I just got home from a road trip from San Diego to Seattle – well, half a road trip. Trisha and I drove the van up — and she gets to drive it back by herself next week, while I flew home comfortably yesterday courtesy of Alaska Airlines.
We drove 1490 miles, which includes a detour down to the Oregon coast from Eugene to Florence, and back. We were going to take a coastal route through the state. We got to the coast. It was foggy and cold, and the road wild and curvy (what did we expect?) and progress was slow until it was halted abruptly by a jackknifed vehicle. Traffic was completely blocked both ways and there was no telling how long it would take before it was clear again. We turned around, and 200 miles and 5 hours later we arrived back in the proximity of Eugene, right where we had started from that morning.
We noticed that every time we got gas there was an attendant pumping it for us, even in the large multi-pump gas stations. The price was comparable to what it was in Northern California. We found out that according to one attendant, it is illegal for patrons to pump their own gas in Oregon. Only two states, New Jersey and Oregon, have this rule. He cited that it was much safer, proceeding to tell us how dangerous static electricity and cell phone use was in conjunction with pumping gas.
I knew all that. I just couldn’t figure out how the attendant would avoid static electricity himself.
He made it sound like gas stations were blowing up regularly in other states. I have never heard about this, and certainly never seen it myself, so I wonder how real the danger is and what the statistics are. Why would a state make such a rule?
It was nice to have a helper. It did slow down the process of getting gas. You had to wait to get somebody to come to your car to get started, and paying and getting your change back also took somewhat longer than it would have doing it the old-fashioned way – pumping my own gas.