One of the things I will miss the most about Texas are Buc-ee’s stores. They’re amazingly huge gas stations with a store full of everything (literally) you could want. It’s a gas station ‘convenience store’ that makes it’s own beef jerky, T-shirts, and has a home & garden section. It’s awesomeness.

That is unless you’re driving in the middle of an end-of-times type rain storm that limits highway visibility to about 60 feet in front of you, find that all of the truck stops on your map are completely full from drivers pulling off and waiting out the worst of the storm, and you want to take a corner of their 10+ acre parking lot to rest in for a while at 12:30 at night. They have a no ‘overnight’ parking rule that they cling to as if it were the only thing keeping the world from utter chaos.

I can see how allowing people to park RV’s over night all the time might start to attract the wrong demographic, or might fill up (ha) their parking lots, sure. What I don’t get is how they can throw that rule out at people who are trying to avoid unsafe driving conditions for a few hours. If your staff unanimously agrees that no one should be out driving at the time for safety reasons, and then follows that up with “sorry, but you have to keep driving…”, there is something wrong.

Our first night of the trip (before we even made it to Beaumont) we had to pull off at the last Buc-ee’s in Texas, which is normally only 1.5 hours from our apartment – but took us nearly 3 to get to. So many things had gone wrong that day and pushed our schedule a good 8 hours behind before we even left, and now…the rain. We parked in the back corner of a deserted parking lot that was under a consistent 1+ inch of water. Another RV passing through from Oregon parked next to us, also trying to avoid the road conditions for a bit.

We crashed immediately from driving exhaustion only to be startled awake 1 hour later by a staff lackey banging on our door. After red eye negotiations, we earned another 3 hours of sleep after talking one manager into looking the other way for a while. It was something, but not nearly enough. When we left the parking lot, it was still pouring down rain in incredible amounts. The other RV had already left by the time we got up, but I hope they got a bit of rest as well.

The Beaver is apparently not as awesome (or hospitable) as I hoped. They are lucky their Bohemian Garlic and Cherry Maple Beef Jerky are as addictive as they are.


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