Sometimes you run into a place that makes you wonder if you are really asleep and dreaming. Jeremy's Trading Post, just off the I-15 23 miles from Barstow is such a place.
We were coming back from Vegas and I was driving. With a pretty big SUV (yep, I'm slowly metamorphing into a true American) at quarter tank and about a hundred miles to go, I figured we should refuel as soon as possible.
So I exited the 15, figuring that no place in the US could be without a gas station. After all, how could they burn all that gas with none to buy? Since I did see some buildings off the side of the crossing road, there had to be gas there.
Almost right. I had found Jeremy's Trading Post. There were gas pumps but we soon discovered one thing - there were no pump handles. So I walk in, thinking that maybe I can buy gas here somehow. The store had a square made from four counters in the center. In the center of the square sits an approximately fourteen-year-old girl on a chair with a space heater next to her on the floor.
She doesn't notice me. Behind one of the counters is a punk rocker trying out sunglasses.
The whole place looks like the convenience store God forgot. With the setting desert sun outside giving the whole place a slight golden tint as if it were submerged in amber I wondered if we would end up on the list of missing persons, having entered a cursed demon store that probably no one but its victims could even see.
I finally get the girl's attention and find out that no, they're out of gas, but I can buy gas in Yermo, the next exit.
By now, Tony and Stephen have entered the store. I walk out and back to the car. Tony comes out of the store a minute later.
Just as I'm about to send Stephen an SMS with instructions that "if [he is] being sacrificed by some ancient desert cult, just give us a call" he emerges from the store. Apparently Jeremy's has some quite impressive flower arrangements in the restrooms. And posters on the walls. And music playing. Which was quite a contrast because the mirrors were cracked and the whole place was run down.
We got back into the car and back on the 15.