8. WE MOVE TO WYOMING - 0N THE (UFO) ROAD AGAIN
When we drove into the KOA the previous managers were there. They did not know we were coming! You should have seen the look on their faces! As it turned out they remained as maintenance man and assistant managers.
We looked for the house that was to be provided for us. Nowhere to be seen. The only house the owner pointed out was a 30 foot mobile home that was completely torn up. It had wood floors and you could look through the floor in some places and see the ground. The bathroom pipes were all torn apart and sticking out of the walls. The house already had inhabitants -- mice and rats!
Here we were with a whole house of furniture in a rented moving van, the cat, and the dog, and all the plants. We bought a 70 x 14 foot mobile home from a private party in Laramie and had it towed out to Arlington.
That was only the beginning of the shock that awaited us. Come to find out the owner already had five sets of managers in one year. Each one had been cheated so badly that they left. The managers that were there when we arrived had been treated in a very shabby manner. They had worked 18 hours a day and were only paid $3.50 an hour for 8 hours. Fortunately they had kept track of every hour they worked. Soon after we arrived in September 1982, a representative from the Labor Review Board came for an inspection. The ex-manager's wife told him all about how they had been cheated. Shortly thereafter the owner was instructed to pay everyone who had worked for him in the last five years their back wages. He immediately fired everyone, including us! By this time it was January 1 in the heart of a Wyoming winter.
If you have never been in Wyoming in the winter, you should try it just once. That would be all you could stand. It does not snow "down" in Wyoming. It snows across! Of course, it doesn't pile up because it ends up in Nebraska. I-80 has a gate at Laramie and one at Rawlins. When it starts to snow, and blow, they shut both gates. Too many people have frozen to death out on I-80 stranded in their cars.
Before I finish the saga of the KOA campground, I would like to tell you some of the interesting things that happened in the four months we were there.
The service station, in connection with the KOA Campground, had not been making very much money. To attract the long haul truck drivers on I-80 we instituted a policy of free coffee. Soon they were passing the word to stop in our store. We also served sandwiches which was a convenience to the truckers when they were tired and hungry.
When the truckers would come in we would get to know them over a cup of coffee. Then we would ask them if they had ever seen anything while driving out on the lonely stretches at night. It seemed we found a person every day that had some type of experience.
During the snow storms when people became marooned at our store we would have a lot of fun. We provided blankets and sleeping bags in the recreation hall for them to sit it out until the snow let up. We talked about UFOs and many of them wondered why they had to stay until they learned about their own situation and could understand what possibly had taken place.
I remember one truck driver in particular. He came back again and again and stayed at our house overnight. Whenever he was passing through he made a point of stopping so he could talk about things that happened to himself. When he first stopped he was a smarty kind of guy, always saying something nasty and using foul language. Soon after he started listening to our philosophy he became a different person. He even looked different. Then he told us he had been a preacher in the Salvation Army and had lost his calling. By the time we left he was going back to the meetings at the Salvation Army. He was a wonderful person. The only trouble had been, no one had taken time to be his friend when he needed one.
Early one morning a truck stopped right at the exit to Arlington. As he slowed down his tire blew out. As he got out to look at it the other one went flat! It was around 4:30 am so he just went to sleep until we opened. When he came in at 6:30 to use the phone and have coffee, we started talking to him.
Dusty had been a loner all his life. He was a very nice person with good "vibes." We told him what our interests were and then he knew why he had to stay to talk to us.
We asked him if he had ever seen a UFO. He was happy to tell us what happened to him about 10 years previously. He had been welding on a rig down in a rock quarry about 2:30 am. All of a sudden he looked up and the whole quarry was covered by a massive UFO. He didn't remember how long it was there but he had some very interesting physical anomalies. We asked him the routine questions about shoulder pain, lower back pain and knee pain. He jumped up and tore off his shirt. His whole right shoulder had a HUGE scoop out of it. You could see he had many skin grafts on his shoulder. When we asked him what happened he said his ex-wife had been driving and went to sleep at the wheel of his pickup. They went over an embankment and the pickup landed upside down resting on his shoulder.
Dusty stayed all day long until 10:30 p.m. that night. He didn't want to leave. He said he felt like he had finally found his family.
When I go traveling I always look for him. That was one reason I had a CB in my car. Through the CB I have found a lot of truck drivers that have had UFO happenings out in the middle of nowhere. The truckers welcome conversation, especially late at night when they are lonely and sleepy. It keeps them awake. They have been very eager to share with me when they know I am serious. I remember one time a trucker was asking me all sorts of questions. Another one tried to break in and that trucker I was talking to said, "Please keep quiet, this is very important stuff this lady is telling me!" I had to laugh.