Southern California for the Holidays Brrrrrrrrrr!!

Off to sunny SO CA to warm up – HA!

I couldn’t wait to get out of Fernley and down to SO CA for the holidays.  I will warm up for sure down there and enjoy all the nice sunshine.  I stopped in Beatty, NV again where it was a bit warmer then Fernley but not much.  Then headed straight to Orange County to visit family and friends.

I stayed a few days in a pull through site at O’Neill Park.  But then realized it was not a good site for either solar or WiFi so moved to a back-in site where everything is good.  Great solar and 4G Internet.  How could it get much better?  Well as it turns out it could be much better.  The weather was freezing.  It seemed like I was back in Fernley.  One night it rained on the valley floor but snowed in the Saddleback Mountains just a short distance away.

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Chica and I went over to my sister Bev’s home and spent the holidays with she and my brother-in-law Bob.  We had a great time and Chica was glad to see their dog Lando. They get along great and loved to run in the park.

Visited my Mom

Bev and I took Chica over to see my Mom one afternoon.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any pics.  We did go back another day to visit her without Chica and I got this clip of her.  She put on Bev’s glasses and was interested in going through her purse.  HA!  She is doing well but is very frail and doesn’t talk too much.  It sure was good to see her though.

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Chica visits Santa 

Bev and Bob have a cute Santa in his sleigh.  Chica fit in there perfectly and she was very content sitting on Santa’s lap.

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I’m sure she was wishing for lots of cookies and fun toys to play with.

Here Chica is with Lando.

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Plus a pic of Chica, Lando and my sister Bev.

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Heading to the beach

In a couple of days I will be heading to the beach.  I will spend a week at Doheny State Beach right on the ocean in Dana Point, CA.  I have always wanted to stay there but it was always crowded and hard to get a reservation.  It is supposed to warm up this week so looking forward to it.  More pics to come.

Soon on to Quartzsite

I usually get to Quartzsite, AZ around the 4th of Jan.  This year I will be a bit late.  I intend to arrive in Q on the 14th just in time for the show.  I will be camping at Rogers 1/2 acre as I have done in the past.  I hope to catch up with a lot of my friends when there.  If you are heading there be sure to stop in and see us.  It is a blast.

It’s all over but the warming!

Released from Amazon

My release date from Amazon was Wed 12/18.  I was going to slack off my last day but I wound up having a great day.  I had a better percentage of items stowed then normal.  I also talked to a lot of the campers who were leaving on the same day and some that were scheduled to leave later.  Many of us are going to Quartzsite in January and we are making plans to meet up there.  I can’t wait.  I probably met more fun people this year then any of the last two years.  Aside from the hard work and the COOOOOLD weather I really enjoyed this year more then any other.

Change in weather

I figured that I would take Thursday to get organized and ready to hit the road on Friday.  However this is what I awoke to on Thursday morning.

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There wasn’t a lot of snow but just enough to make you slip and slide if you weren’t careful.  I spent the day getting stuff organized inside my rig.  Even though it snowed the temps were much warmer and by the end of the day a lot of the snow had melted.

I also had running water.  HURRAY!  Last night while watching TV I could hear the bathroom sink gurgling.  Chica was going crazy barking at the gurgling noise.  She didn’t know what it was.  The sink trap had busted loose and I was finally getting drainage.  HURRAY #2!

Great driving weather

I packed everything up, payed my final electric bill at Desert Rose RV park, hooked up the Sami and I was off into the wilderness.  It was such a GREAT FEELING to get back on the road.  I love the feeling when I am back behind the wheel!  Chica curled up in my lap as she always does when we are on the road.

I stopped in Hawthorne at the McDonald’s to give Chica a break but never stopped again except for gas.  I finally pulled into one of my favorite RV parks at Beatty RV Park.  I don’t know what it is about this park but I usually stop here at least twice a year.  The folks here are  very friendly and remembered me for the last time I was here ion October just before heading to Fernly.

California Gold (or should I say heat)

Tomorrow I will get up early and head into California where I know the temps are about 70.  (Eat your heart out Fernley!)  I will be seing my sister and a lot of good friends on Sunday.  Chica will also be happy that she can get out and run in the grass.

Glad it is OVER!

It was great having an opportunity to earn a lot of extra money to keep myself on the road.  But it sure is great that the time at Amazon finally came to an end.  The job is not exactly easy and the weather SUCKS but the money is good.  I am glad it has finally come to an end and now I am BACK ON THE ROAD!

I HOPE TO SEE MANY OF YOU IN Q!

 

From Super HOT to Super COLD

Played Hookey

Last Monday I called in sick Cough, cough!) to go with friends to visit a brothel.  We all went to the World Famous Mustang Ranch for lunch and a tour of the place.  It sure beat working at Amazon, that is for sure.  HA!

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We got there and had lunch at their Wild Horse Saloon restaurant/bar.  Lunch was good especially with the pole dancers in the background.  After lunch we then took the tour.  It started with a big room where your could buy souvenirs as well as many adult toys.  Having worked at Amazon we see many more adult toys then even at the Mustang Ranch.  HA!

Our tour guide told us all about the ranch and took us through many of the rooms where the girls do their thing with their clients.  It was very interesting to see the many different styles in each room.

We were not allowed to bring in either cameras or cell phones so I couldn’t get any pics.  However we did get several pics once we got outside.

Here is a great pic of the girls in our group.

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Us guys strike a few poses as well.

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It was a great time which we all enjoyed.

Weather dips in single digits

The weather here has dipped into the single digits.  It is very cold at night.  One morning I woke up and checked the temps.  It said it was 3 degrees feeling like -6.  Hows that for cold?

My 20 gallon propane tank was empty one morning when I awoke and the furnace was blowing cold air.  YUK!  I switched over to my 5 gallon tank.  A couple of nights later I awoke at 2:30 in the morning and found the tank was empty.  I had to switch over to my propane tank in my RV.  It was very cold going out in my pajamas.  I decided to have the park fill the 20 gallon tank 1/2 full so hopefully I have enough propane to last until I leave.

Tanks frozen

Since the weather is so cold all my tanks have frozen.  I have not had water for about almost a week.  The weather warmed up yesterday and when I got home I was able to run my water.  However when I got up this morning there was barely a trickle out of the tap.  I hope that it will thaw out some so I can take a nice shower as I really need one.

I am not the only one in that predicament.  Many of the other campers I have talked to have the same problem.

4 working days to go

My last working day is Wednesday.  I plan to get everything packed up and ready to go and leave here Friday morning.  I will arrive in SO CA on Saturday to enjoy time with family and friends on Sunday and for the 2 weeks after that.  My sister has planned getting together with family and many friends I have not seen for over a year.  It should be a blast!!

 

 

Gettin Cold in Fernley

Cold spell

We had a cold spell go through here and dropped some snow on the local mountains.  We didn’t get any snow here in Fernley, but the mountains sure looked nice.  The temps dropped down into the low 20’s at night so got out the electric heater.  I bought a Lasko oscillating heater last year at Walmart so I fired it up to keep Chica warm.  I am still learning the best setting for it during the day.  Yesterday I came home and it was 89 degrees inside the rig.  Chica thinks she is in Hawaii.  HA!  HA!  I am thinking of buying a timer so I can only keep it on during the cold parts of the day.  During the day it warms up nicely (so far anyway) and she gets direct sunlight through the side window so she can lay on the couch and bask in the sun.

Sore muscles 

My back has been killing me this week so I have been taking Aleve on a daily basis to cure the pain.  It is usually bad the first couple of weeks until your body acclimates to the punishment that Amazon doles out.  After all life is not east when your making the big bucks.  HA!

Chica’s walks

Diane takes Chica for a nice long walk during the day.  It breaks up the monotony for her and gives her a chance to get some exercise while the sun is still out.  I leave for work in the dark and it is almost dark when I return.  The other day I got a note from Diane stating Chica had hid from her and she didn’t take her for a walk that day.  She said she wouldn’t come when she called her name.  I left a note for Diane stating she sometimes curls up on the seat in the cab where the sun shines in.

By the way I ordered a bed warmer for Chica’s bed so I can turn the heater down lower at night.  I am testing it now and should be able to place it under her bed to keep her nice and snugly.  Chica sure hates it when I am gone all day and goes crazy when I get home.  It takes her about 10 minutes too calm down as she gets very excited when I walk in the door.

Great dinners

I didn’t do too well on cooking for the week last weekend.  After working 10 hours I really don’t fell much like cooking.  So I looked over Casey’s menu and decided I would give her cooking a try.  She doesn’t cook on Sunday so I was on my own.  Monday I had spaghetti and meatballs with cheese garlic bread.  WOW!  It was a real feast.  Then Tuesday and Wednesday I got her soups with garlic bread.  Very yuuuumy!

Overtime

I was assigned Thursday as my mandatory overtime day.  So now I will be working 5 days a week with Friday and Saturday off.  Also our starting time has been moved back to 6:00am.  The best part is that we get off work at 4:30pm.  We can also get voluntary overtime if we want it, but I am not too excited about working 11 hour days.

I hope everyone has a nice safe Halloween tonight!

First Week At Amazon

Orientation

I reported to Amazon on Saturday 10/19 for orientation.  I have been through this twice before so I am familiar with the procedure.  Saw some of the same movies I had seen before, but portions of it had been updated.

In the afternoon it was off to Safety School.  Then we got off work at 5:30.  I headed straight home and Chica was right their to greet me.  It had been a long day for her as well and she was very excited to see me.

My Shift

Sunday is the first day of my shift and I work through Wednesday.  They start us right out on 10 hour days from 7:00am to 5:30pm.  The first week they gave us a break and Monday and Tuesday we only worked 5 hours.

My Job

This year they made me a Stower.  I get the products from receiving and stow it in the bins.  It will be much less walking then last year when I was a picker and picked the items out of the bins.  Pickers usually walk between 12 – 14 miles per day.  However a stower does not walk nearly as much, as we can put the items in any bin that has space.

It is a bit difficult this time of the year for a stower as the bins are very full and sometimes difficult to find some open space.  However, once the customers start their Holiday shopping everything will change and I will have lots of open bins to stow the merchandise.

Sore Muscles

Your find out the muscles you don’t normally use as much as usual.  I take two Aleve in the morning and it cures the soreness most of the day.  I have done that every year I have worked at Amazon and believe me it really works.

Seniority

This is the third year I have worked at the Fernley, NV Fulfillment Center.  I have had different jobs each year.  The first year I was a Packer, the second year I was a Picker and this year I am a Stower.  They always ask you to specify what job you would prefer, but I don’t think they pay much attention to it as each year I have had different jobs then what I stated that I preferred. Oh well,  it is nice to be able to do other jobs as well.  After going on my third year I am familiar with the layout of the building.  It is a massive building and finding your way around it can be very difficult for new people.  Most of them get very stressed out not even knowing where all the bathrooms and break rooms are let alone the many different production lines and storage areas.

Home Sweet Home

My home this year as it was the past 2 years is the Desert Rose RV Park.  This year I have the same space as I did last year as I was able to reserve it when I departed last year.

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DSC_0691 Here I am in good ‘ole space #140.  It is close to the front and the office.

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A few things have changed since my last season at Amazon.  I now have a vehicle and satellite TV.  Both of those were thanks to the money I made last year working.

Another thing that has changed is Chica.  She and I have been together since February 25.  It has now been 8 months and 8,658 miles since we have been so lucky to meet each other.  She is is her favorite spot on the couch with the sun coming through the window.

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She also likes to get on top of the nice warm clothes after I bring them back from the laundromat.

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She loves to crawl under them and go to sleep.

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Friends

This year I have many friends both here at the RV Park and Amazon as well.  I have run into many of the same people that I knew last year.  I encouraged some of my friends at Quartzsite to work here this year.  However, they all have different shifts so I don’t see them too often.

Weather

The weather during the day is really nice in the low 70’s but gets down into the low 30’s at night.  I keep my catalytic heater going all night and turn on my furnace in the morning for a cycle just to warm up.  However it is forecast to go down into the low 20’s next week at night.  BRRRRRRRRR!  I also have a small electric heater I will run once it gets really cold.

I also have a dog walker that I pay $5 per walk to come and walk Chica on the days when I am working.  There is another person in the park that cooks really great meals and I can schedule them on a couple of my days off.  YUUUUUUM!  After 10 hours of work on your feet you don’t really feel like cooking.

I cannot post every day but will try to post as much as I can on my days off.

 

Arrived in Fernley

My route to Fernley

I left Albuquerque on Sunday and traveled to the Meteor Crater RV Park just outside of Winslow, AZ.  It is a nice park and offers a 15% discount to Escapees.  I stayed here back in 2010 on my way to my first Balloon Fiesta.

From there I drove to Bullhead City, AZ where I spent 2 nights with my brother-in-law’s twin brother.  The weather was much warmer there then in Albuquerque with temps getting into the 80’s.

On Wednesday I drove to the Beatty RV Park in Beatty, AZ.  I always stay there at least once a year either coming or going from my winter job in Fernley, NV.

On to Fernley

Then on Thursday made the 288 mile drive up highway 95 to the Desert Rose RV Park in Fernley, NV.  This will be home for Chica and I for the next 2+ months.  The weather was very nice during the day with temps in the low 70’s.  However it is colder at night with temps in the low 30’s.

Parked in my old space from last year

Last year I reserved my old space #140.  It is close to the office and in the front of the park.  Shannon greeted me as I drove in.  She is in the same space as last year right next to me.  Rodger also came over to say Hi and told me how things are going thus far.

Requested to be a picker but got stower instead

I had requested on my Amazon application that I wanted to be a picker.  Instead this year I will be a stower.  The stower puts all the merchandise on the shelves.  I am hearing good things about this job and it will be much less walking then the picker job I had last year (12-14 miles per day).  Already I am glad they gave me this job and I haven’t even started.

My first day will be tomorrow when I have orientation.  I will have the same work days as last year – Sunday through Wednesday with Thursday, Friday and Saturday off until the peak season hits.

Lots of honey dos today

I have lots of things to take care of today including a nice long shower, lots of laundry, set up Drs. appointments for renewing my prescriptions, empty out my car, hook up 20 gallon propane tanked supplied by the park, etc.  So I will be busy.

I will try to take some pics and get them in my next post of the surrounding area.

 

Lazy Daze are one TOUGH rig!!

After spending the holidays with my family, I flew back to Reno on 1/2.  I had left my rig at the airport just like I did last year.  Only problem was that the weather this year was much harsher then last year.  When I got to the rig I noticed that the heater was not running.  I had set it on a low temp (about 55) to keep the rig warm inside.  I checked the lights and none of them worked as well.  My house batteries were completely dead.  BUMMER!!!

The truck battery was OK so I started it and drove the 2 miles to the Reno RV Park where I was able to hook up to their electricity.  I also noticed that my propane tank was empty so I had that filled up.  Now I had both electricity and heat.  I turned on the water pump for just a second to see if it was working but heard nothing so switched it off immediately.

None of my SeaLevel gauges worked so I couldn’t check any levels.  I basically had to thaw out everything to get it working.  The problem was it was late in the day and I had a doctor’s appointment in the morning.  So I turned on the heater to 70 and left it running all night.  By the way the temperature got down to 6 degrees in Reno that night.

In the morning, the gauges were still not working.  I headed out to the doctor and took care of that and then stopped by Jiffy Lube and had the truck serviced before I left Reno.  Then I was on the road to warmer temperatures.  I made it to Beatty, NV which is about 100 miles north of Las Vegas.  The camp host said it was only going down to 20 degrees.  Much warmer then Reno, but still not warm enough for me.

When I got up the following day I checked the gauges and sure enough everything was working as it should.  My levels even read the same as they did when I left Fernley way back on 12/24.  I couldn’t believe it.  I turned on the water pump and it even worked as it should.  AMAZING!!!!

My Lazy Daze is one tough rig to have survived that cold.  I had been following the weather in Reno while I was in Southern CA and I noticed that it snowed and the temps never got above 30.  I think two things happened while I was away.  The first was that I ran out of propane.  My tank only holds 7 gallons and I had it filled before I left.  Because it was so cold it used it all up.  Second, it snowed and the snow covered my solar panels.  It was so cold that even during the day the snow would not melt so the panels could not recharge the house batteries .  Since the heater was running to try and keep the temp at 55 it ran down the batteries.

I left Beatty, NV and headed 211 miles to Bullhead City, AZ where I will stay a couple of days with my brother-in-laws brother.  It will give me a chance to get organized and stocked up for my trip to Quartzsite.  It only got down to 30 here so it feels warm compared to Reno.  I can’t wait to get to Quartzsite.