As I approached Challis, Idaho I figured I should top off my tank before making a southward run for the sun. There was a station at the junction of highways 75 and 93, but it was boarded up. Not a good sign.
I turned north into Challis proper and pulled into the next station I saw. The pump said to pay inside. "We're sorry, we had a big power surge a few moments ago and the pump billing is down." Okay.
I drove a couple of blocks to the next station. A man at the pumps said, "We're sorry, we had a big power surge a few moments ago and the pump billing is down." (Sheesh.) "But it should be back up in a moment." A Subaru with kayaks on top didn't believe the "in a moment" thing and took off for the next station. Hey, they had rivers to run and all that.
Within a few seconds, the guy said, "Okay, we're back up. What can I get for ya?" Oh, they pump gas for you? Hadn't encountered that in a long time, since I was in a state where self-serve was outlawed.
We chatted as he pumped gas. "We're glad to have this rain. It's been very dry."
I smiled. "It messes with my recreation plans, though. Different people have conflicting interests."
The kayakers came back from the other station. Guess those pumps were still down, too.
"Oh, what sort of plans?"
"I camp full time. I just came from Redfish Lake."
"I heard it's nice up there. I got married a couple of years ago—she's from Utah—and I've been meaning to take here there."
"It's gorgeous—when the clouds don't hide the mountains."
About 40 miles south I realized I should have gotten his name and taken his photo for this blog. But it would've held up the kayakers.