walmart parking lot camping

Hillbilly Hand Signaling – Day 1 UTBDR

I’ve been thinking about this adventure since arriving back from the last off-road adventure. High mountain desert, red dirt, canyons and wide open sky. But between here and there is more than 900 miles of asphalt.

After bouncing off walls at work for the better part of the day it was finally time to cut out and pick up the navigator… I can drive but I’ll be the first to admit I’d drive around in circles on a highway overpass without someone to point the way. And while Brad can navigate, apparently the science of telling time completely escapes him. It wasn’t until 4:30 p.m. that we finally had his gear packed and were on the road, just in time to sit in Friday night traffic as everyone in Portland made a brake from their 9 to 5 five lives heading into a weekend.

I enjoy road trips and driving late into the night is a bonus when you have a friend by your side. Brad and I haven’t gotten together much since our Baja way off-road adventure, but without missing a beat we picked up where we left off, chatting, laughing and bickering like an old married couple.

There are two things I absolutely want to do on this trip… One we’ll do on day 2 (I know the suspense will be devastating… but you’ll just have to come back to find out that one). But the other must do thing, presented itself to us at two thirty in the morning as we pulled off the highway and headed into the little city that sits on the border of Oregon and Idaho known as Ontario, Oregon.

Urban legend talks about it. But until you experience it, you really can’t understand the true joy that hilly billy, white trash red necks find in setting up camp in the Walmart parking lot. I’m not kidding here, throwing down carpet on the asphalt parking lot below the pale yellow glare of sodium lamps atop 30 foot poles as bugs dance to their rhythmic hum is the thing I just had to do. And I’m not alone in this quest… easily a dozen campers, horse trails and popup tents fill the back edge of the parking lot as shoppers continue to come and go 24 hours a day.

Don’t ask me why… I don’t even really know why, but to experience camping, not trailering, in a Walmart parking lot was on the list…

Tomorrow we meet up with the other Paul around Bear Lake, the starting point of our Utah Backcountry Discovery Route  off-road adventure. We’ll also get to the first thing on the list. However the adventure unfolds, tonight I have a grin that I can’t explain and feeling that this is going to be another epic off-road adventure.

Next : Utah Backcounty Discovery Route Day 2

One thought on “Hillbilly Hand Signaling – Day 1 UTBDR”

  1. WalMart parking lot in Ontario (OR), that’s a mear 60 miles from our place.
    At least you waved as you drove by on I84, but with one finger!!!
    Have a safe and fun trip, like I need to say that part!


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