I grew up in the desert... but I didn't do much driving at the time. If I have an excuse (doubtful) then that's it.
We were about to blow out of Laughlin, Nevada and passed a Chevron charging $3.75/gal. After a week of gas costing less than $3.50, and knowing for a fact that it was $3.25 across the river, I vetoed JC's suggestion to tank up before leaving town.
He was thinking about the desert ahead of us; I was thinking about the gas prices behind us.
Our hope of finding gas on the way out of town didn't pan out. We weren't worried.
50 miles later, we realized we should have been, and wondered if we might be SOL. I swear I felt my late Dad's gaze on me with that unmistakeable look telling me I reallly do know better.
JC called out, "Come on, Raven, help us out, brother!"
A mile or two later, an arrangement of plywood (which I'd mistaken for another ruin) caught his eye. He spotted it as a gas station. At that point I was glad to pay $4.98/gal.