My first car was given to my by my parents at the age of seventeen. I waited a little longer to get my license’s then most kids. I didn’t have a need for that level of independence when my friends had their own cars and parents that would gladly take me places.
Nonetheless at some point I would have to grow up and pass my drivers course. Once I did my parents gave me a red mini SUV. It was a Suzuki Grand Vitara. While I sometimes hated driving the car, it got me from place to place finishing high school and throughout all of college. I didn’t realize I would be so sad the day I departed from my car.
I was however optimistic on getting to Florida and purchasing my new car. I had saved up for months, taken my graduation money and put it towards my new purchase, I was beyond excited to get to my new car.
I purchased the vehicle off my great-grandmother. A 2011 Honda Accord with less than 30,000 miles on it. It really was a car that a little grandma drove only to church and the grocery store.
Fast forward past the first time I drove the car. Fast forward past each time I drove it to work, Fast forward past all the times I drove it to Gainesville for an escape of small town life. Fast forward all the way to the day I decide to move half way across the country to escape a hurricane on a hours thought.
I was sitting in my car with all of my stuff loaded into it. I had no idea how far my car could actually go. I put all of my trust into that little vehicle. I turned off my air conditioning to conserve gas. I knew that my car could go to Orlando and back twice on one tank. I knew that meant roughly 550 miles on my tank. I sat in my Honda telling everyone that doubted me that I could make it all the way to Tuscaloosa on one tank of gas. The number of miles was about 430. I hoped that my horrible math skills wouldn’t fail me and get me stuck on the side of the road hoping to catch a ride out of the hurricane bound state. So I took a leap of faith and went for it.
I had a few factors against me.
1. I had a lot of extra baggage in my car.
2.Gas stations had no gas and I didn’t know where I could find one with gas at.
3. I had a lot of people against me.
4. I had to deal with crammed roads and scared people from a hurricane.
5. I was going to take back roads to avoid the crammed roads, which meant being in places with little access to help or gas.
I told everyone that it would be fine, that I wasn’t at all worried if my car could make it or not. I knew that it could. But over a conversation with my mom I revealed that I was worried, and I was putting on a good face because I wanted nothing more than to leave the situation I was in.
I sat in my little Honda windows rolled down when going under 50 mph, AC off for the drive, and drinking warm sparkling water jamming out to music. I was covered in sweat, dirt from moving, and a fake layer of energy was pushing me forward.
I was driving though small towns, back roads, and monitoring my gas tank closer than a parent with a newborn. With every mile I drove I kept telling myself you can’t turn around now, and each time I told myself that it got a little easier to keep putting the pedal to the floor.
I was almost outside of Tallahassee when I finally saw a gas station with gas. I was right under a full tank and already over a hundred miles out, two hours into my trip. I can’t remember any details about the gas station besides the fact that it had GAS and a huge line of cars. I was on the back roads and I figured if I stayed on them I had a better chance of finding some small town that had gas where the other evacuees didn’t know to look.
I made it all the way to Georgia before I stopped to fill up on gas. I was at 3/4 of a tank and had gone about 200 miles. I started to feel the doubts of others fall off of me and my beautiful car and sink back towards the fearful people of the hurricane. By the time I reached that gas station in Georgia I had begun to see other gas stations without lines and gas. I filled up my car and head towards Tuscaloosa with about 265 miles to go.
The rest of the trip went fine. The last place I filled up was Jackson Mississippi, and I arrived back home almost five days ago. I put a lot of trust into my car to help get me to safety. That trip made me a fan for life. Honda, you have won my loyalty. I did my calculations and I got about 625 miles to a tank of gas. WTF. Who knew my car could get that good of gas mileage. I fell into love with my car at that moment and became a Honda girl for life.