The Good Valero.

One issue that often arises when you drive a lot is a need for gas. Brandon and I have gas cards for Valero gas stations and we only fill up there. We use our gas cards every time, never our debit/check cards and we just pay it off each month like any other monthly bill. This system has worked well for us a for a long time. However, one downside is finding a Valero gas station when you are traveling. Since I do not want to spend my "spending money/fun money" on gas it is a necessity that I find a Valero so I don't have to use anything except my Valero gas card.

I frequently have to travel to Bakersfield, CA to meet with my co-worker Mari, who lives and works there. Between Fresno and Bakersfield, there are two Valero gas stations, one I believe is in a little town outside of Tulare (Earlimart) and another is in a tiny area called Ducor. There may be others, but they are not easily accessible when driving on 99. There is also a Valero station in Bakersfield.

These three Valeros are very different from one another and quirky in their own way. The Valero in Ducor is a newer station, not in a super great area of town, but not a bad one either. The weird thing about this station is despite the fact that there are no signs stating so, it is a full service gas station (which I didn't know still existed) and the two times I have filled up there, a man has come to fill my tank. I don't know what the protocol is for this scenario. So I typically put my card into the pump myself (not comfortable handing a credit card to a stranger- am I wrong here?) and he pumps the gas and washes my windshields. I feel strange about this. I sit in my car, perfectly able and willing to pump the gas, but yet I'm stuck in this servant/master relationship I did not desire in the first place. Another thing that is frustrating about this is that because the attendant does this while I sit on my keister, I feel obligated to tip him, thus making that fill up more expensive AND requiring me to have cash on hard (VERY rare). Therefore, even if I am running on E and almost to the "full service" station, I feel I can not go there unless I am carrying cash. Frustrating.

The Valero in Tulare is my favorite. It is a Valero station at a place called Big B's travel plaza. Now when I've been there, I have never seen anyone I would find it appropriate to nickname Big B, but hey not my place to judge! Big B's is awesome. You do not have to deal with anyone unless you go in for something (in my case typically Red Bull) because they have nice new, SELF service pumps. I can slide my card right in, get my gas and get the heck back on the road. This is the "Good Valero". The unfortunate thing is I typically pass the exit for this one accidentally as it comes up rather abruptly and the signs lead you to believe there is one more exit coming up that you should use.

My LEAST favorite Valero is actually in Bakersfield. This Valero is the only station I know of where you still have to go inside, give them your card, tell them how much gas you want, sign the receipt, THEN pump your gas (also, you have to remember your pump number and I ALWAYS forget to look and have to get out of line to go check). This station is also in the GHETTO. Do you know how I am sure of this? Because directly in front of the place is a lovely 24 hour strip joint called the Teaser Pleaser. I HATE when I am forced to go to this station. It is also a major diesel truck fueling station too, so I get to deal with all the truckers staring at me like what's this blond midget doing here at this station? I will share with you my pictures of the The Good Valero AND the Teaser Pleaser neon sign in all it's 1984 glory. *Note: my road pictures are often taken with my cell phone, their quality is a little lacking, however, the good news is that I am getting a new cell phone that should arrive at my house on Monday provided I have good luck and Fed Ex likes me.


  1. I bet valero has a website where you could find out where more of their stations are. There's got to be more than one in Bakersfield... although it has been a while since I lived there so I don't know where they actually are :)

  2. ok maybe now that I've ranted it's working. Maybe that's what it takes, a little yelling at the computer ?

    ok so what I wanted to say was:

    I know that stripper Valero ! I've been there many times on my way from LA to FresYes. Not the stripper
    place, the Valero....


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