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Old 08-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #1
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.... and then an angel appeared.

Things were looking bleak. It was 3pm in the Devil’s Tower KOA campground and the afternoon thunderstorm that we’d come to expect almost daily was imminent. I was almost out of ideas.

We had been ready to begin our trip back to Texas at 9am that morning but the motor home engine won’t start. An hour of analysis and a call to Freightliner support convinced me it was going to have to be towed. The truck arrived, hooked up and started to work it’s way through 100s of motorcycles (this was Sturgis rally week) toward Rapid City and a Freightliner dealer - 110 miles away. We were prepared to follow in our Saturn toad but as I stepped on the clutch and tried to put it into 1st gear, the lever went sickeningly all the way to the console. The linkage had snapped and the Saturn, too, was in need of a tow. AAA missed the deadline that they set for getting a tow truck for the Saturn and jerked me around for nearly more 2 hours, unable to tell me when a tow would arrive. If it worked, the Saturn was also heading to a Chevy dealer in Rapid City

So there we stood there, my wife, our 9 year old granddaughter and I with our two dogs. There was no hotel room or rental car available for 150 miles because of Sturgis. The nearest town, Sundance, WY, had no taxi or limo. We had no cell phone service, having imposed on the KOA’s landline most of the day to make that contacts that we had. We literally had nothing but the clothes on our backs and no place to sleep. With the dogs, it was going to be even difficult to get shelter from pending storm.

His name is Mitchell. He graduated from a local high school near the KOA. His family owns a cattle ranch where he had worked, often from horseback, most of his life. He was working at the KOA for the summer. In a week, he is heading off to college through the Army’s ROTC program. Watching me on the verge of despair, he stepped up to me and said “I get off work at 3:30 and I’ll drive you to Rapid City” Shaking my head in disbelief, I asked “can you handle all 3 of us and the dogs?” He said “it will be tight but it will work”. As tears of relief started to form in the corners of my eyes, all I could say was “bless you.” He smiled and replied “this is the way people do things in Wyoming”

As we drove the almost 2 hours to Rapid City in his Eclipse, we learned a lot more about Mitchell and his plans and interests. He was a very polite and well spoken young man. My wife’s parting words to him were “you parents must be very proud of you. They’ve done a fine job.” He dropped us right at the Freightliner service shop and agreed to accept some money that I offered to him.

Our fortunes immediately took a big turn for the better. Thanks to many kind and understanding people, we have arrived safely back in Texas. The partial list of our debts of gratitude includes

- Coach Net for responding with the right truck and a skilled driver when they promised.
- Eddie’s Frieghtliner in Rapid City for working us in with the 10 other broken motor homes that they already had and getting us back on the road in less than 24 hours. They let us stay in our MH in their parking lot overnight and in their driver’s lounge which was pet friendly and had a shower, a TV and great Wifi .
- Rapid Chevrolet for working our Saturn in the morning after the tow so that parts could be ordered. They had it ready to go in 36 hours.
- Rapid City KOA for getting us a spot on short notice for the MH while we waited for the Saturn repair
- the wonderful people in another broken MH at Freightliner who shared a different route home for us that saved us 100 miles, some white knuckle driving and allowed us to reach Grand Island, NE in a single driving day.

But words will never be able to express our gratitude to our angel Mitchell. None of it would have been possible without him. We will never forget him and his generosity. We wish the very best for his new life in military service.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:27 PM   #2
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
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Chasfm11 what goes around comes around. The guy did mention this is the way people do things in Wyoming and he is very correct. Of course there are similar angel like people all over North America, fortunately for you yours just happened to live in Wyoming.

Thanks for the post as it restores our faith in those following in our tracks.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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Great ending. Great Samaritan.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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In the RV world there are, occasionally, stories of jerks and creeps and the like, but they are really not all that common, even more so when you consider the offended are more likely to make noise (Post about it).

There are MANY stories of folks who chipped in when the chips were down and in one way or another either saved the day or made it a whole lot nicer. Stories like this one, And remember, People offended are more likely to post.

This makes the RV world even more amazing.

Bet you are glad to be in that world.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
In the RV world there are, occasionally, stories of jerks and creeps and the like, but they are really not all that common, even more so when you consider the offended are more likely to make noise (Post about it).

There are MANY stories of folks who chipped in when the chips were down and in one way or another either saved the day or made it a whole lot nicer. Stories like this one, And remember, People offended are more likely to post.

This makes the RV world even more amazing.

Bet you are glad to be in that world.
There will always be those who complain about minor things. The Internet gives some of them a vehicle to do that.

But your point is valid. There are a lot of wonderful people in the RVing community. For the very few times when we have been in situations where someone was obnoxious or even offensive, there have been 100s more times when everyone that we've met was cordial, friendly and easy to get along with.

This story, however, was posted to show the extraordinary. We have certainly gotten and given help to fellow RVers. The exchange of information and support seems very normal. Volunteering to drive a family of strangers almost 250 miles round trip is not, at least to me. I would hope that I would do whatever I could to help a family in a difficult situation but I'm still blown away by Mitchell's unsolicited offer. It certainly sets a high bar for me to be able to pay forward similar support if I have the opportunity to do it.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:32 PM   #7
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I hope you can somehow keep in touch with this Mitchell and maybe someday you can in some small way repay the favor by being a reference on a resume or something like that.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:31 PM   #8
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Good Karma !
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:50 PM   #9
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This helps to reaffirm my faith in humanity. A very interesting story with a great ending.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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This helps to reaffirm my faith in humanity. A very interesting story with a great ending.
X2 on that.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #11
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The scriptures tell us that some have entertained angels unawares.
Reaffirms that we need to be kind to everyone in every circumstance. We never know when the casual person we meet may be a "help in the time of need."
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:45 PM   #12
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That boy was raised right. Great story, glad things turned out for the better.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #13
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That boy was raised right. Great story, glad things turned out for the better.
Absolutely!

I've written a letter to the Devil's Tower KOA, thanking them for all of their help that day. Without their willingness to allow us to use their land line phone, we would have been really in a bad way. I included a printout and a link to this thread. I sincerely hope that they share it, including with Mitchell. I'm sure that he is off to other pursuits now and am praying for his success.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:23 AM   #14
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You and your family were absolutely wonderful to converse with! Also the money you gave me was put towards books for college, something that I am grateful for.

I'm not asking for further thanks or any such nonsense just letting you know that I am hale, whole, and enjoying my time as a Cadet.

It was splendid to have made your acquaintance, as polite, respectful gentlemen don't come in as often as I would like.

Regards,

Mitchell
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