Not enough ZZZZZZZZ’s

Three down five to go

I just completed my third week at Amazon with five weeks to go.  Not too much to write about which explains the lack of my posts.

Lack of sleep

I chose the night shift since I thought it would be better for Chica.  She would sleep through the night and only wake up once I got home.  Then she wouldn’t miss me as much and not go crazy when I got home.  So far that has worked out well although she still does get a little crazy when I get home but not as much as when I worked days.

It works out better for her but NOT for me.  I get off work at 4:30am,  but I cannot get to sleep immediately when I get home.  I watch the news and then hit the sack at 6:00.  I tried going to bed earlier but my neighbor works the day shift and starts his diesel at 5:15 and it runs until 5:30 when he leaves for work on the day shift.

Then about 6:30 to 7:00 the sun rises and pours lots of sun into my rig waking me up.  Sometimes I can roll over and go back to sleep and other times I just can’t get back to sleep.  Most of the time I have to force myself to get back to sleep.  Total sleep for the night is usually only 4-5 hours.  YUK!  Sometimes I will try to nap in the afternoon but I am not usually a nap person so that doesn’t work.

I have tried everything.  One couple I met on my shift told me they go to bed immediately when they get home.  I tried that but the noisy diesel always woke me up.  Others had suggested drinking a couple of beers, but at 5:00 in the morning that does not sound too appealing.

Caught a bad cold

Last weekend I was in bed all three of my days off with a nasty cold.  I had gotten too run down from lack of sleep.  I did get over that, but it was not a pleasant time off from work.  This week I tried an over the counter sleep aid called Melatonin.  I found it didn’t work that well with me and it gave me a jittery feeling all day.  I have also covered up some of my windows which does help.

Aching muscles better

It takes a couple of weeks for your muscles to get used to Amazon work.  This year rather then packing, picking or stowing I am taking inventory of bins.  You have to count everything in a bin and record it on your scanner.  It involves a lot of bending low for the bottom bins and standing on a stool for the upper bins.

I still get sore every day but it is not nearly so bad thanks to a daily dosage of Aleve.  That stuff really works miracles.

Chica gets used to her new home

When we first got her she would go crazy barking at the neighbor’s dog.  She has really calmed down now and only sits and quietly (most of the time) watches.  Her head perks up each time they come out their door but she doesn’t bark.

She really enjoys her walks during the day and meets all the other critters in the neighborhood.  It is funny but she doesn’t pay too much attention to other dogs while she is walking, but when she is looking out the window she will bark at the same dog if she sees them go by.  I guess she wants to be out there with them.  This is her favorite spot as it is in the sun and she can see all the activity by the neighbor.

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Early Thanksgiving

This Friday Amazon is giving all their employees a huge Thanksgiving dinner.  They do it every year in appreciation of all the hard work we do during the peak season.  More on that later.  It will be the first year I have Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30am.

Weather has been good

We were lucky and didn’t get the huge weather front that came down from Alaska.  It bypassed us  and I’m glad it did.  Right now the days are in the mid 50’s and nights in the mid 30’s.  My catalytic heater runs 24/7 and I have my electric heater set for 65 and it goes on and off during the night.  Chica also has her bed warmer on 24/7 and loves to sleep on it.  So we are both comfortable.  I am only about 100′ from the bath and laundry so am using their facilities.  It is nice to be so close.

That is all for now.  I need to take a shower and walk Chica and then it is off to the Silverado casino to meet up with some friends for $1 beers and watch Monday night football.

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Back at Amazon

One day away from leaving Fernley

I have been working at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Fernley, NV for the past 3 years.  Since I began working there in 2011 I have made regular trips to doctors in Reno for checkups and to renew my prescriptions.  I made the appointments this year as well but wasn’t planning on working at Amazon.  I was going to do some traveling as I had just completed my camp hosting assignment in Washington.

I stayed at the Desert Rose RV Park where I used to stay while working at Amazon.  I was waiting for a package from Escapees and was ready to depart for Utah to meet up with Jim, Gayle and Debbie.

Then I got a call from my sister informing me that our Mom was on Hospice.  She felt that I should be there so I bought airline tickets and made arrangements to board Chica in Reno.  I also informed the Desert Rose office that I would be out of the area but would keep my rig connected to electric.

I then flew to SO CA to see my Mom and do what I could to help my sister.  My Mom was very weak when I arrived, but has shown improvement while I was there.  She is still touch and go after a week.

To make a long story short I was in CA for a week.  My Mom is very weak but seems to be doing much better.  I flew back to Reno and picked up Chica.  She wouldn’t let me set her down once I had picked her up.  She was going crazy, jumping all over the car.

Got hired at Amazon

Like I have said all summer, “I am NOT going to work at Amazon this holiday season”.  Oh well forget that notion.  When I got to Desert Rose RV Park there were already several of my friends staying there.  I found Roger and we went out to dinner and got caught up on what each of us has been doing.  Then I met Jane who has followed my blog.  They both encouraged me to sign up again with Amazon.  No way I would say.  HA!

Then I met Barb and Chuck who I had worked with last year.  They told me the same thing.  To make a long story short I called Joni at Amazon and mentioned that I would like to work again during the peak season.  She wrote me back that she was reactivating my application and start a background check.  I completed the drug screen while in CA and orientation was last Tuesday.  I saw the same movies I have watched each year.  ZZZ!

Anyway I only have 5 hour days the first week.  This week I am on a my regular four 10 hour day schedule with 3 days off.  My work days are Wed thru Sat.  I decided to work nights so that it would be dark and hopefully Chica would sleep most of the night.  My hours are 6:00pm to 4:30am.  YUK!!!  I hope I don’t have trouble sleeping.  On top of that I also make $.75 an hour more.  Not too shabby!

Get out the heaters

I got out all the heaters, both catalytic and electric and hooked them up.  The weather here is not too bad yet, but the nights have been down in the 30’s.  But Chica and I are staying very comfortable.

Only 2 months and then off to Q

Once I finish up my stint at Amazon I will be off to So CA for the holidays with family and then over to Quartzsite where I will meet up with all my friends at Rogers 1/2 Acre.  I am looking forward to both, but in the meantime I will work my ass off here at Amazon.

Anacortes Weekend

Old post

This is an old post I wrote but couldn’t post since the Internet connection was sooooo bad.  I don’t remember the exact dates.

Chica has the shits

Not sure what happened, but I think it was something she ate (maybe a bug or something) but Chica came down with the shits.  What a bummer for her and me.  She wasn’t a very happy camper for a few days as you can see from this pic.

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I took her to the vet and she checked out A-OK there.  They gave me some medicine for her tummy and she is much better now.

Met up with Marti and Charlie again

Marti and Charlie wrote that they were going to Anacortes over on Fidalgo Island and wanted to know if I could join them.  I made plans with my other hosts to fill in for me and off I went late Sunday afternoon.  The weather here had been raining all week so I called Charlie to make sure they were still going.  They were already at Anacortes and the weather was nice and sunny so I headed over there.

Parked at the marina

They already had a spot at the marina so I pulled in next to them.  What a gorgeous view!  I forgot to take a pic during the day so this will have to do.  Quite a difference from out in the woods where I have been all summer.

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Ferry to San Juan Island

On Monday morning we walked down to the bus stop where we caught a bus to the San Juan Island Ferry.  The ferry ride is well over an hour to get there as we passed several islands on the way.

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Friday Harbor on San Juan Island

We got off the ferry at Friday Harbor, the main town on the San Juan Island where we climbed aboard a tour bus.

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Our first destination was English Camp.

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This is the only place in America  where the British flag is the only flag flying.

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The gardens there are really beautiful and well manicured.

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On to Roche Harbor

Boarded the bus again and went on to Roche Harbor.  You pay one fee and you can get on or off the bus anywhere you wish.  It was great for seeing different sites on San Juan Island.

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What a beautiful harbor.  Lots of yachts and a beautiful hotel.

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Here is a great pic of Marti and Charlie in the garden path in front of the hotel.

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A pic of yours truly after landing his yacht in the harbor.  HA!!

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Then we boarded the bus to return to Friday Harbor.  We stopped and had a drink just before boarding the ferry for our return trip to Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.  I got this pic of a taxi out in front of the bar.

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This is our ferry.  If I remember right it was about a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride back to Anacortes.

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Our final day in Anacortes we got out the bikes and they showed me some very neat spots on the Island.

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Thanks Marti and Charlie AGAIN for such a wonderful weekend.  You guys are the BEST tour guides in the Seattle area.  I had a wonderful time.

Home Sweet Home – for 4 months

Last leg of journey completed

I drove the last leg of the journey to my home for the next 4 months.  It was only 51 miles but I was anxious all the way as I wasn’t sure the campground would be opened.  When I arrived the gate was open and I just drove right in.

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This pic shows the entrance to the campgrounds.

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Then I found the host site and started moving right in.

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Cloudy and Rainy

When I arrived it was raining and very cloudy.  Chica and I walked around the campground and she was fascinated by the Canadian geese.

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This was quite different then what she is used to seeing.

Sunny Day

The following day it was sunny and I awoke to some really fantastic scenery.  I couldn’t believe how beautiful this place is with snow-capped mountains all around.  The next couple of pics were taken about 50′ from my campfire.  The lake is right there so I will have easy access with my kayak.

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We took another hike around the campgrounds.  This is the road leading around it.

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The trees are very tall as you can see.

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This is a view of the lake and mountains from the day use area.

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Day use for fishermen

There is also a day use are for fishermen with a boat ramp

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This is a sign that shows Baker Lake.  We are at the dot at the very bottom portion of the lake.

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There was a mom and pop Canadian Geese enjoying the lake.

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Poor Internet

I was using my Millenicom Hotspot attached to my Sleek booster, but I was only able to get a very slow 3G.  I tried uploading my pics but it took several hours for just 2 pics and then I would lose the connection every now and then.  I had to pick up my mail in Concrete, WA so decided to check if the connections was faster down there.  AHA!  I got 4G in this small town and my pics loaded very quickly (4G).

Rainy day in Bend, OR

Weather

The weather had been great up until the day I left the casino.  It didn’t really rain but sprinkled all the way to Bend, OR.  While in Bend I stopped at the Walmart to fill my prescriptions for the next 3 months and picked up some groceries.

I plan on spending 2 nights at the Bend Elks Lodge where they have electricity for $15 per night.  Time to get everything charged up.  I usually charge up IPhone, IPod, my computer, and my Bose speaker system.  That just leaves my Kindle Fire, toothbrush and battery charger which recharges my rechargeable AA, AAA, and D batteries.  I take advantage of electricity now as I will only have solar power when I reach Panorama Point (where I will be camphosting for the summer) and then I will have to juggle things to keep them charged.

Bend Elks Lodge

I signed up for two nights and got one of the 8 sites available with electricity.  There were three other campers when I arrived but one of them left this morning.  It has been very overcast and rained off and on during the day.  Chica and I went for a walk but she got a burr in here foot.  I helped her get it out and she is OK.  This is a view of our spot at the Elks Lodge taken with my IPhone.  It was just before it started really pouring.

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Elks Lodge Membership

Becoming a member of the Elks had to be one of the best things I have done since starting to fulltime.  Many of the Elks Lodges have low cost RV camping facilities and most of them have electricity, water and dump.  They do not accept reservations but most have sites available when you pull in.  After my experience trying to camp at a National Forest Service campground that was not yet open I made a change of plans and decided to stick with available Elks Lodges along my route.

My next stop will be the Elks Lodge in Yakima, WA where I will spend another 2 nights.  Elks Lodges are a very convenient place to stay during off season camping while traveling.  Plus they also have full bars and very reasonable dinners as well.  Not too shabby!!!

One more day

Still at the casino

Well 2 nights is going to turn into 3 at the Kla Mo Ya Casino.  Not because I love to gamble (I haven’t even been inside) but because the LA Kings face the Anaheim Ducks in their first game of the series tonight.  I am an avid LA Kings fan, although never get to any games.  I have been a fan for many years and hope they can beat the Ducks and continue in their quest for another Stanley Cup.

Perfect weather

The sun is shining and the temps will be 63 high 37 low.  It gets a bit chilly around 4:00am but nothing that requires heat, just warm blankets.  Great sleeping weather.  I turn on the Wave 3 in the morning to warm everything up including Chica.

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Slow down mode

Ever since I arrived here I have been in a slow down mode as opposed to my hurry up mode in getting here.  Between here and my destination at Panorama Point Campground in Northern Washington it is only about 600 miles.  So I have plenty of time to get their by May 10th.

My route north

I am trying to bypass all of the large cities on my way north.  I didn’t want to go through either Portland or Seattle if I don’t have to so I got out my atlas and I came up with the following route.  Since I am already on 97 I plan to just continue heading north on it until I reach 2 in Washington.  Then I will go west on 2 to Everett, WA where I will get on the 5 heading north.  Then I will go east on 20 which will put me right in Concrete, WA about 20 miles from my campground.  This route will take me thru all small towns until I get to Everett.  Has anyone ever taken any of these roads?  If so I would love to hear your comments on the roads and my route.

Elks Lodge in Bend

Tomorrow I plan to head to Bend.  I need to do some shopping at Walmart and they also have an Elks lodge with RV parking available.  Only about 115 miles so won’t be much driving.

 

The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good – Ramhorn Springs BLM

I headed north from Mono Lake over a pass at 8,100 feet.  I use both the Allstays and the Ultimate Campgrounds Apps on my IPhone to determine where I can stay overnight.  They are both very handy and you can use filters to determine what type of campground you prefer.  I decided on the Ramhorn Springs BLM campground about 45 miles north of Susanville, CA.  It was a bit further then I like to drive at 271 miles.  I normally like to travel only 200 miles per day.

When I arrived there were 2 truck campers pulling ATV’s.  Chica and I got settled in and prepared dinner and then went over to talk with my fellow campers at their campfire.  They had been coming here for several years and told me about the area.  It is always neat when you can find others who will share their knowledge of the area with you.  One of them suggested that I unhook the car and check out a few of the spots they mentioned.  I was thinking of doing that, but the Internet was so poor and I was out of phone range.  So I decided to move on.

Here are a couple of pics of the campgrounds.  It was very cool and well maintained.  The first pic shows the road leading into the park.  It is right off 395 about 3 miles on this road to the park entrance.

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The next few pics show are campsite within the park.

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The Bad – What you don’t want to see when towing

Since I had driven 666 miles (that should have been a hint that something was going to go bad) in the last 3 days I decided that a short drive further north would be a great idea.  I looked up a NFS campground 22 miles north-west of Altura, CA.  It would be a short relaxing drive of about 80 miles.  Great!  We were headed to Howard’s Gulch CG.  Just prior to turning into the campground road the 2 lane road started a passing lane.  NICE!!!  I had to turn left so was in the passing lane.  My trusty GPS told me where to turn and left I went only to find the RV’er with a toad’s worse nightmare – ROAD CLOSED.  I was already committed and had no choice but to turn left.

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I got out and surveyed the situation and determined that I had to unhook my car, turn the rig around and then rehook up my car all within about 50 feet.  The problem was that I was on an incline and when I tried to unhook the car I couldn’t get it off the ball hitch because of the incline.  After starting my car and putting it into gear and using my handbrake to stop I was able to get it to a point where It would come off the ball hitch.  Then I had to maneuver both rig and car in a small space facing the opposite direction, hookup the car and then I would be on my way.

By the way, when I checked the campground it said it opened in May.  Today was May 1.  DUH!!!  I guess it was too early to open.  Oh well!

The Ugly – Wheel well cover flapping in the breeze

By this time I determined that any campground that said it opened in May probably meant May 15 or later.  My friend John had mentioned a casino in Klamath Falls, OR that allowed RV’ers to spend the night.  So that was my goal.  I put it into my GPS and off we went.  On the way a large truck came flying by going the opposite direction and my wheel well cover came detached and was flapping in the breeze.  I pulled over and tightened it the best I could but it was not good enough as it happened again once another truck went by.  I did this about four times and then decided I was going to get it fixed temporarily until I got to my campground in Washington where that would be added to my list of things to do.  So I got out the one thing I knew could do the job properly – good ole DUCK TAPE.  I taped it up and the flapping came to a halt and I drove to Klamath Falls.

Once I got in Klamath Falls I thought it would be only a short drive to the casino.  OH NO!!  It was 24 miles north of town.  YIKES!  I usually check my GPS to see the total miles I have to travel to my destination, but this time I didn’t.  DUH!!

It is now 5:30 and Chica is getting antsy (although she cooperated) as well as myself.  We finally arrived at the Kla Mo Ya Casino about 6:00 and I immediately pulled into a nice shady spot.

DSC_0326The Internet here is great and the weather very nice, so I don’t plan on leaving here for 2 days.  Unless they kick me out.  HA!