Meeting Sasquatches While Camping

An Old "Texaco Truck Stop" on Highway #3 in British Columbia — Better Known as the Twilight Zone






It could only happen in beautiful, supernatural British Columbia. There's a story going around, and has been for years, I've heard it myself, of; the Truck Stop known as the Twilight Zone, a trip down memory lane.


This strange experience happened to Mr. and Mrs. Griffiths, Don and Phyllis, after a weekend stay on Vancouver Island, during the drive back to Lethbridge, Alberta, on a lonely stretch of highway #3, back in 1978 but they would have sworn it seemed sometime in the late 50's or early 60's. It goes something like this...


... The family had made this trip a countless number of times, but on this return trip they decided, just for a change not to take the northern route home, Highway #1 and then head south from Calgary, as they had always done in the past but this time they would take the lesser travelled route and opted for the southern route, Highway #3 instead, which would require them to drive straight through, driving all night.


To their surprise, a welcoming sight, at around 2:30 in the morning they came upon an old open Texaco Truck Stop, mid-way between the town of Creston and Cranbrook, in the middle of no-where, on the north side of the highway. They pulled in, to refuel and get a cup of coffee.


Something seemed strange, the gas pumps appeared to be original, the old fashion kind. If you were around at the time you would have recognized the gasoline being dispensed, good ole Fire Chief and Sky Chief gasolines, popular during the 60's. The huge Texaco sign above the diner was reminiscent of the neon days of long past, buzzing and flickering, in the still black night. An old truck, vintage but in mint condition, the only other vehicle in the parking lot, sat idling in the corner. Don was impressed at how well it was restored. He even stopped for a moment to take a better look at it and after looking around they decided to go in for coffee. They left their two small children asleep in the back seat, locked in the car. 


Upon entering the diner, they both had a strange eerie feeling, everything seemed frozen in time. The 60's decor had little wear and tear for being at least 30 years old. The price of a cup of coffee was advertised as being only ten cents, pie 25 cents. The waitress was dressed in period clothing, as was the trucker from the vintage rig idling outside, who was sitting at a booth near the window. The juke-box in the corner was playing an old Hank Williams Sr. song, the Lonely Mansion on the Hill. They noticed no clock nor calendar. Feeling a bit uneasy they left.


They had driven this part of the highway many times before, but it was always going to Vancouver Island never coming back and always in the daylight. They had never noticed a Texaco Rest Stop there before. You might think the story ends here, but you're wrong.


On their next visit to the island, three weeks later, they drove #3 Highway, if not just to see this Texaco Truck Stop again but this time during the day. When they arrived at the location, they received the shock of their lives. The old Stop looked like it had been boarded up for years, the pumps had been taken out long ago, the only remaining evidence was the concrete slabs they were situated on. The sign above the diner, old and rusty, no flashing neon lights, no humming. It looked as if it had been out-of-service for many a year.


The truck that had been sitting idling out in the parking lot, it was still there but now a rusted out shell, no windows and overgrown with bush, it's tires flat, the rubber all cracked with age.


It could only happen in beautiful, supernatural British Columbia, the truck stop known as the, Twilight Zone, a trip down memory lane. 


The day a travel-tired family stopped for some gas and a coffee on a lonely stretch of Highway #3 and drove through a time-warp.






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1 comment:

Sheri Lowe said...

This story reminded me of an experience that occurred the summer of 1985. I was leaving Regina Saskatchewan, headed to Minot and was in the midsts of an humongous thunderstorm. It was pure white out with the rain pounding so hard there was zero visibility. My car radio was nothing but static so I turned it off because the noise gave me the willies. I was driving alone and until this moment, in the middle of the afternoon, I was not at all nervous but now, in this this storm that was gargantuan, I was freaking out. I had no idea if I was driving into the ditch but I was also afraid to stop in case another driver ran into me but I pulled over as far as I could until I felt the incline of the ditch. I sat there not sure what i should do. Suddenly I heard a crack of thunder and a flash of lightening that literally shook the ground. Putting the car in gear I crawled along until I suddenly saw an area ahead off to my right that had cleared a bit. I could make out a place to pull over so I could get off the highway. As soon as I pulled onto it the storm died down and everything cleared, but the highway I had left was behind a wall of pummelling rain.Before me was this old false-fronted gas station. It looked old and a little worse for wear which is not too unusual in rural Saskatchewan. I had to take a major piss so I parked the car and walked inside. There were two 50 something farmers in plaid shirts and overalls and a middle-aged waitress in a shabby looking uniform, sitting in the restaurant part. I asked where the washroom and she pointed behind me. There were steps leading to a dingy old basement with on 60 watt bulb hanging from the ceiling.The bathroom was a small dirty room with one toilet. I quickly did my business and got the hell out of there. At no time did anyone speak to me or each other. They just stared. I got in my car and as soon as I left the gas station/restaurant, I was back in the thick of storm but it suddenly felt a lot safer than the place I had just left. Within ten miles the weather cleared and I continued my journey. later when trying to describe the place to my cousin who lived in Regina she could not remember ever seeing it. I later tried to find it again but it simply did not exist. There were no rundown old fashioned gas stations right off the highway.

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