All Night Long
We had the vans before the closing ceremony for the camp week. As soon as the closing prayer was finished, we piled into the vehicles and began the overnight trek. We left camp and drove West to the town of Craig then headed north on route 13 toward Wyoming. It was soon dark and we dodged animals through the night. Deer, prong horn antelopes, and even coyotes wandered across the highway. The young campers slept even through the swerves and sudden stops to avoid collisions with the natural fauna.
It was dark and there were very few lights. It was even worse when we crossed into Wyoming. We saw exits that were miles between belonging to the same ranch. The larger van that was pulling the trailer was getting low on fuel and everyone was watching for an exit with fuel. Finally, we spotted signage for fuel and we turned off the main highway. The exit ended in a Tee with gravel roads to both sides. It was dark and we couldn’t see any lights that we expected to see at a service station.
The road to the right seemed to lead to a field and the one to the left seemed to open into a parking lot. Turning to the left, we figured that we would have the room to at least turn around to get back to the highway. As we entered the parking lot, we could see the outline of gasoline pumps. When we got closer, we could see the dim light showing the price of the fuel in each pump. Coming to the front of the concrete block building, we could see light coming through a dusty plate glass window. The station was open. While the pastor filled the tank, we woke the campers to offer a restroom run.
As the flock of campers entered the building, the youthful attendant got a surprised look on his face. It was as though he had been invaded by aliens. The restrooms were little more than plywood cubicles and the commodes needed cleaned before they could be used. Joy went outside and brought the window-wash squeegee inside to do a quick clean of the commode.
Let me describe the inside of the building. There was a heavy coating of dust on everything, packaged food, drinks, and supplies. There were three single light bulbs in a row hanging down about three feet along the center of the room on wires. They gave off a little light, but the majority of the light came from the two soda machines.
When we left, the kid had a stunned look on his face and acted as though he had been invaded by creatures from outer space. I wonder what he told his friends in the morning. Soon we were back on the road and on our way to Yellowstone National Park.