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Victory Blue’s DEF American Adventure Pt. 1

Lying awake in the darkness of my room, I counted down minutes as the hour of my departure ticked ever closer. I knew I should be asleep, but my excitement was mounting. Like a kid on Christmas Eve, I found it impossible to still the rapid beating of my heart or the fluttering thoughts within my head. Mere hours and I would be on the road, touring America like I never had before. The hour arrived at last and I set out on my first American journey.The sky was still dark when I departed, but my headlights and those of the cars around me helped illuminate the road.

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The morning drive was so dark out it look like night!

 

As I pulled away from my home, I felt that excitement I had experienced all night begin to rise even further. The highway I was on had very few cars on it, since no one really wanted to be on the road at 4am. As I passed rest areas, I noticed the dark cabs of eighteen-wheelers, where truckers had clearly decided it was time for a rest. The trucks looked funny all lined up together, almost like animated creatures that were hibernating in a rest area of their own. I waved at a couple of truckers who were braving the pre-dawn morning like I was, and was rewarded with the tired smiles of many of them.

The car smelled like coffee, and it was only a few hours before pink tinged the once-dark sky. It is always an experience for me to be driving as the sun rises, since it makes me feel like I’ve already accomplished something big. In truth, this journey’s sunrise did indicate that I had put several miles beneath my tires because it was already time to gas up. Pulling into a travel center, I filled my car up even as I watched the sunrise behind a few trucks parked in the lot. Some truckers had spent the night in their cabs and were just waking, getting some coffee, and preparing themselves for the road. Others, like the one I chatted with in line as I bought my gum and sweet southern iced tea, explained that they’d already been on the road for hours. My excitement at being on the road this early was only doubled by the fact that the travel center I stopped at sold DEF. My first gas-up, and already I was seeing DEF! I pumped my gas, and watched with delight as truck after truck with a little blue cap next to the regular fuel cap pulled into the station. This place, even this early, was busy fueling up the trucks that make commerce possible. It was an exciting feeling, and it wasn’t the only time I felt that way even that morning.

My first citing of DEF at the pumps!

My first sighting of DEF at the pumps!

 

I hadn’t even left Texas yet before I saw yet another exciting and environmentally-friendly sight: windmills. Some people insist that there’s nothing to see in West Texas but these large, white windmills dot the landscape and lend a certain level of interest and elegance to an otherwise totally flat landscape. While the tips of the windmills seemed to be circling lazily in the wind, I knew that they would reach speeds of up to 60 mph, which meant that they were creating electricity for much of Texas to use. It was strange to see them so close because the city I lived didn’t have anything like them. I drove past, feeling elated; I had seen a travel center selling DEF and a giant wind farm and it wasn’t even eight in the morning yet!

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Texan wind power- renewable and sustainable.

I was amazed, truly amazed, at how quickly the miles sped by. They say that time slows down when you’re bored or sad and flies when you’re happy. Well, the miles and the time truly did seem to fly by on my American journey. Texas is a big state, so getting out of it requires several hours. But before I knew it, I was already pulling into another travel center to get my last tank of gas in Amarillo before leaving Texas for New Mexico. Gassing up, I once more noticed the presence of DEF. Twice in one day, in different locations, I found a chemical that helped keep America’s sky clean of nitroxides and particulate matter. I was proud, at that moment, to be part of something so big and so good. I continued on to New Mexico, where suddenly the landscape shifted. From the flat plains of western Texas, I was suddenly looking at a light blue sky with mesas in the distance. The drive through New Mexico was a fairly short one for me since I was just cutting in a diagonal across the top to get to Colorado, but I enjoyed its openness thoroughly. I passed into Colorado and began the ever-climbing drive toward mountains. I became slightly alarmed in Colorado due to the sudden rainstorm. When I pulled over on the side of the road, a kind trucker slowed down and pulled to the other side, waving out the window at me. I waited for the storm to calm before I continued on, happy to be back on the road.

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Driving in the rain in Colorado is both beautiful and scary!

As the day wore on, I wound my way through hills that grew larger and larger and suddenly became mountains. The day saw me eat a late lunch in Leadville, which meant that I was at an elevation of 10,152 feet! Nicknamed the Two-Mile High City, Leadville was an old silver-mining town that gave me both a break from the rain and a break from driving. Once the second most populous city in Colorado, Leadville had a rich history that I was fortunate enough to explore before continuing on my way. The day slipped into evening which slipped into dusk and I was back on the main highways with the regular flow of traffic.

As a Texan, driving in the mountains was a big deal for me. I tried to handle myself well, making sure to get over for those experienced truckers who knew just how to handle every curve of these winding roads. I noticed runaway truck-ramps for the first time. A kind and fast-talking trucker at my next stop explained that runaway truck ramps were long and winding roads that enabled vehicles (usually large trucks) with braking problems to safely slow down and come to a stop. It is particularly hard on trucks to slow down on winding roads that curved downward, so there were more ramps on the sides of mountainous areas. The trucker I spoke with laughed at my surprised expression, knowing that the most mountains regions in Texas were usually just large hills. I found night driving on the winding mountain roads of Colorado to be exhilarating, but I was grateful to at last rest for the night.

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It became night very slowly.

My adventure continues in the next post, so be sure to stay updated! In the meantime, make sure you check out our DEF products! If you have any questions, whether about my adventure or about DEF, feel free to contact us!