Van Dwelling Through Little Rock, Arkansas

Someone called the police when I camped at a Walmart for one night. They claimed I was there for three days. Someone was either very confused or lying. The police officer was cool and loved my van. Someone else called the police on me when I was at a gym. They claimed they saw a suspicious man with a duffel bag. They didn’t mention they I was walking out of a gym. They police officer laughed and said “have a nice day.” White vans have a stigma. People see them and get spooked. This reduces the “stealth” factor of my home sometimes.

Anyway, I wanted to head to little rock. I’m not sure why. I’ve kinda just been drifting around. I stopped at Hot Springs National Park. It’s a small park, but it has some pretty cool trails and nice views.

hot springs national park

There’s a really high tower you can go up.

hot_springs_tower

When I got to Little Rock, I met a pretty girl named Casie. We hung out on a bridge that was supposed to have lights all over it. The lights never lit up. We snacked on almond butter and chocolate syrup. This was me trying run back after setting the camera timer.

casie_Joe_bridge

We also went to see some bands at White Water Tavern. Becoming Elephants was my favorite band there. Check them out. This venue has a sweet set up and apparently it’s been around forever.

white_water_tavern

I explored some parks around Little Rock for a while.

Little_rock_creek

Lots of stray dogs here. This pair was my favorite. They looked pretty humorous together. Reminded me of Pinky and the Brain.

stray_dogs

This is a huge bridge in Little Rock you can walk across. It’s called “Big Dam Bridge.”

big_dam_bridge_arkansas

big_dam_bridge

It crosses the Arkansas River.

arkansas_river

I stopped into a coffee shop and met a dude named Matt. We became friends right away and he invited me camping in Ozark National Forest with his friend Colton that night. They’re both Web Developers so I got to pick their brains about my website. After camping, we went canoeing along the Buffalo River. We met a lot of strange and interesting people along the way.

Buffalo_river_canoe

Colton and I jammed a lot.

Joe_colt_guitar

After Canoeing, we went to Issac’s house. He lives on a huge farm. He was very welcoming to all of us. He cooked us food, and even paid for our tickets at a drive-in theater. This is a serpent his grandfather made.

serpent_sculpture

We hung out around a huge fire at Issac’s house. He let us all crash there and we parted ways in the morning.

camp_fire

I’ll definitely come back to Little Rock some day.

I decided it was time to keep heading North. I’m in South Dakota right now.

  • Scott Mauer

    I love the dragon in the grass! Sorry you got micro-hassled by LEO. As time goes on, the number of people living in vans is going to increase, and people are going to get more paranoid unless we do a great job being good citizens. My van is also white and has that whole Kidnapping Van vibe. I’ve thought about hippying it up, but since it’s main purpose is urban stealth camping, I’m tempted to leave it white. I have some friends who created generic looking plumbing business, etc., signs on magnetized vinyl sheets, so they can simply change them whenever they want. Seems like a good stealth trick. I got an induction cook top to try. If it works well, I can eliminate propane from my plans, which would be sweet.

    • Joe

      I think the whole stigma is kinda ironic because a white van is probably the worst vehicle to do something illegal in. I think Hollywood is the only thing keeping it alive at this point. I might consider getting one of those vinyl magnets. I think you’ll love the induction cook top.

      • Scott Mauer

        I’ve used my induction stove for a couple days and am very happy with it. I pulled my propane one out of the yurt and repaired the hole in the temporary countertop. Having a moveable cooking surface will be better. In the van I’ll find a way to keep it in one place. Mine cooktop has a fan and a vent, so I’ll have to make sure air can flow properly. I almost had to drive my worn white windowless cargo van, with no registration sticker (got stolen in Portland) along the Mexican border between there an Austin. I chose the north route instead. 🙂

        • Joe

          Glad you like the induction cooker! Hahah

  • Richard Hauser

    One more destination suggestion: http://www.yosemiteclimbing.org/facelift-2016/ Tell me if you want the destination suggestions posted somewhere else or if they annoy you. It’s just i am trapped in an office, so I’d like to see someone out doing fun things.

    • Joe

      Haha thanks Richard. I enjoy the suggestions. Post them wherever you like.

  • KNERDY

    Can I park my RV at a Walmart store?

    While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.

    http://corporate.walmart.com/frequently-asked-questions

    • Joe

      Yeah, I’ve parked at dozens of other Walmarts with no problems.

      • KNERDY

        I lived in an area near the Mexico border where around October, you would start to see fleets of RVs from Ontario, and Manitoba parking in Walmart, sometimes for weeks at a time. They would pull out to empty the gray water, and fill up with white water.

        • Joe

          I can’t imagine doing it for weeks at a time. I don’t like doing it more than 2 nights max.

          • KNERDY

            Well, they hang out in the area most of the winter where the average temperature is 70. With so many of them there, the RV spots jack up their prices, Almost cost the same to just rent a one bedroom apartment. So you can see why they would want to hang out at Walmart for free.

          • Joe

            Makes sense

  • carl remscheid

    Wow. you are living it! not every moment will be bliss but you will have far many more then us sheep. count the blessings and discard the trash, i done the buff river when i lived in Memphis. it is one of the greatest spots in the USA but dont tell anyone. we dont want it to get mucked up. Pretty girl! be cool and peace out.

    ps. you dont look like the bad guy you look like the guy whom kicks there but.

    • Joe

      Thanks Carl!

  • Stephen Kelly

    Hey Joe, love your blog 🙂 Looking to buy a van later this year and I really want a high top to be able to stand in. I keep hearing on youtube that they aren’t as stealthy though because they “stand out more”. What has your experience been finding places to park in the city or residential areas?

    • Joe

      I never really felt like they stood out until I started living in one. I’ve parked in residential and city areas just fine without issues. There’s always a chance someone may tell you to leave, but it won’t happen often. It’s never a big deal anyway.