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RV-Able: Walmart Overnight

Let’s spend the night in a Walmart parking lot, are not words I’d ever thought I’d hear in my lifetime, but here my husband was suggesting it with all the enthusiasm of a twelve-year-old boy.

Really?”  But why?  We were en route from our last RV park and had a reservation at the next stop.  So, Walmart?

I have the bus booked in for new tires in the morning; it might be fun?”

Fun felt like a stretch.  The weather had turned and rain and high winds were in the forecast.

“You can spend the night with me,” my sister offered as soon as she heard.

“No,” I said with a sigh, “in for a penny, in for a pound.”  I tried to be cheerful, but honestly, a deserted parking lot in a strange town.  My mind conjured images of bored teens trying to topple the vehicle, or meth-addicts desperate for the next fix spotting our home and seeing a perfect target.

I probably watch too many true crime series.

He had called ahead to get permission.  “Park in the furthest lot from the store,” the manager said.

“Oh great!” I thought.

The Walmart was located on the edge of town, with a few residences nearby, but mostly other retail.  Several long-haul trucks were already settled in place.  I breathed a sigh of relief. We weren’t alone.

We went inside to purchase a few groceries, and remind them that we were here, then left to find some dinner.

The day had turned nasty, the kind of weather that seeps into your bones.

“We’ll get you settled into bed with TV,” my husband offered, knowing that the day’s travel had taken a toll on me.

Boondocking, as they call it, means not putting the slides out, so I crawled over the bed, creaky knees and all, and settled in, fearing the perpetual call of my bladder during the night.  Ric had a shower, reveling in the challenge.  I wondered if I”d sleep.

Anticipated hoots and hollers of young people passed by outside but kept going.  The night was too blustery for lingerers.  Occasionally, I’d hear the generator from one of the big rigs, but otherwise drifted into slumber.

Morning came and Ric popped out to pick up Tim’s while I got dressed.  By 7:30 we were pulling out.

We survived Walmart.

“We can do that all the way through the States, you know!”

I just cringed in silence.  Still a princess at heart.

(Photo credit:  www.gonewiththewynns.com.  The Wynns have a great series of videos and a website offering the ins and outs of RVng.)

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Categories: humour ME/CFS nonfiction RV-Able travel

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V.J. Knutson

Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.

2 replies

  1. We did that once a few years back! July 4 weekend and no reservations … we ended up at Walmart. Our only problem was the periodic flood of light from the guy patrolling the parking area. We’d do it again in a pinch … but yeah, I like the RV parks far better!!

    Liked by 1 person

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