2011 Trip Report - Walmart Camping with the Jaussauds
By Bob Jaussaud
Sue finally relented last year and let me buy the big ol' stinkin' diesel truck. Next, we found a Lance camper that made the diesel truck look small. One of our first trips in the combined rig was to the DE Rendezvous last year at Borrego Springs, so many of you might have seen it. Camping in the Lance is our version of luxury camping.
This year, we missed our usual late Summer - early Fall trip with the Skamper and DE friends, so Sue and I decided to head to the Rockies and see the Fall colors in comfort. We loaded the Lance, put our bikes on the rack and took off from Lone Pine on September 21. It turned out to be a near perfect trip. I'd like to commend Walmart for making one night easy and enjoyable for us.
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Starting from Lone Pine, we leisurely crossed Nevada and reached Elko around sunset. During a fuel stop, we saw the Elko Walmart situated on a hill above us. We could see several rigs already parked for the night in the Walmart parking lot. Sue and I thought, "Why Not?" We pulled up the hill and found a nice spot overlooking Elko on the fringe of the Walmart lot and parked. It's worth reporting that it turned out to be a good move and a pleasant night. The Walmart was a "Super Store" and open 24 hours. After fixing dinner and walking around town a bit, we were able to cruise the aisles of Walmart, buy a few necessities and make use of their facilities before settling down for the night, snug in our camper.
This was our only night at Walmart on the trip, but, if available, we would probably take advantage of Walmart hospitality again under similar circumstances. Unfortunately, not all Walmarts are able to allow overnight parking as some unfriendly City Councils have banned overnight parking at their local Walmarts. Sue and I were sure glad that Elko, NV was a friendly town.
After Elko we visited the Great Salt Lake, Heber City and its railroad, Dinosaur Nat. Mon. (lots of 4 wheeling potential), Steamboat Springs (wonderful biking and walking paths), Rocky Mountain National Park (spectacular Trail Ridge and Holswarth Ranch), Estes Park at the foot of the Rockies, tiny Nederland and their beautiful Merry-Go-Round, Glenwood Springs (bike trails along the Colorado River), Leadville (Steam Railroad, Mining Museum and highest incorporated city in US), Independence Pass (12095 feet - awesome), Redstone, Crested Butte, Marble, Colorado National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Telluride (free gondola to top of mountain), Mesa Verde National Park and the Grand Canyon. While in Glenwood Springs, we met friends Zinda and Mike and took Amtrak together over the Rockies to Denver, where we spent the night before reboarding Amtrak for the return trip to Glenwood Springs. The next day, Mike took us four wheeling over McClure and Kebler Passes. There were Fall colors everywhere in Colorado and they were eye popping. If you get the chance, Sue and I highly recommend a Fall color trip in Colorado.
(this article was originally posted Fall of 2011)