We were excited (and headed for a Walmart)!
The day had finally come. All in all we have spent just under thirty days in our rig since purchasing it in early August, but, never for more than four days at a time This trip would last 12 days. That may not seem like a long time for you full timers, however, this would be heaven for us.
We would spend our first night out anointing the Beast (and our selves) by enduring what has become a rite of passage for RVers, dry-camping on a Walmart parking lot.
Rumor has it that Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, was an avid RVer and wanted to give back to those who shared his passion. He decided that RVers would be allowed to park on Walmart parking lots overnight for free. It's not exactly camping (No levelers, no slide outs, etc.), but, it's free and many locations have free wireless. Oh, and don't forget the amenities inside like groceries, cool RV stuff, a Subway or a McDonalds restaurant! Did I mention that it's free!
Our original plan was to drive from Dallas to Texarkana and overnight there. However, fueled by the energy of a Whataburger stop (a Texas tradition), we decided to push through to Hope, Arkansas. Hope has a population of 10,000 and was the boyhood home of none other than former President Bill Clinton (big whoop). Walmart was easy to locate…just follow the truckers. We were excited…again! I urged the Beast onto the half full parking lot noting one other RV already nestled into a prime location. Big rig trucks filled part of the lot, but, we found a secluded spot (or so we thought) on the outer edges. To us it felt like the Ritz. The first order of business, food, shopping (Tempo wanted pants that “softly grip your waistline”) and setting up our free wireless. With the windows open we ate sandwiches and drank beer, enjoyed the crisp night and (what else?) people watched!
Among our interesting sightings: a trailer full of goats, a long haired dude walking with his pants half way down his butt, numerous RVs trying to find that elusive “quiet” spot and a huge truck-trailer combo parked in the middle of the drive (?). Workers were unloading five-gallon cans from the truck-trailer onto the parking lot. We would find out later exactly what those shady characters were up to.
Our bellies full and AussieOne’s feet clean we climbed into our king size bed for a semi-quiet night’s sleep. Or so we thought.
Door: Knock, knock, knock!
AussieOne: "Bark, bark, bark"
Me: "What the heck!"
Tempo: "Someone's at the door!
I paused for a moment deliberating over which gun to grab. Deciding on the Glock 26, I went to the door and opened it. Some long haired dude (not the one with his pants hanging off of his butt, another one) in work-type clothing was staring up at me, a strange look on his face. I looked down and realized I was standing there, in my underwear, with a gun in my hand and hence the strange look.
Long haired dude (unfazed): "Sir, can you move forward to the next aisle? We need to finish striping the lot."
Me (very calmly) : "Sure. Give me a minute."
Striping the parking lot! What are the odds? I awakened the Beast and nudged her protesting mass forward into another spot at the Ritz. She quickly settled back down to sleep. So did I, comforted by the thought that now I know what was in those five-gallon containers that were unloaded onto the parking lot.
Tempo was up. I opened my eyes and watched her scramble. Apparently she had knocked over a drink left on her nightstand earlier in the night. Fluid soaked into the bedsheets and dripped onto the floor. Tempo cleaned up the mess as best she could. Crisis averted…again…we settled back to “sleep”.
Having completed the night without further incident and needing to load the hump for the next leg of our journey, Tempo went back to Walmart to hunt breakfast.
As I waited the thought occurred to me, “I wonder how they get you to leave this lot? We could stay here forever!” With that thought I fired up my computer, but, “No Wireless signal! That’s how they get rid of you! They cut off the wireless!”
Full and semi-rested we broke camp, having accomplished our goal. We are the people of Walmart ! Check that Box!
Latest posts by Gonzo (see all)
- We slept at the Durango Walmart, but we didn’t inhale! - September 5, 2016
- Revisiting Normal - August 7, 2016
- My Father - June 18, 2016