accident last year, one of her injuries was a torn posterior cruciate ligament.  Since then, she has been unable to run.  She even walks much slower.  Nevertheless, the choice was clear as to which of us should go for fuel.  Obviously, I was needed to protect the RV.  I have a gun and she does not.

Sugar’s mother, Italian father, and two brothers might not agree with that choice, but we’d all have a good laugh about this at Thanksgiving as long as Sugar was safe.  No harm, no foul.  Right?  As long as she could get back safely….

I would hate it if anything happened to my beloved wife.  I imagined that someone would give her a ride.  Hopefully, it would be a kind soul and not some badman or badmen.   It was a risk, sure, but that diesel engine can’t run without fuel.  Surely, someone would give her a ride back too.   Even a couple gallons gets heavy after a few miles of carrying it.

Sugar would hate it if anything happened to our new used RV.  She has worked so hard to get it ready for the trip.  Some of you have read about our prior disappointments when we had to cancel our maiden voyage.  She had so looked forward to this weekend.

So, knowing she would hate it if anything happened to the RV, I vowed to protect it.  I was thankful that the RV itself has heat and a warm bed because it could take a long time for my wife to return with the fuel.  Maybe time enough for a movie since it is equipped with the DVD and TV.  It is important to be comfortable while worrying about a loved one.

I am a lucky man to be married to such a trooper.  She is quite a gal.  I made a mental note to get Sugar some Mace for the future.  Like I always say, “Be prepared.”

I love her so much that it hurts me to disappoint her.  That is why I was wise to not let her know when I noticed the fuel gauge showed empty while we still had those twenty miles to go.  I did not tell her of my worried thoughts above.  And that is why I was relieved when, miraculously, we made it to a service station in Laramie.  No harm, no foul.

What she don’t know won’t hurt her, or me.

I guess God did not like the idea of Sugar walking along the highway.  After all, she is one of his favorites.

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37 thoughts on “A Hero in My Own Mind

  1. you’re a good man my friend, Miss Sugar an’ you prove there’s still some hope 🙂

    • I haven’t heard from you for awhile. I was just funnin’. I’d never let Sugar hitchhike.

      • Even so, it was a good read! Well, I’ve been having all kinds of changes goin’ on here. My dear wife and best friend has decided to follow a career that she’s always pined for… that of a CDL trucker! I’ve been helping out here by taking on her chores while she attends trucking school at our State college here. Of course that leaves me less time to recline in my Lazy Boy, ha ha. BTW, I totally back her up on her dream of over the road truck driving…besides, I get to ride along with her if I wish 🙂

      • That is a big change. Well, if you ride along you can see the country.

      • That’s the plan. We’re thinking of putting up the household in a storage unit for a year or two while cruise the roads. This will also give me plenty of time to write my old west short stories too.

      • Bring your laptop! Your plan sounds like fun. If you drive between Fort Collins and Laramie on Hwy 287, maybe we could meet up. We offer plenty of free parking.

      • I should say so! Has asphalt been invented out your way yet or do I need to bone up on my trail skills?

      • We got asphalt and gravel and all the modern conveniences.

      • I sort a figured Hwy 287 was a main type road since it’s the only one showing up on my GPS besides some entrance and dirt ones. How’s the fires treating you? Hope you and yours are a safe distance away.

      • 287 is a US Highway that runs between Fort Collins, CO and Laramie, WY and, of course, way beyond both directions.
        The bad fires are far from us so far this year, but there was one in Rocky Mountain National Park in our county.

      • Good to hear you won’t be having to rename your area “Hells fire”. Still, be safe 🙂

  2. Miracles still happen. But next time… 🙂

  3. 2 gal. post E and fumes

  4. And she let you live….that’s one AMAZING woman! ! ! I bet when that little dinger went off to say you were needing fuel now she gave you a look that said a million things!!

    • She never knew until we filled up in Laramie and I told her I had been a little worried but now all is well. Our truck is too old to have a dinger. Only the driver knows what the fuel gauge says.

  5. loved this! Had me going for a moment. hahaha

  6. You are a nice man and your wife will feel secure being with you 🙂

  7. 5 gal can in the bed

  8. I have hitchhiked in Wyoming and Colorado many times over the years. I have met some great people there. It is good to hear that Wyoming just passed a law this year that makes hitchhiking legal again.

    “A Thumb and a Prayer”


  9. Reblogged this on Shootin' the Breeze and commented:

    Some folks said they enjoyed this post in the past, so I am reblogging it since I am too lazy to write a new post today.

  10. I LOVE your writings! … and reading the comments is almost as much fun 🙂 Sending blessings your way

  11. Great read! You had me going there for a minute!! Well done!

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