by Angel Barker
When I started driving in high school, my mom and I had a deal that she would buy gas every other time I needed to fill my tank. Once I started driving upwards of 500 miles a week, that went away and I had to start paying my own way. To be fair, it was reasonable: I had a part time job and was driving a lot.
I have a different part time job now that pays more. However, with the rising price of gas and how far out everything is in Humboldt county, it doesn’t make a difference. I am still spending an average of $300 a month on gas, and my car takes regular.
On average (when I am not traveling) I only drive to work, school, home, and Eureka once a week for an appointment, and I time it right so I can get gas at Costco where it is the cheapest.
I should also say that I am not a thief. I did not actually steal my mom’s Costco card, she knows I have it. It is her way of helping me pay for gas.
I was sad in high school when I had to pay around $40 to fill up my tank. Now I am hoping and praying to pay that again. My car holds 16 gallons of gas, so with the California average of $5.91 per gallon as of March 29, it would take $94.70 to fill my gas tank if it was empty.
That’s almost $100 to fill up my little mini SUV! I cannot afford to buy a hybrid or electric car, so I am stuck paying these gut wrenching prices. I used to go to Dutch Bro’s a lot in high school, and it is crazy to me that a gallon of gas is now more expensive than a Rebel or a cup of coffee. I know all of us are feeling this pain, and a little piece of my soul dies every time I go to the gas station.
I recently took a road trip towards Redding and down to Modesto, and gas was cheaper everywhere, even in Paradise, the town that completely burned down in 2018. They are still rebuilding the city and there are only a handful of open gas stations, and they are still cheaper than here.
The only place where it was the same price or 10 cents more was in a tiny town that was out of the way of everywhere. Humboldt is not a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, it is a whole county in the middle of nowhere. I am now realizing why it is called the Lost Coast, because no one knows about us and it is expensive as heck to get gasoline here.
As much as I am complaining about gas prices, I am still going to pay them. What am I going to do, bike to work? No, driving already takes 25 minutes. It would take forever to bike, and I do not have the option to not go to work or school.