Fear of Katrina fuel shortages couldn’t stop trip to goat sales

As Hurricane Ida battered the Gulf Coast in late August, I could-

n’t help but think about Hurricane Katrina, which hit the area 16 years earlier to the day. Although I am in Mississippi, I’m about as far north as you can get and still be in the state, so I was 300 miles north of where the hurricanes hit. Even most of the rain went around us from both hurricanes.

Both hurricanes of course shut down the gasoline refineries on the coast and that impacts people everywhere. That was my concern in 2005 as I was making plans to head for Texas for the Labor Day weekend sales. Locally we were waiting a half-hour or more to buy gasoline and the price quickly jumped to $4 a gallon — and here I was planning a 2,000-mile round trip.

I was driving the diesel pickup so the night before I left I gath- ered up the tractor fuel cans, went to the local store just before closing time and filled up the truck and the cans. I was still a little worried on Thursday morning with news re- ports of even more fuel shortages. I decided I would go as far as I could with half my fuel, and if the situation looked too bleak, I’d have just enough fuel to get me back home.

Many of you can relate to that — the risks and challenges we

BY TERRY HANKINS Goat Rancher editor

take when it comes to trying to get to a goat sale. And this was long before the days of online auctions so you had to be there in person. At that time the West Texas Labor Day weekend Boer goat sales were a destination/working vacation for many. A person could hit six or more sales over the three-day weekend (actually it was a four-day weekend because there were sales on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.) So, yeah, it was worth the risk. I left north Mississippi and crossed the river at Vicksburg, head- ing west. I decided to go ahead and fill up at the first big truck stop in Louisiana at the Tallulah exit. I almost decided to turn around and go home when I saw the line of cars that stretched for a quarter-mile from the off-ramp to the first gas station. I drove around the waiting cars and went to the diesel islands. Fortunately, there was plenty of diesel fuel and no long lines. During the trip I saw numerous gas sta- tions with their pumps closed.

The farther west I went, the less severe the shortage seemed to

be. However, the price seemed to jump 10 cents a gallon at every fill- up. By the time I reached Sonora, Texas, I didn’t really care what fuel cost, as long as there was plenty of it — and I could make it to the next goat sale. n

4 Goat Rancher | October 2021

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