I should like to extend a big thank you to an anonymous tunnel worker who helped me out of a potentially very sticky situation Wednesday of this week. I was returning to Breckenridge in a new car I had purchased in Denver earlier that day. Perhaps 7 miles from the tunnels’ west entrance I happened to glance at a message my new ride was urgently trying to communicate to me: “Range 13 miles!” This glance lead immediately to the fuel gauge which was sitting sickeningly on empty. What kind of idiot heads into the mountains with an almost empty tank? In my partial defense my salesman made a big point of telling me I had a full tank of gas when I left the dealer in Highlands Ranch.
Faced with the point-of-no-return dilemma, I pressed on hoping the range information would be generously inaccurate. If I can make it to the tunnel maybe I can coast down to Silverthorne and a gas station, I thought. Unfortunately the range shrank disproportionately with every passing minute, by the time we approached the tunnels’ entrance it was sitting on zero. I pulled into the parking lot not daring to risk a tunnel breakdown. Sitting in the lot wondering what on earth I could do, who could I call, a kind soul stopped and asked if I needed assistance. Embarrassed, I explained my predicament; minutes later he returned with a gallon of gas. My good Samaritan would only accept a thank you, despite my attempt to offer cash.