Newt isn’t a cheap truck to drive, and I knew that when I bought her. That doesn’t make her bills any easier to pay though. In September, I paid Newt’s California DMV fees – $780 plus the 57 bucks for the SMOG test. I also needed a complete brake job; that set me back $1,032. ┬áThat’s more than two grand, and I made the regular payment which is a number I can’t even stand to share. And before you judge me too harshly for having “champagne tastes,” I bought Newt very gently used. She had 22,000 miles which shaved a ton off her price tag. Even so …
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Yesterday’s price per gallon, and this is one of the cheaper stations in town.

Yesterday morning I had to stop by the gas station; my fuel gauge said I could go about 100 miles which means closer to 75, maybe. I drive 50 miles a day, so I couldn’t put it off any longer. Newt’s fuel tank is one of my favorite features of the truck. It holds a whopping 48 gallons. Yes, you read that correctly. I no longer ever have to get gas with the horse trailer in tow. I can always get where I am going and back on a single tank. If I were to travel to Sacramento or Las Vegas, I’d have to fill up before I came home, but those trips are pretty rare.

As much as I love that 48 gallon tank, it is a bit of a sock-to-the-gut to fill it up from empty, which is where it was yesterday morning. Number one, it takes a good 15 – 20 minutes to pump that many gallons; I had to leave extra early to allow for that much time. Second, I can’t fill up my tank with one swipe of my card. The pump only allows you to charge $99 at a time, and that’s not even close to what it costs for a fill up.

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Plus the 35 cent fee for using my card = $99.

At more than $4.00 a gallon, it doesn’t take long to reach the maximum of $99. It took a mere 23 gallons to hit that mark, just under half a tank. When the pump shut off, I dutifully replaced the nozzle, let the machine clear, and swiped my card a second time. As I sat in the driver’s seat scrolling through my messages – what else are you going to do for 15 minutes?, I watched that top row of numbers fly by much more quickly than the numbers in the bottom row.
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The second go round.

When the pump clicked off for the second time, I quickly calculated my total charge – $180 and change for 43 gallons. That’s enough to get me to work and the barn and home again for the next 10 days. By mid-October, I’ll need to do it all again, and I have a show at the end of October which requires at least another half a tank. This is going to be another expensive month.

I bet diesel is a lot cheaper in Tennessee … or anywhere outside of California for that matter.