This is the meteor crater site outside of Winslow, AZ. I saw the sign along I-70 heading back east to IL and thought "what the hell, I'm right here". I had decided that if I got there and it cost too much money I would just skip it, but since I was there, I'd venture off the highway to check it out.
As I pulled up in the parking lot and killed the bike, a guy a few years younger than I, holding a baby approached me. "Nice bike man". "Thanks" I responded. We engaged in small talk as he, his baby, his 13 year old daughter and his wife walked with me towards the admission booth. He was a US soldier, Marines, and was moving his family from NC to AZ where he was from.
We reached the admissions counter and when the attendant said "twenty bucks" I wished them well and turned to leave. He said "Whoa, hold on man."
The attraction offered a free waiver to active military. He looked at me and said "One active, and 4 others". I shook my head, no man, no. He nodded and gestured for me to zip it. This soldier paid for 4 people, himself, his wife and two kids....and got me in on his military voucher.
I didn't know what to do. I felt guilty. But he was insistent that I go with it, so I did. We entered the area, paid fifty cents to have some pennies pressed with alien and meteor insignia's and walked up to the rim of the crater. I snapped some photos and then let he and his family enjoy their roadside attraction.
I thanked him for his service and for doing what he does, so that people like me can do what we do.
We then went about our business, crossing paths here and there throughout the exhibit and nodding at one another. When I bailed I thanked him again, wished his family well and headed towards Albuquerque on my way to Texas.