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I was boondocking in a truck stop with my headlights on

By Edward A. Forbes

The Bulletin

Sunday morning, I decided to journey to Bastrop State Park.

I loaded up my little motorhome (Trekkie) and hit the road. I couldn’t get an RV site with electricity and water until Monday. “No problem” I said. “I’ll overnight at Lockhart’s Walmart.”

I stopped at Walmart around 4 p.m. and shopped. A jacket had become a priority as the winds with gusts of 30 mph and a late April cold front had temperatures dropping to the mid-40s. After checking out, I went to the customer-service desk and inquired “May I spend the night in your parking lot?” The response was a firm no. I was allowed to before, but that was in the past. My dilemma was the wind gusts, and the next stop was Bastrop.

I fired Trekkie up, and we left, Bastrop bound. Going 50 to 55 mph was the only comfortable speed, the wind buffeting Trekkie every inch of the way.

 The Bastrop Walmart was equally unwelcoming, and I found a nearby truck stop, QT by name. I pulled in. Tired and hungry, I used the generator to power the microwave and interior lights (and later in the evening for heat). I heated up beans and sausage in the microwave for supper. I discarded the paper bowl and plastic spoon as my KP duty and made my bed with my Winnie The Pooh sheets.

The next morning, I got dressed and decided to purchase my coffee from QT (they had provided sanctuary). I hit the remote to unlock the doors, nothing happened! I deduced that the batteries in the remote must have died. I would get coffee and batteries from QT.

I got my coffee and asked, “Do you have any 2032 batteries?” Coffee yes, batteries no, was the response; but not to worry there was a drugstore across the street that would open in two hours. I drank my coffee and put everything in its place. I sat in the driver’s seat and turned the key in the ignition. Nothing happened!

Someone had left the headlights on all night and killed Trekkie’s battery. It was hard to find any culprit but me, as I was traveling alone. Turns out the door remote batteries were simply fine.

I exited Trekkie and walked around to the side doors and noticed a red truck parked next to me. The man inside lowered his window, and I asked, “Do you have jumper cables, and could you give me a Jumpstart?”

“Yessir” he replied. He started his red truck and pulled in front of Trekkie, where I had opened the hood. He hooked up the cables, and I turned the ignition switch so I could see that we had a connection. “It’s showing we are getting a charge, but it will take a little time to get enough juice to start Trekkie, I told him.” “No problem,” he said, “but could you spare me a dollar?”

I looked in my money clip and had two one-dollar bills to give him.  I noticed clothes in the cab of his truck and a translucent plastic box in the bed of the truck that contained more possessions. At this point, I turned the ignition key, and Trekkie started, as he was disconnecting the jumper cables. I asked, “Do you need money for gas?” He said, “I’m just going to get a bite to eat.” I gave him a 20-dollar bill, thanked him again and left for Bastrop State Park.

After a nice two-day visit to the park, I decided to fill up with gas at the QT truck stop, and as I was leaving, I noticed the red truck and man in the same parking spot. I pulled up beside him, and he asked if I needed air in my tires. “No, I just wanted to see that all was O.K.,” I replied. He then proceeded to tell me I should convert Trekkie into a hydrogen-fueled vehicle. I thanked him for his input and pointed Trekkie in the direction of Angleton, relying on carbon-based fuel for the return trip.

(Edward Forbes wants to hear from you. Email him at or send comments by snail mail to The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton TX. 77516.)


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