Lightwater was first discovered in 1981 bubbling out a spring near Interstate 78 where it runs through Calamity Pass in western Pennsylvania. It was found by a hitchhiker, Fietus O’Micmilley who found it in the woods where he stopped to fill his canteen and wash his air mattress.
Traffic on the highway was slow, except for tractor trailers roaring by at 85 mph. He knew they wouldn’t stop to pick him up so Fietus decided to take a nap on his newly cleaned mattress. It was dark when he woke up and he noticed a light coming out of the spring.
He stuck his head under the water to get a closer look. The water was warm and had a slimy feel. When he lifted his head out, his face felt fresh and tingly. He got out his pocket mirror out to see what was going on.
Everything looked the same except his eyebrows were missing. He found them floating in the spring and stuck them back on.
As he was bending over the spring getting his eyebrows, his cell phone fell in. The battery had been dead for weeks so he didn’t really care. But then it started ringing. He fished it out of the spring and answered.
Robo call. (What else?)
Once he finished yelling at the robot to fuck off, he realized there was something special about this water. It charged up batteries.
When dawn came, he hiked to the nearest exit and bought an abandoned gas station and an old electric fuel oil delivery truck. He made multiple trips to the spring, transporting the water to the underground tanks at the station.
What he discovered was that if someone with an electric car just dipped their changing plug in the water it would fully charge the car’s batteries. It took about a gallon of water, which evaporated as the batteries charged.
He set it up so people could come buy it by the gallon. A five-gallon bucket costs $27 and allowed drivers to go about 1200 miles without having to plug in anywhere.
Things were going quite well until they built a Dollar General store parking lot on top of the spring.
He soon ran out of lightwater. The tanks were dry. People kept coming by to buy the water but it was all gone, so he abandoned the abandoned gas station. He still had a few gallons left in the fuel oil truck and drove it until the water was all gone and the batteries were totally dead.
His trip ended in the middle of Death Valley in August.