Foul! People are beating the summer heat today while enjoying free Slurpees at 7-Eleven stores. There's just one problem. We don't have one in Grand Junction. What is one to do?

Why is the convenience store chain offering free Slurpees today? A couple of reasons. First of all, today is July 11, or... 7-11. Secondly, the chain is celebrating their 91st birthday, dubbing it "7-Eleven Day" and "Free Slurpee Day." Participating stores are giving away free Slurpees from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., while supplies last.

When you search 7-Eleven locations around the country, you quickly discover the chain consists of 7,895 stores. There are 349 to be found in Colorado. How many in Grand Junction? Zero.

This wasn't always the case. Growing up, we used to go to the 7-Eleven on 1st Street, not far from Sherwood Park. If that location didn't work, you could go to the 7-Eleven at 7th and Patterson, across from St. Mary's. That store had a Donkey Kong machine.

I can't recall how long it's been since we've had a 7-Eleven in town. Sadly, looking back on the early 1980's when the bottom fell out in Grand Junction, I do remember seeing a crowd of 75 people or more standing in line at a 7-Eleven in order to apply for a minimum wage part-time job.

So, where do Grand Junctionites go to get their free Slurpee? Per my calculations, the nearest 7-Eleven store is in Glenwood Springs. Let's crunch some numbers. Is it worth driving 82 miles to get a free Slurpee? My grandpa would have done it. He could have cared less about the Slurpee. The idea of getting something "free" would motivate that guy to do anything. That's right, 82 miles in a Chevy Custom Deluxe full-size pick-up at 9 miles to the gallon, all for a free Slurpee.

Sorry, Grand Junction. No free Slurpee for you. I guess we'll have to fork over the $1.95 or whatever it costs to get the equivalent at the Stop N' Save or Maverick stations.

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