March 3, 2019

Fort Sumner & Clovis, NM

Monday, September 24, 2018
Fort Sumner to Clovis, New Mexico
Distance: 85 miles
Walmart (boondocking)
Cost: free
Weather: Warm and sunny

We decided to leave Sumner Lake State Park a day early, even though we couldn't get a refund for the second night. The flies were so annoying and the amenities at the campground left a lot to be desired. By driving ahead to Clovis, we could shave off some miles on Tuesday's drive, which, otherwise, was going to be a fairly long day.

We left the park after 11:00 and made a stop at the Billy the Kid Museum in Fort Sumner. I'm not sure it was worth the $5/person, but it was something to do and we had time to kill.

When we arrived in Clovis, we found a coffee house (Java Loft) and spent an hour or so there, uploading pictures, working on blog posts, and catching up on social media. It would have been a nice place if the employees weren't so loud and talkative. Next time, we'll remember to bring our noise-cancelling earphones. 

We got settled at Walmart (our first experience boondocking at one) and went inside to grab a few groceries and ask the manager if we were ok parking there overnight. Not every Walmart allows this anymore, but the manager was very friendly and said it wouldn't be a problem. It wasn't long before several other RVs pulled in and parked on the outer edges of the large parking lot. Other than the glare from the tall overhead parking lot lights, we didn't have any problems. It was a very quiet night. 

Fort Sumner, New Mexico

Our first boondocking experience at a Walmart.

Our view from the parking lot.

Could be worse.


  1. When we lived in Auburn, Wal-Mart's parking lot would fill with RVs before football games since the university didn't allow them on campus until a certain time.

    1. Kathy, the Walmart in Newport (OR) gets quite a few RVs, too. I'm not sure how many park overnight, though. There's a sign posted saying "No Overnight Parking," but often times the store managers will allow it.

  2. We've never overnighted at a WalMart, but it sounds better than swatting flies at the state park! We've been to Sumner Lake, too, and I remember a LOT of annoying bugs. The Yellow-headed Blackbirds were really pretty, though. :-)

    1. Laurel, we've only stayed at one Walmart (and two Cracker Barrels) and while, obviously, nothing special, it's convenient for an overnight if you aren't in an area where there are any campgrounds or decent boondocking sites. I certainly wouldn't want to make a habit of it, but I know some full-timers do when they're trying to get a lot of miles in on a long destination. Ooooh, I would have LOVED to have seen a Yellow-headed Blackbird! I've never heard of them, but found some pictures on the Internet. Gorgeous birds!

  3. Maybe not as scenic as the state parks but yay for no flies! I didn't realize you could spend the night at the Walmart so that's really cool that they allowed you to park overnight. How long did it take you to go through the Billy Kid museum? I guess at least the entrance fee was low right? :)

    1. Iliana, yeah it's nice that Walmart allows overnight parking, although many across the country are beginning to forbid it. Cracker Barrel is another place we can stay, if we just need an overnight somewhere along the way. We probably spent half an hour in the Billy the Kid museum. It had quite a few displays, but nothing I was terribly interested in.


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