Picking up from part 1, I hop the fence. Next item on the agenda – get a gas can. They didn’t have one in the gas station. (Surprising, right?) But, a man in the shop across from the gas station let me borrow one.
I took the gas can over to the pumps, and was having a hard time filling it. Apparently you have to make a seal. It was nerve-wracking! I didn’t want to overfill the small can.
These two extremely nice women came over to help me. They were an awesome reminder of one of the many reasons not to judge people based on assumptions or first appearances. The women who helped me were in high heels and nice clothes. They had manicured nails and styled hair.
They didn’t necessarily look on the surface like the type of people who’d be comfortable with gas cans, but they rushed right to my rescue. They helped me hold the gas can, and came over to the fence with me, handing me the can after I climbed back over the fence. Thanks, ladies!
Once I got back to the car, I realized that gas cans are supposed to have some kind of nozzle, right? didn’t want to walk to the fence and hop it (and back) again in the sweltering heat. So, I poured from the best angle I could, spilling as little gas as possible, hoping not to catch anything on fire.
Somehow, enough gas got in my tank. I drove up around the long fence, into the gas station, and got my gas!
It was incredible how crowded this place was. There was a line for everything – to buy gas, to buy snacks, to use the bathroom – line, line, line. Someone in the bathroom line remarked to me that they hadn’t seen anywhere to stop in hours. Me neither!
Somebody build some gas stations on the Grand Canyon/San Diego trek already!
I grabbed a Gatorade and some precious, precious Doritos. I took a few minutes out of my car stretching, and hopped back in for another good ol’ stretch of nothing.
You’d think driving home couldn’t be more stressful after that, but you’re not winding around a mountain yet! 2 lanes (one each way). So many turns. On a mountain! I’m never going to make it back to LA alive, am I?
Somehow, I made it through the mountain and made my way to San Diego. Thank goodness I had totally been eavesdropping at the Enterprise when they talked to other customers. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known about the secret hotel valet drop-off after hours, and I would’ve been stuck for the night.
I made my way around one way streets for way too long until I finally figured out how to get to the valet. I sadly emptied my super convenient car, and walked to the Greyhound station to get back to Los Angeles. This was the first Greyhound station I’d seen where everyone was wanded before entry (entry to the outside area, since the station was completely outside).
The ride home was miserable. Mis-er-a-ble. First, I sat next to a broken window where cold air was blowing at my like crazy. I asked the bus driver if he could turn on the heat, but he didn’t speak English.
A woman close to the bus driver translated for us. She told me that the heat was already on. I moved seats closer to a big vent that would hopefully be blowing out heat. Nope. Turns out the heat was not on, but the air was.
I looked around, and every person on that bus was miserable, wrapped up in sweatshirts, blankets, and whatever else they could find. As we started to just maybe try to drift to sleep on a bus that made that next to impossible, the bus was stopped by border patrol.
The stern officer asked each of us for our license. This was the billionth time I’d seen border patrol on this trip. When he started on his questions, including, “Were you born here?” I wanted to say, “How is my license not good enough? Born here or not, I’m a citizen. Please, I’m begging you, let us go home. I’m so cranky and sleepy.”
The bus was eventually cleared. I commiserated about the cold and being questioned all the time with a new friend in the back of the bus. Early in the morning, I finally arrived in Los Angeles, and proceeded to sleep for two days straight (exaggeration).