parallax background

What to do when you run out of gas in Alaska

Why you should visit Seattle
November 18, 2017
Living a Dream in Yosemite Valley (Part I)
December 4, 2017

"I think we just have to give up..."

I remarked as we sat in our white rental Chevy Malibu on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere Alaska. We did everything that we could but we had finally run out of options.

It wasn't the Malibu's fault by any means. She had gotten us through over a thousand miles of rough Alaskan twist and turns and the best week of my life. A week filled with firsts and packed with emotion and adventure.

But I can't say we didn't deserve to be defeated in the end. We did not treat the Malibu with the respect that she deserved. The motto that we repeated over and over as we put her through her paces is "Hertz would not approve," but she took whatever we threw at her like a champ. Until we ran out of gas.


The Last Resort

We placed another call with our vehicle and let them know our predicament. They patched us through to the Alaska State Troopers who connected us with a towing company. We gave the towing company an explanation of our situation and our approximate mileage marker. We asked for the damage of a tow from our location and we were ensured that we would be "taken care of when the driver arrived."

Some time passed by. We waited and reminisced on the week at laughed at the situation that we somehow had gotten ourselves in. Our savior in a yellow truck eventually arrived and hopped out of the cab with a red gas can.

We briefly exchange words as he goes and pours the gas into the Malibu. I once again ask what this trip would cost us, and was told that he would have to do the calculations back in the truck. What options did we have at this point? I let him continue to pour the 2 gallons of gas into the vehicle.

The little blonde hair boy that couldn't have been any older than 16 or 17 climbed up in his tow track, punched some numbers, and with the a straight face says "That'll be $300 please." I laughed. Looked around and his face was still straight. "No. Really. How much is it going to really cost?" I said. The boy looked back down at his paper and then back at me. "$300," again he says.  I was floored. How did 2 gallons of gas just cost us $300? This has to be some sick joke. Unfortunately , he was as serious as he could be.

I walked back to the car to consult the other two on this issue. What do we do? We'll act  like dumb and broke college students. The plan is flawless, right?

Eventually through some dealing and playing dumb we came to an agreement with the little boy's father to only pay $80 for the gas, a price that we thought was reasonable for the short mileage and little bit of gas.

Lessons Learned

Off we were on the rest our day. The day hadn't gone quite as planned, but we were still able to squeeze in a few short little hikes along the way. Our day was capped off with a hike over looking Anchorage and amazing local beer and pizza from Moose's Tooth (highly recommended).

While some would say this day could be classified as a failure or a major disappointment, we were able to turn our misfortune into a moment of laughter and reflection. In other words, another Prime Adventure.

Chris Fluitt
Chris Fluitt
I am an all around tech guy, a graphic designer and programmer, a car enthusiast, and a coffee and beer lover. When I'm not behind the keyboard I am probably exploring a national park.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge