When Road Trips Go Wrong…Texas Chainsaw Massacre Wrong!

I was twenty one. It was one of my best-friend’s birthdays. Being a couple years older than me, she wanted to go away to Glenwood Springs, Colorado for the weekend and relax. Glenwood is a beautiful area a few hours outside of Denver. It has natural hot springs, a cute little town and spas. Three of us girls decided to make the trek with her.

We stopped for gas about half way. As we pumped the gas and stocked up on munchies, we talked about how much fun it would be for the four of us to drive Vegas sometime. My friend Kayla joked, “Let’s do it now. Let’s just keep driving to Vegas. Screw Glenwood.”

Las Vegas is about 12-13 hours from Denver. I couldn’t help myself; spontaneity had always been my thing. I looked at my friends seriously and questioned, “Why not? We can take turns driving and be there tonight-Just in time to go out.”

To be honest, we all knew I wouldn’t be driving. I’m more of the entertainment. Miraculously, everyone was on board.

About Six hours later we found ourselves somewhere in Utah. Knowing there was a huge distance with no gas stations, we pulled over at the last one to fill up. It was out of gas. We were on empty. How a gas station runs out of gas is beyond me, but it was.

The gas station attendants seemed utterly uninterested in our predicament. The man spoke with a thick country drawl and I picture him sticking his tongue through the gap in his teeth, “There’s ‘nother gas station about fifteen miles from ere.”

“But, we are on empty. We would be lucky to make it five miles. What should we do?” I begged with pleading eyes, hoping he would figure out some way to help us.

“Don’t know what to tell ya little missy. We’re out of gas and it seems you are too.” He spit as he spoke and I felt myself growing more frustrated. Weren’t people in small towns usually more accommodating?

He smiled dumbly at me as I looked to the other workers, hoping someone would take the slightest interest in our plight. No dice.

I sulked back to my friends and had to deliver the bad news, “He says there’s a gas station about fifteen miles that way,” I pointed to the road heading the opposite way, “I’m not sure this SUV will make it half way. But it doesn’t seem we have other options.”

“Whose idea was it to drive to Vegas on a whim anyhow?” Tara spoke accusingly.

We all piled back in the car and took that baby about as far as it would go. Not far. About seven miles later down some country road, in the middle of nowhere, it stopped. We all sat for a moment in silence. I looked around. No cars. No houses. We were just going to have to wait for someone to hopefully come through this deserted area. All four of us exited the car, figuring if someone did drive by they may be inclined to help four stranded young girls. Also, safety in numbers and all of that.

About forty minutes later a big pickup truck, towing some sort of huge animals, came into view. It pulled over in front of our car. Thank goodness. We watched as three men excited the front cab of the truck, an older man and two younger ones. All three were missing teeth and spoke in VERY thick country accents, almost unrecognizable as English.

The older man turns to us and said, “Ya’ll run outta gas?”

I smiled gratefully at him, “Yes, thank you for stopping. We were trying to get gas from the station up this road but it was out. Do you happen to have any gas in a can or anything? We can give you cash.”

“Oh no. Pretty young thangs with no gas. I don’t have a can. Come on, we’ll take you to grandma’s house.”

I don’t know about you, but I have seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I know that ‘grandma’s house’ is a terrible place that I never wanted to visit. But, we were stranded with no one for miles. Not really much of a choice.

Image Courtesy of Tony Fischer Photography via Flickr
Image Courtesy of Tony Fischer Photography via Flickr

The two younger men, we discovered were the older man’s sons, jumped into the back of the pick-up and the four of us squished in next to Pa. I sat closest to him, our bodies practically smashed together. I was nervous. I sat stoically, preparing myself to be skinned alive with my three best friends. They seemed less worried as they giggled endlessly next to me. Kayla was trying so hard not to laugh that her entire body was somehow convulsing. I assumed the convulsions were due to nerves and the rediculousness of the situation.

I thought for a moment that perhaps I was being a little melodramatic. Pa’ looks down at me and asked, “Where ya’ll from?”

Punishing myself for being so judgmental and attempting my best to ignore my giggling friends I spoke, “Colorado”.

Pa’ looked at all of us, “Ya’ll are from Colorado? I killed a boy from Colorado once.”

The giggly girls only worsened. I knew at this point it was due to the fact that they too realized that we would soon be strung up for torture. I tried to picture one of Pa’s sons wearing my face

My visions of us being slaughtered. Image courtesy of the comic shop Via Flickr
My visions of us being slaughtered.
Image courtesy of the comic shop Via Flickr

What do you say to something like that? I kept my eyes focused on the street moving in front of me. After a long pause I finally answered, “Yup, we are from Colorado. How did you kill him?” My friends looked at me like I had gone temporarily insane.

“I was drivin’ down the road from our house and I smashed him with my truck. He was on a dirt bike. Never saw him comin’.” Pa’ spoke nonchalantly as though it were no big deal.

Thankful it seemed to be an accident I spoke, “That’s sad. I’m sorry.”

At this point I was in shock from this whole experience and ready to kill my friends who would not stop snickering. We came to a stop.

“There’s Grandma,” Pa pointed up at a creepy, old, barn type house, “Ya’ll wanna meet ‘er?”

I did not. But also did not want to be rude, “Umm…Thank you, but, we really need to be going soon. We are really behind schedule and do not want to be stuck driving too late at night.” I smiled in hopes it would satisfy his “hospitality”.

“Suit yourself, be back in a few. I think she got sum gas up dere.” He walked into the house followed by his sons.

I turned to my friends, “what the hell is going on? He killed a boy from Colorado. We are at Grandma’s house  and you three can’t stop laughing. Shut up, before he gets mad and decides to chop us all up into pieces. Our families don’t even know where we are. We didn’t even tell them we were driving to Vegas. They think we are in Glenwood, remember?”

They attempted to stifle their twittering as the men came back down to the truck. Grandma poked her head out of her front door and waved. The four of us waved back.

Pa spoke as he climbed back up into the truck shaking a gas can, “There’s not alotta a gas in here, but it should get you to the next station. We’ll take ya back to the car n make sure ya’ll get to the station.”

“Thank you so much, for everything. We would have been stranded here all night without you.” I spoke genuinely. I felt bad for my preconceived judgments and for my immortal fear of being skinned alive.

They took us back to our car and followed us to the gas station. Nice guys, really. Shame on us, but, perhaps Pa should not have opened the conversation with how he had killed someone.

After a twelve hour drive turned into nearly fifteen, we made it to Vegas. We stayed twelve hours and then made the trek home. Never again. I will say…we had a blast.

Have you ever been stranded? Any scary road trip stories? I can’t be alone!

Proof we made it to Vegas! I'm on the very right.
Proof we made it to Vegas! I’m on the very right.


28 thoughts on “When Road Trips Go Wrong…Texas Chainsaw Massacre Wrong!

    1. Okay… I have been trying to email you. I had to fly out of town several days early for an emergency with our youngest little girl. Anyhow, I was trying to get my post to you before I left but did not have time. I’m not near a computer at all. I hope you understand. I would love for you to just use the post i have up about the road trip to Vegas if you can. If not, I would have to send you a new one next week. Which I know does not fit in with your deadline. I’m sorry. Let me know if you’re able to use that blog entry:) Thanks again for thinking of me and my blog for your project!

  1. What an adventure! I didn’t do spontaneous much, still don’t, because one way or another, I will end up in trouble. I did get stuck one time. My brother and I were traveling from Eastern Oregon to Western Washington. It had been snowing, and by the time he was motivated enough to leave, it was starting to get dark. The roads were getting worse. He decided to take a different route, not our regular route. Not sure why.

    He had one of those crappy VW wagon type of cars with tons of stuff (like a hoarder’s car), and we had a cat under the seat. My brother decided to pull over and put on snow chains. To this day, I still wonder why he felt the need to take the tires off the car in order to install the chains. Guess what? The car died. We had gas, but the jalopy just died. So, there we were. Stuck on a road not heavily traveled, in Eastern Oregon, in a snow storm, with a cat under the seat.

    I started to lecture him, but then again, I sat in the car while he was dealing with the chains, so I was probably just as guilty. After sitting there trying to figure out what we were going to do, a truck came over the hill. The guy gave us a jump, my brother finished installing the chains and putting the wheels back on, and we made it on our way. It was one of those “thank you God” moments. Our trip, which was a normal 4 1/2 hour trip, took us 13 hours. Needless to say, there wasn’t much conversation between the two of us the rest of the way.

    1. Oh my goodness! That does not sound like fun at all. I would have been sitting in the car with you, sulking. What a great story, thank you for sharing. I can definitely understand why the rest of the ride was silent. Yikes! Poor kitty 🙂

  2. I smiled at your telling of this hair-raising tale . . . because I KNEW you had survived your visit to Grandma’s. 😀

    But it would have been very scary running out of gas there.

    1. Ha! Spoiler alert…I wrote this post and still have my face intact 🙂

      It was pretty creepy and the man did not attempt to make us comfortable at all, though, he did end up being a life saver. Guess you just never know!

  3. Does your mother know about this? Well, she does now! I was terrified for you. A Canadian friend and I got picked up hitch-hiking in England back in 1972 by two men driving a cattle slaughter-house truck. They had thick cockney accents and Debbie had to translate every word they said to me because like your country hicks, I couldn’t tell they were speaking English. They took us back to the slaugherhouse and starting joking around with different parts of cattle. Don’t remember how, but we, like you made it back to tell the tale.

    1. That is super creepy hitch-hiking. Playing with dead animal parts…Yikes. I know what you mean, some of those thick accents are nearly undecipherable. Glad you made it out alive.

      As for my mom…I didn’t tell her until last year. I think I told Dan on accident this year. Needless to say, they were less than thrilled.

  4. That’s a great flippin story… glad you guys didn’t meet up with some bad folks. The killing a boy in Colorado thing… yeah, that’s not the best way to lead off a conversation. I mean, finding something to talk about is one thing, but homicide however accidental, I don’t know.

    And Vegas… yeah, fun times.

    1. Thanks, Trent. Sadly I have many stories that have teetered on scary. Hmmm…I’ll just chalk it up to being young.

      I agree, homicide is never a great conversation starter.

      Notice, I left out the stories from Vegas 🙂

  5. I once took an airboat tour in the everglades with my ex. We were the only two along with two hillbilly guys. They took us to the middle of nowhere and kept talking about this cool abandoned house we had to see. We stopped and got off the boat, but I pretty much refused to go any further than the doorway. I was sure they were going to chop us to pieces. Turns out they just thought old abandoned houses were really cool and had nothing better to do–it was before the internet and reality TV.

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