LOGAN, UT: WALMART PARKING LOT

We were told that Maple Grove Hot Springs — on the Oneida Reservoir in Idaho — was beautiful, so we headed there after (we thought) Toby (the toy hauler) was ready to be used. We quickly discovered that we were a little over ambitious. On the way there the truck (Tabatha aka Tabby) was making god awful noises. We later discovered that the “jack brake” was on when it didn’t need to be and was causing the revving/sputtering/noise. Didn’t even know we had a “jack brake” nor did we know what one did… Once we got to the hot springs, we checked in at the office area. Two nice young women greeted us and gave us the scoop on the facilities. We had noted 3 “boondocking” camp sites on the way in and asked about these as they appeared to be easy “in and outs.” We asked if there was a good turn around spot for our trailer, and they said we were welcome to turn around in their parking lot. 30 mins later (what felt like 30 hours later) we had managed to do what seemed like a 200-point turn in their lot. We are keeping remarkably cool and patient with each other despite all the madness we are going through. We drove back to the boondocking spots. and walked them to see which one would be easiest for our first night of the adventure. One was much more desirable with ample shade, right on the lake, but we opted for another site because it was less sloped and (we thought) easier for us to get set up in. Well, it turns out the awesome custom built battery compartment is enough below the trailer as to reduce our ground clearance just enough to eliminate the possibility of camping in this spot. It ALSO eliminated the possibility of an easy back up to get out of the spot that we couldn’t fully get into. While in the throws of trying to get free, a man and his daughter waited patiently for us to back up. They were able to claim that site as their tent site for the night. We wished them well, and I truly hope they had fun. It was a great site; just too ambitious for our first night. However, seeing that spot made us very excited about what lies ahead… beautiful locations in North America, with NO FEES. The evening was quickly closing in and we had no where to go! Where in the world were we going to sleep? While Walmart doesn’t count as a campsite (in our minds), it’s important to note that it is almost always an option for cross-country travelers. They were extremely agreeable to us parking our 52 feet of metal (32 feet of Toby (the trailer) and 20 feet of Tabatha/Tabby (the 2015 RAM 2500 truck) in their parking lot. They said there is an ordinance in Logan that prohibits it, but that they are okay with it. We noted that many semi drivers were parked there, so figured we could get away with it. It was hot and bouncy (we didn’t hook up the stabilizers), but it worked just fine and was really our only option. We parked on the south side of the South Logan Walmart, alongside the nursery, and we were comfortable. Except that we discovered the refrigerator wasn’t working (uh-oh to all the food we bought that day) and the “lowest point” hoses were left open so when we turned the water pump on for the first time, all of our water was dumping out. J discovered this as she left Walmart to walk back to Toby/Tabby. She was actually relived that it was an open valve and that we hadn’t punctured our water tank earlier when we got hung up. David from Rocky Mountain RV (our salesperson/the manager/an all around great guy) came to our rescue that night and showed us (once again) how to program the frig so that it would stay on and helped with the a/c. Keep in mind this was a Monday night at about 8:30pm. We were about 20 mins away from his house. I’d call that customer service!

Not the epic first outing we had hoped for. The learning curve is steep for us and it is humbling to say the least. J always talks about how when some old friends of her were newly dating…. they bought an RV and traveled America for months. They figured if they could live together in a small space and problem solve the ins and outs of mobile living that living together in a sticks and bricks (house) without the daily challenges, their relationship would stand the test of time. After just a couple of days (and adding a puppy and crazy cat), we are starting to understand their wisdom. So far, we have managed to work together and get through more technical problems than we have had to do in the past 15 years of our relationship. It has brought us closer, and given us a common purpose. Guess it’s good therapy for all types of relationships, new and old.