Where Is Lucas Oil Speedway?
Is there a secret to finding the best gas station for road trips?
It was bound to happen…
While we were on our way to Minnesota to visit our daughter for Christmas, the snow was falling heavily outside the window, the car was smelling slightly musty, and the gas was getting dangerously low on the tank. We’ve all been there – that moment when you notice you’re running on empty and there’s just a few miles left to go until the next gas station.
We needed a break. But where should we stop? The last thing we wanted to do was to drive around in circles for a couple of hours looking for a station. Should we stick to the highway and hope that there’s a gas station along the way? Or maybe pull off onto the side of the road and wait for the gas station to drive by? What if there isn’t one along the highway? At that point, we’d be screwed. We didn’t want to risk getting stuck in a snow bank in the middle of nowhere – with an exhausted, hungry toddler in the backseat asking every few minutes if we’re almost there.
To make matters worse, there were a million other cars on the road behind us. If we pulled over to the side, we’d be blocking traffic and forcing other motorists to slow down or stop in order to let us pass. It was just one big jam back there. We’d never make it to our destination without spending at least half an hour searching for a gas station.
On the way to Minnesota, we passed through the small town of Dexter, Indiana. If you’re unfamiliar, Dexter is located on the northern end of the state along I-70. To our delight, there was a sign with a gas station and convenience store at the exit. We were able to buy some snacks and fuel and be back on the road in no time. The next few hundred miles were completely uneventful and pleasantly quick. We were beginning to wonder if all the bad weather was just a conspiracy by the gas companies to get us to stop at all the stations.
After our quick stop in Dexter, we were on our way to a wedding in Minneapolis. The drive there was gorgeous. The sky was a perfect, clear blue, and the leaves were beginning to turn colors. It was a picture-perfect autumn day. We had a little girl in the backseat who was fighting sleep, so I decided to pull over and let her pass through a bit of an adventuresome activity. As we were walking around the back of the car, I spotted a small building that looked like it could potentially be used as a gas station. I said to my wife, “We just might have found our next gas station.”
As we approached the building, it looked more like a ramshackle shed than a gas station, and for a second I thought maybe we’d made a mistake. I mean, what if this place was closed? What if there was no gas available there? What would we do? We’d have to find a place to gas up and continue on our way. Or would we? Maybe this was the answer to our prayers: a gas station right in the middle of nowhere.
We glanced at each other. If this was indeed the case, then we should hurry up and close the deal. We didn’t want to waste another minute. The more we looked at it, the more it seemed like a perfect spot for a gas station. There was a big sign out front that said, “Sorry, this station is closed. Probably for the winter.”
“That’s okay,” I said. “We’re just going a few miles up the road.”
“I know, but it’s late in the season, and gas stations usually close in the winter,” the clerk behind the counter said. “I’m not even sure if this station will be open when we come back in the spring. You know how gas stations are; they close when they don’t need to and sometimes they don’t open back up again until late.
“We’ll just have to find another station down the road. I’m sure you can be patient. We’re not going that far.”
“Well, where are you going?” The clerk asked. “You look like you’re going a little farther than that.”
“Nope, we’re just going up the road a little ways then turning around and coming back. Wouldn’t want to be any farther away from home than we have to.”
“You aren’t going to the wedding, are you?” He asked.
“Nope, it’s a wedding dress that I’m delivering, and we’re just running a quick trip up to pick it up.”
“Oh, I see,” he said. “Well, have a good trip then.”
So we entered the gas station and bought a six-pack of beer to drink on the way to the wedding. When we turned around and started back down the road, the sun was just starting to set and the sky was turning a blazing orange and red behind us. It was an incredible sight. We had made it to our destination – without stopping at any gas stations along the way!
It was a good thing we found that station in Dexter, Indiana. Had we been driving for another few minutes, we would’ve definitely missed it. As it was, we made it just in time, just like that. No doubt about it – if we follow this route in the spring, we’ll be passing through Dexter a whole lot. The next time around, we’ll definitely stop in and see what’s going on. Maybe even make a few phone calls and see if the gas station is open yet.