April 27, 2011

The "F" Word

but not the one your thinking! You know me better than that, at least I hope you do.

We're talking "F"uel! Yeah, that "F" word, the one that is just about as dirty as the other "F" word thanks to what its costing us all as of late.

Fueling was never fun, but as prices continue to rise, and our rates continue to fail to keep up with it, fueling gets more and more depressing. In California on Friday I fueled up, 115 gallons of diesel, for $4.52 a gallon. Most of the prices we're seeing over here in the western parts are between $4.40 and $4.50. Its kind of nasty!
Delivering the other day in Wenatchee, WA we were planning on fueling after we went south and reloaded. We generally try to stock up as much as we can before going into California, but our weight also limits us, so we plan ahead as much as we can, but sometimes its no use. As we were leaving Wenatchee, we were also looking for breakfast and when we noticed a small truck stop on the side of the road that also advertised a cafe, we decided to go ahead and fuel there, shower, and get something to eat before going to reload.
If fuel is going to stay this high (and apparently it isn't! Its going to go higher!) then this is the most reasonable, rather brilliant fueling policy I've seen in a long time! Incentive for truckers to buy more, and we get rewarded (of sorts) for spending our money at their store. Granted its only for cash purchases, and we fuel on credit so we didn't get to take part. We've never liked the idea of hauling around as much cash as it would take to fuel on, but we might come to that if fuel continues to climb. The savings would be worth it, if you can call it saving.

Anyway, this is the first I've seen of this fueling policy. The more gallons you pump, the less it costs you per gallon! I felt like this fueling station was trying to work with us a little, and granted, I know their prices are still much higher than is necessary, but small as their effort was, its more than we're seeing from most. I don't see why all stations can't offer something like this to all fuelers, commercial and private alike!

I haven't followed the news on the fuel issues, but I've seen various posts on facebook from friends and I'm getting the feeling that Washington DC isn't interested in intervening on the American public's behalf. After an experience last week I'm fully convinced that the only reason the fuel prices are so high is an old fashioned case of price gouging. We were in Oregon or Washington and most of the prices were around $4.45 a gallon. Then on a little back road in a little town we ran into a price war between two stations. One was selling diesel at $3.80 a gallon and the other was at $3.81. Down the road it was back up to $4.46 or so. If those two stations can sell their fuel for a full $0.65 less than the rest of the state and still make money on it, then you can't tell me the other stations don't have their prices hiked as high as they dare! Maddening!

So there is my rant on fuel! It's a painful topic, as it is for most of us I'd wager.

I still believe that we live in a marvelous country and I am patriotic to the core. I wouldn't want to live in any other country. But fuel prices, along with certain other things going on right now (things we won't get started on as we would be here all day long) have me rather soured right now. I'm not impressed with our government and hugely disappointed in society as a whole, no offense meant to you my friends.

On a lighter note, another interesting sight we saw while delivering in Wenatchee...
I'm sure your thinking right now, "Sarah, how is a dog that interesting?"
The most effective guard dogs are provided with a means by which to monitor your entire property at once without expending a lot of energy patrolling.
So if your going for energy efficiency and trying to cut back on expenditures since everything is becoming so costly, here's you one idea! The guard dog that doesn't have to constantly patrol the perimeters of his property, probably consumes less dog food.

A different and better "F" word: Friend

I have a dear friend and her name is Lily.
Lily, you may remember, is not just my friend but recently became my for real niece. I've been Aunt Sarah to her since the day she met me and heard my niece Bentlee calling me that. Lily and I bonded from the start. She finds horse books and saves them to read to me when I come visit. Smart girl! She picked up on my horse love right away. I'm not even sure how. And I started sending her an occasional post card last year, not realizing she was keeping them all. Then one day my sister sent me this picture...
...and told me how delighted Lily was, ecstatic really, every time she got a postcard and the first thing she did when she got one was rush to her room, pull out her map, and with Meagan's help find the state and color it in. Meagan and Chris were using my postcards to help Lily understand the concepts of continent, country, state, and city.

And so I need your help, if your able. There have been several states we've been in where I was not able to get a postcard! But I'd still like to be able to send Lily one from every state. So I was wondering, if you live in or near one of the states listed below, or travel to one this summer, could you send me 2 post cards? Two, because I'm thinking of starting this with someone else, so I might as well go ahead and get 2 cards as we don't travel often in a number of the states on my list. My list of needed states is below and if you are willing and able can you just pickup 2 postcards, stick them in an envelope for me, and mail them to me? I would appreciate it so much and so will Lily!

I need postcards from these states:
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
North Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

I know its a lot of New England states. They don't have as many truck stops and they are so small we hardly ever stop in them when we're going through...which is hardly ever. Any help is appreciated! Wouldn't it be awesome for Lily to have a postcard from every state in our great nation?

If you are able to help out you can email me by way of the button at the top of the sidebar or at whitelinechasers@yahoo.com and I'll respond with my address and a huge "thank you".  Please put something like "postcards for Lily" in the subject of the email so I'll know its not Spam and delete you!

We're loaded up and headed to Idaho, then we have a load of fertilizer to Montana! Back to the home country! (and sadly the cold country as they got more snow this week in places)


aleisethefunny said...

I live in Ohio so I can't help you out with the postcards. I did want to say that it's the fuel companies that are gouging the prices, the gas station owners do not make much if any money from the fuel. I believe they make all their money from the things you buy in the store. Anyways, I haven't commented in a while and I just wanted to tell you I am enjoying your little road adventures! :)

Shirley said...

I hear you on the fuel costs; up here it's about $5.30 a gallon for gas, so we go across the border to Idaho and fuel up for about $3.70 a gallon. If this keeps up, it will hit the economy really hard, food prices will have to go up because of the cost of trucking, the cost of producing food will go up because of the cost of fuel for tractors etc.- it's a viscous circle. Sometimes I think the world is spiraling out of control and the only thing to do is to stay out of the world by living a simple life; grow as much of your own food as you can, support your local farmers instead of the big chain stores, and make do with less of everything.

Dreaming said...

Ouch! I thought filling our pick-up was awful - I can't imagine having to fuel a 'real' truck! I hate to admit how happy I am when I take my Prius in for 7 gallons of gas!

I love the postcard and map project. What a neat way for your niece to learn about our country. Sorry, but I don't live in any of the mentioned states.

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Hey Sarah, you're not the only one with real costly fuel prices so quit bragging will ya? lol. It's crazy. I think that is great what you're doing for Lily. Those states will really stick in her mind. That's a great way to learn about them.

Muffy's Marks said...

What is going to happen this fall, when we reap the benefits of all these price hikes, I doubt we will be able to afford to eat. Texan's are selling off their beef, Mississippi Valley growers are flooded out. The midwest is cold and damp, crops aren't getting in. And the fuel prices to move the remaining product from one end of the country to the other, is out of hand. Its gonna be a tough year.