1st: Walmart Parking Lot; Laurel, Montana (elev. 3,300 feet)
2nd: Walmart Parking Lot; Sidney, Nebraska (elev. 4,250 feet)
3rd and current: Hunters Cove COE Campground on Harlan County Lake; Republican City, Nebraska (elev. 2,000 feet)
all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone
|Thru Stops 14, 15 and 16|
This post will have more pictures than usual (3 days worth). Most are travel pictures used to show the different landscape from Idaho thru Montana and Wyoming to Nebraska.
As I mentioned in my last post, I was looking forward to over-nighting in a Walmart parking lot. It was something I've never done in all of my RV travels. It's not something I consciously avoided doing, it just never came up. But, on this trip, it all came together. First, I didn't have any campgrounds for a thousand mile or so that I wanted to stop and explore the area. Second, the weather was great with the temperature dropping into the low 60's at night. Third, I was in the mood for some "long-haul thinking driving" (two-500 mile driving days, back to back).
I'm sure a lot of people are wondering what I thought of the Walmart RV Resorts. I thought they were great. I got to the first one after dark because I was delayed by a couple of hours when I was leaving Idaho due to a wreck on the highway. Sitting in traffic for two hours isn't fun, but since everything happens for a reason, there must have been a reason for delaying everything by those two hours. The delay meant arriving an hour after sundown, but that was nice. The temperature had already dropped below 70 degrees and there was a cool breeze blowing. About six other RV's were already parked so I found a nice open spot that looked kind of level and stopped. Although I was sure it was OK to park for the night, I still went in and asked for permission. The guy said "sure, not a problem just park out of the way of any route our delivery trucks will take". I told him I was parked on some stripped out parking spaces and he said that would be fine. I walked around the almost empty store and picked up a few things. After visiting with the cashier for a few minutes I walked back across the parking lot to Liberty, crawled into bed and went to sleep. I slept good and got up early to get a shower so I could hit the road since I was looking at another 500+ mile drive. Then I realized what I didn't like about over-nighting at Walmart,,,, no electricity means no coffee.
|Idaho,, the four lane between the casino and Coeur d'Alene.|
|A view of the lake and mountains in the distance|
|More Idaho landscape. It is pretty country.|
|The trees were nice while they lasted.|
|A bare slope that stood out like a sore thumb. I assume there must have been bad soil to keep things from growing on the slope, but I'm not sure and there wasn't anyone to ask.|
|I sometimes take for granted what I'm doing. I'm usually reminded of it at rest areas when I'm walking back to Freedom and Liberty. I stopped and took it all in and snapped a picture.|
|That's the Clark Fork River. We criss-crossed paths several times.|
|Another typical view of Idaho and western Montana|
|The trees are getting more scarce.|
|Another bare slope. It was strange one side of the river was bare sloped and the other fully wooded.|
|I crossed the Continental Divide on I-90 at Lookout Pass near Butte, Montana. Somehow it felt nice being on the eastern side. It was a strange feeling.|
|You get a long view when you top out over some of the hills.|
|A nice partially rainbow came out to keep me company. I got lucky and took the picture with it coming down on the Rest Area sign.|
|Later one, the other end of the rainbow poked through the dark clouds.|
|The first Walmart. Nice spot, great weather. The Walmart was super clean and it felt good just walking around inside after such a long drive. OK, ya'll can call me crazy now.|
|A panoramic view of the open-ness of the southern Montana/northern Wyoming|
|I'm not sure if Montana or Wyoming.|
|Looking down on the valley where the Bozeman Trail was located.|
|I hadn't found a bench in a while and the view was great.|
|The trees are all gone by this time|
|Pretty dark blue sky with puffy clouds.|
|It's called Sky Lining. Something the old west riders would avoid because it is highly noticeable. I saw this for a long way off. It is one of those metal silhouettes but it showed how easy it was dangerous to give away your position.|
|That strange looking circular clouds is in the general direction where the second Walmart is located. Strong storms were predicted for the area, but we didn't get any.|
|This was the second Walmart. I didn't like the slope of this spot so I moved to the right side in this picture.|
|This is the dark clouds that I woke up to after the second Walmart stop. Flat Nebraska.|
|Corn fields to the left and right. I'm not farmer but would figure harvest time is only a few weeks away. I bet these roads will be busy, busy then.|
|You know you're in farming country when you see this coming at you.|
|Campsite at Hunter's Cove COE Campground. Nice restful campsite after some long-hauling. My stay is 3 days at a senior rate of $12.00 per night. Not as cheap as Walmart, but I'm completely satisfied.|
|One of the few dams you can still drive across.|
|A nice over-look, but no benches. That is the dam on the right.|
|There is even a nice small pull-off on top of the dam.|
This post is longer than normal but I wanted to get my thoughts about Walmart camping down in a post for future reference. All in all, it worked out great. Will I do it again? Sure, if the temperature and location works out.
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.