Just east of green River, Utah, on federal government 70, i looked end from the passenger chair to view the car’s gas gauge hovering roughly a 4 minutes 1 full. Ns mentally catalogued the distance and number of gas stations in between us and also The hot Tomato in Fruita, Colorado, and also could only remember one in those 90 miles.

You are watching: Quarter of a tank of gas

“Maybe we have to stop and get some gas,” I claimed to my friend Forest.

“I think we’re good, don’t you?” woodland replied.

Forest is a photographer, and we’ve recognized each various other for almost six years. We’ve invested dozens of days together, collaborating ~ above outdoor magazine articles, adventure films, and also now a book project—and we strategy things from almost complete the opposite ideologies. You could say i’m a bit much more of a planner, and he flies by the seat of his pants. I choose to say the the people takes treatment of Forest, however I don’t to trust the civilization to take care of me. I eliminate as many variables as possible prior to doing something—he an ext or less lets the variables autumn where they may.

And there us were critical Thursday, in eastern Utah, both looking at the gas gauge yet seeing fully different things. We discussed the gas tank capacity of my auto (16.9 gallons), the average miles per gallon the vehicle got on the highway (up to 27 miles every gallon), and also how far we had to walk to the next recognized gas station (about 80 miles). Mathematically, us were appropriate on that line in between We’ll it is in Fine versus We’re walk To run Out the Gas. I beg your pardon is a standard “There space two species of human being in this world” debate. Ns asked Forest,

“Have you ever before run the end of gas?”

He laughed. “Several times.”

“I never have,” i said.

“One the those times i ran the end of gas,” forest said, “I acquired out that the car and there was a gas have the right to sitting turn off to the side of the road, and also I had actually pulled over just down the hill from a gas station. Therefore I ordered the gas can, jogged up to the gas station, filled that up, and the entirety thing only cost me around 15 minutes.”

“That is the most woodland Woodward story of all time,” i said.

“I was on my means to the airport, too.” Of food he was.

We started talking around the difference in the means we watch the world. I book flights main in advance. Forest books flights a couple days in advance. I have 11 unread emails in mine inbox appropriate now, and also he has an ext than 2,500 unread emails in his inbox. I deserve to go years without losing a water bottle or travel mug, and, well, forest can walk weeks, or days. Two days prior to our drive through Utah, we had actually run 37 miles across Zion national Park, and also Forest had actually worn trail running shoes with practically no tread top top them, through three-inch rips in every instep, and with laces right hanging onto sufficient of the shoe to continue to be on his feet. And also his water bottles to be leaking.

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Despite, or maybe since of, this distinction in thinking, this massive chasm in between our concepts of how To do Things, we reap each other’s company and (in my opinion) work well together on an innovative projects. Ten years ago, even being in near proximity to his laissez-faire planning would have actually driven me nuts, but nowadays I shot to clock him, remind myself come relax, and not shot to control everything. Because it constantly seems to work-related out because that Forest. The course, he notes an asterisk to the statement, that even though it constantly works out, it can sometimes it is in expensive, and he has absolutely missed a few emails that might have meant selling a picture or two.

But, it always works out for me, too, no matter how much I try to manage things, or simply let them go—even if the way it works out isn’t exactly how I imagine it. Flights gain delayed, that rains as soon as I don’t want it to, bikes get level tires, avalanche problems are destructive sometimes, packages get lost in shipping, and also in the end, our story no something any kind of of us space in regulate of, whether us think we space or not. The one point Forest and I agree on is that whether you setup or nothing plan, girlfriend can’t get angry and try to ar blame on who else once things don’t work-related out. Since whether you believe you can control things or don’t concern at all about trying to manage things, shit happens. And when the does, nobody desires to be that jerk v a vein popping out of their forehead as they scream in ~ an airline employee around how vital they are.

Last year, I check out an essay titled “Do You desire to Be recognized For her Writing, or For her Swift email Responses?” and realized, shit, i actually would love to emphasis on my an imaginative work more than I focus on answering email promptly. I’m trying, however it’s a battle to even pretend to neglect my inbox. Or gas gauge.

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We pulled turn off at leave 15 for Loma, Colorado, and also both sighed, Forest more than me, as I announced that we still had 1.3 miles, greatly downhill, come the Conoco terminal north of I-70. We made it, to fill the car up with gas, and were no late because that the movie festival us were driving to that evening. It operated out. The civilization continues to take treatment of Forest, I continue to not completely trust the civilization to take care of me, yet when we’re in the same vehicle with a quarter-tank that gas, as a friend when told me, “One method or another, it’ll work-related itself out.”

—Brendan

More stories favor this in my new book, Bears don’t Care around Your Problems, out now.