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2011 Trip Report - Walmart Camping with the Jaussauds

Walmart Camping

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)