Monday, November 13, 2006

Wal-Mart parking lot gives through-traveling RVers a place to sleep for the night

The first two RVs roll into the parking lot about 3:30 on a fall afternoon. The occupants get out, chat with each other and take a bloodhound for a walk.

A few minutes later, another RV shows up, a 37-footer with popout kitchen.

By dusk, three more RVs arrive, pick spots in the spacious outer row of the parking lot, and expell people and dogs for a little leg-stretching after a long day's drive.

This night, they'll call the parking lot of Fredericksburg's Central Park Wal-Mart home.

Jim Pollard and a toy poodle named Bailey emerge from the 37-footer with a tennis ball, which Bailey chases and drools on tirelessly.

Pollard, wife Cathy and Bailey are heading from their home in Ontario, Canada, to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they vacation for a month each fall.

It is their second full day of driving, and the Pollards have only just survived the rush-hour crawl from Washington to Fredericksburg.

This morning, they awakened at their first overnight stop, a Wal-Mart parking lot in Erie, Pa. Four hundred miles later, here they are.

They're contented partakers of what Jim Pollard calls "the Wal-Mart RV culture," an informal community of travelers who take advantage of the chain store's ample, lighted parking lots instead of paying to park overnight in commercial RV campgrounds. Full Story...
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