Being interviewed by a CNBC news team!

The CNBC production crew was waiting for me!

Yesterday I was greeted by a camera crew from CNBC including Jeff Daniels, the television producer and Jane Wells who was the reporter.  There was also a cameraman with a camera that was huge and barely fit through the door of my rig.  They conducted the interview inside my rig.  WHAT A TRIP!!  They told me that it would be shown nationally on CNBC.  About 11:26am it was shown and was I ever excited.  I had decided to take the day off from work since I could hardly sleep that night thinking about it.
I have a link to this interview which you can see for yourself.

“MY CNBC INTERVIEW”

Jane also writes a blog which details her reporting on Amazon work campers.  This can be seen at ‘Workampers’ The New Job Seekers

This was a real kick to be involved in and still can’t believe it happened to me.  It all started with an email from Jeff Daniels, the producer who mentioned he had seen my blog and wanted to interview me.  WOW!!!

Less then 3 weeks to go!

7 down and 3 to go!

I now have less then 3 weeks to go at my job at Amazon.  It is now peak season and things are very busy.  We now go from four 10 hour days to five 11 1/2 hour days.  It is tough but I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Weather here is not too bad!

One of the pleasant surprises this year has been the weather.  Last year at this time it was very cold with temps in the low teens and even colder.  The temps this year have been steady in the 50’s with a few days in the high forties during the day.  At night it may get down into the high 20’s, but it still feels warmer then last year.

Wore out my shoes!

Many of you have asked what it is I actually do at Amazon.  Last year I was a packer and packed all the products that the customer ordered.  It was very hard on my hands.  This year I walk an average of 8-10 miles per day.  I am always on the move.  I had a great pair of Rockport shoes that I wore when I worked at Lowe’s before retiring.  They are very comfortable especially when you are walking on cement floors.  I wore those shoes out about the second week at Amazon and found a store in Sparks, NV where I purchased another pair.  It took about 2 weeks to break them in and I had to trade off between both pair.

Massive scale of Amazon!

Dan, who is one of my subscribers, sent me an email with a link to an article about the massive scale of Amazon.  This pic shows how a picker picks the item.  She has a scanner in her right hand that tells you the product to pick and it’s location in the warehouse.

nowThis next pic shows one of the areas within the warehouse that holds products in the bins.  You can see the pickers pushing their carts around to wherever their scanner tells them where to go.

amazon-fulfillment-center

This is another view of only one section of the warehouse.  This is only one area and there are many other areas just like this throughout the warehouse.  Plus there are three floors as well with products on each floor.

amazon-has-an-abundance-of-items-just-waiting-to-be-orderedI am really looking forward to when the contract is up and I can move on from Fernley, NV to the warmth of Arizona and all my friends.

Wine and cheese party

Thanksgiving was very busy around Fernley.  Although I had to work on Thanksgiving day we got off early at 2:30.  Six of us went out to a huge Thanksgiving buffet at one of the local casinos. We couldn’t stay out too late as we had to work the following day. YUK!  Saturday we started our first day of 6 to 6.  Even more yuk!  Now they have added another day to our schedule and more hours as well.  6 to 6 five days a week.  Oh well, lots of money for my tow vehicle.

Yesterday a couple who was leaving invited me to a wine and cheese party.  They wanted to have it in my neighbor’s Casita.  Four people in a 17′ Casita just might be a little crowded, so they were coming over to my rig instead.  We all started outside even though it was a bit chilly and were soon joined at various times by 7 other people.  By the time we moved inside there was only five of us.  It was a great time!

  I went over to invite my neighbors Steve and Marti over as well since we were making so much noise.   Soon it was dark and we all decided to go into the warmth of my rig were we continued to make more noise partying.

I think everyone had a good time and the meat and cheese, plus all the wine was great.  It was just a good thing I didn’t have to go to work the next day.

Today was laundry day and all the washers and dryers were open so I had mine done in under 2 hours.  It will be tough getting up earlier tomorrow and having to report to work at 6am but we only have 4 weeks to go and it will all be behind us.

Life in Fernley

I must apologize for being so long between posts.  After 10 hours on the job at Amazon I don’t really feel much like doing anything except relax.  As I mentioned I walk between 8-10 miles per day and the body has lots of aches, pains and bruises.  However I will try to post more often.

I mentioned that I was in the process of purchasing a nice Geo Tracker.  The seller called me and mentioned that his wife had changed her mind and wanted to keep it instead.  This was after he had told me that they never use it.  I think what happened is that he found a buyer that would offer him more.  Anyway I think I will wait until after the first of the year when I am in Quartzsite.  Then I will have all my friends there who know all about tow bars and can help me install one if it is needed.

Work has been going well and I have completed four weeks with only six to go.  We are still only working 40 hours per week (four days at 10 hours per day).  However I got my overtime schedule and my overtime day is Tuesday.  We probably won’t have overtime until black Friday.  Then it might even go up to five 11 hour days.

I have rekindled many friendships with people who worked here last year.  It is nice talking with them about what they did and where they went and what they have planned next year.  I have also met many people for the first time this year.  My friend Les from Quartzsite is working this year for the first time.

My neighbor Steve and I went up to the local casino for a couple beers and play the slot machines.  So far I am $2.96 ahead in winnings.  HAH, big deal.  I am not much of a gambler especially when I think what I have to do to earn that money.

I am getting all my medical needs looked after.  I have gone to the same Dr the last two years and he fills my prescriptions for a year at a time.  I am very happy with the care they are giving me.  I had to go to a specialist in Reno for followup.  It is about a 30 mile drive and very pleasant.

Did I tell you that the weather has turned on us here in Fernley?  Two weeks ago it was a pleasant 74 and we were sitting outside on our days off.  Not anymore. The weather in the mornings is about 19-22 and it only gets up to the mid 50’s.  We even had a bit of snow one day although it didn’t stay on the ground very long.

I have been looking for a new TV since I wore out the HDMI cable connection in the back from hooking and unhooking it to watch movies.  I started checking out the different TVs and found what they call a Smart TV made by Samsung.  With it I can hook up directly to my Amazon Prime account so I can watch their free movies.  I can buy movies too, but since there are so many good ones that are free I don’t need to spend the money.  It is also much bigger then my older TV and the football games look great.

Enough said for now as today is my laundry day and I need to check the availability of the washers/dryers.

 

Working at Amazon

On 10/17 I started my first day at Amazon.  Work started at 6:30am (OUCH) and there was orientation and training all day.  Last year the first week on the job consisted of 4 eight hour days.  This year they started us right off with 4 ten hour days.

I also received my work assignment.  Last year I was a packer and this year I am a picker.  I walk around with a scanner in hand and pick the items from bins that then go to the packers.  We were told that pickers walk an average of 8-10 miles per day, but I am happy with that job.  I don’t have to stand in one place all day, but move all around the fulfillment center.

My work days are Wednesday through Saturday and I get Sunday through Tuesday off.  I just finished my second week here and believe me I am really happy to get those three days off.  It gives your body a chance to recover, especially your hands.

I had some excitement over this past weekend.  As you probably know I decided to work this past summer and winter to save up for a small vehicle.  I would then have more freedom of movement while camped at different places rather then unhook my rig each time I had to go to the store.  I have been following craigslist for some time trying to get an idea what was available on the market and what it would cost.

I saw a Geo Tracker listed in Fernley, NV (how ironic) which looked really nice and was pretty much what I was looking for, however he wanted more then I thought I could afford ($4,300).  What was really ironic was that I saw it parked at the entrance to the Desert Rose RV Park where I am staying while I work at Amazon.  In fact I could look out my window and see it from my rig.  A few days later the price had come down to $3,900.  I decided to take a look at it up close.  I really liked what I saw as the owner had put a new convertible top, dash cover, seat covers and added a new tow bar.  I again looked in craigslist and the price had been reduced to $3,800 so I knew the owner really wanted to get rid of it.  I then called him up and offered $3,500 and he accepted.  I met him at the car and took it for a test drive and it ran really well so I gave him a check to hold the car until I got the remaining money from my investment account.  I am very excited and wish it could happen right now.  This is a pic of the car.  It is very clean inside and out and I can tell it has been taken very good care of.

I called my investment adviser on Monday to have them sell some shares in my account so I could pay him the balance.  However the Stock Markets are closed both Monday and Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy so I won’t be able to get the car until next Monday when the money will be in my account.

Getting back to working at Amazon, the hands get very sore from using a scanner and the feet get sore from walking so much.  I do have good shoes so my feet aren’t too bad.  I try to switch the scanner to my left hand, but I still seem to favor my right hand.  But I am getting better with my left hand.

There was a cold front that went through here and it got down into the 20’s at night, but right now the weather is great.  It is 74 high and low 30’s at night.  I have both electric and propane heaters and have finally figured out a good balance between the two.

Saturday my neighbor and friend from last year Steve and I went to a local casino and everyone was decked out in their Halloween costumes.  What a riot.  It was a great time.  If you drink at the bar the drinks don’t cost anything (except for a tip) if you tell them you are gambling.  I had two Corona’s and only put $6 in the slot machine.  It was a really fun time.

Tomorrow starts my third week on the job with eight more to go.  Actually the time is going by pretty fast.  Before long I will be with all my friends at Quartzsite, AZ.

Heading to Amazon

I sure missed the Balloon Fiesta this year!

I just got off the phone with my friends at the Balloon Fiesta.  Unfortunately this year I had to skip it as I am working at Amazon and just finished my camp host job in Oregon.

Visited my friends from Amazon last year.

I stopped in La Pine to visit my friends Rick and Tina who I met at Amazon last year.  They were the folks who graciously let me ride with them to and from the Amazon plant.

A ride up Paulina Peak

Rick and I took a ride up to the top of Paulina Peak.  This was a favorite spot of his and it was very beautiful.  The last few miles were a gravel washboard road.

From the peak you could see both Paulina Lake and East Lake.  That is Paulina Lake on the left and East Lake on the right.  The entire area of both lakes is a caldera just like at Crater Lake only there is a land mass between both lakes.

This is another view of Paulina Lake.  The haze in the background was caused by the smoke form the Pole Creek fire out of Sisters, OR that has been going on for some time now.

Tina fixed a great meat loaf dinner.  I hadn’t eaten meat loaf for quite a while and it is one of my most favorite meals.  Thanks Rick and Tina for your gracious hospitality.

On my way to Fernley

I left Wednesday and Rick told me of a better way to get to Fernley and avoid passing through Reno.  It was a great ride but so typical of Nevada back roads.  It was two lanes, hardly any traffic either coming or going and only a couple of very small towns.  I was able to find a nice place to stop for the night behind a sand pile.

 

Home for the next few months

I wasn’t scheduled to check in to the Desert Rose RV Park until Oct. 12, but I called them to see if I could check in earlier.  That was OK so then I made the 70 mile drive into Fernley.

This is where I will be parked until Christmas when my Amazon contract is complete.

The weather is great here so far with high temps in the 70’s and lows in the high 40’s.  The first night here it rained but has been beautiful ever since.  By the way the tank next to my rig in the above pic is my 20 gal. propane tank that I will definitely need once the weather starts getting cold.

I don’t start work until Wednesday so have some time to get organized and look for a ride.  My schedule is Wednesday through Saturday with 3 days off.  Of course that could change once it gets busy.

2nd Year on the Road

On July 12, 2012 I just completed my second year of fulltime RVing.  I can’t believe I have been on the road so long.  So once again, as I did last year, I will summarized this fantastic year with some of the highlights.

Remember you can click on any pic then click again to enlarge.

Working in Texas

To start I was in Texas and decided to work for a month to help defray costs of traveling to Texas to see my family.  What a mistake that was.  It was 106 degrees and higher the entire month I worked.  Oh well I will definitely know better next time to stay away from there during the summer.

Grand Canyon of Texas

After my work duties were over I headed to Palo Dura State Park in northwestern Texas.  It is know as the Grand Canyon of Texas and a very beautiful place.  While there I hiked the Lighthouse Trail and took this pic of myself standing on the plateau in front of the lighthouse.

Taking advantage of my NM state pass

Then it was off to New Mexico where I wanted to take advantage of the last few months of my New Mexico State Pass.  My first stop was Clayton SP.

Then on to Sugarite SP, just south of the NM/CO border.  This next pic shows Lake Dorothy just north of Sugarite SP.

My next stop was Cimmaron SP and the town of Cimmaron.

Fulfilling a boy scout dream

I also visited Philmont Scout Ranch, which had always been a dream of mine ever since I was a Boy Scout.

More of beautiful new mexico

After that it was Eagle Nest SP, Coyote Creek SP (where I saw a bear), Storie Lake SP  and then on to Villanueva SP where I got my semi-annual haircut.  Finally it was off to Hyde Memorial SP.

Then in October I met up with all my good friends at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta where I stayed and partied for 10 days.  Even had a balloon land on top of my rig.  HA!

After the Balloon Fiesta I drove south to Poncho Villa SP to enjoy a Escapees Chapter 21 Rally.  Of course that also included a trip to Palomas, Mexico where I had to have some dental work done and make sure the margaritas still tasted as good as always.

A visit to the Whitehouse

Next stop on my route was Canyon de Chelly (pronunced d’Shay).  Located on an Indian Reservation it is a beautiful place and a must see for anyone in that area of Arizona.  Of course I had to hike the Whitehouse Trail, which is so beautiful.

Monument Valley

From there it was to Monument Valley, UT.  Talk about a fabulous area, don’t miss out on seeing this.

On my way to Amazon

Then I drove north to Interstate 50.  It is known as the loneliest highway in America.  And believe me it really is.  You could drive for miles and miles and never see a car or truck in either direction.  You would not want to break down on this road.

My destination was Fernley, NV, where I worked for Amazon for 8 weeks.  By the way it was probably the hardest job I have ever had.  Thankfully the 8 weeks went by fairly fast, although it took a couple of months to get healed from the aches and pains I suffered at that job.  OUCH!!!  On top of that it was very cold as well.  Four degrees when I left there.

I then drove to Reno, NV and parked my rig and flew to SO CA to spend a week with my family over the holidays.  It was really great seeing everyone and getting caught up.  I even played some golf.  Actually I tried to play some golf.  HA!  What a joke!

Time to warm up

Then I hit the road to get out of that cold weather up north and drove down to Quartzsite, AZ.  There I met up with a whole bunch of Lazy Dazers (about 20 rigs at different times) and relaxed in the wonderful Arizona sunshine.  Of course I also saw the crazy RV show and even saw a concert by Paul Winer (the Naked Book Seller) although he was fully clothed.  Great show by the way with SRO.

With the help of all my friends I was able to upgrade my rig with new LED lighting, another 12v receptacle and an outdoor motion sensor light.

Next stop – Imperial Dam

In February I left Quartzsite and headed to Imperial Dam just outside of Yuma, AZ  I really enjoyed my stay there with more friends.  Got to do a lot of hiking in the desert.  Plus don’t forget the wild donkeys.  HA!

Heading south of the border senor!

Then it was south of the border to Mexico with the Harvest Host Wine and Whale Watching Tour.  What a fabulous trip that turned out to be.  Visited 5 wineries, with great wine tasting at each.  The wineries were located in the Valley of Gaudelope with very beautiful scenery around.  Also stopped in Ensenada for a day, where we had a great lunch down at the fish market and an opportunity to stock up on lots of great seafood.  Of course we also had to have some cervasa’s (brewskies) at Hussong’s Cantina.

Later visited La Bufadora (the blow hole).  Another very scenic spot.

The wineries were great plus the wine was even greater!  Even got to see a colt that was born that very day.  How exciting!

I am NOT an illegal alien!

After crossing back into the US I drove to Tamarisk LTVA where I stayed for a week and met some really wonderful people.  We hiked ever day in the desert and one day we were surrounded by Border Patrol cars who thought we were illegal aliens.  No comprende  Senor! What a trip that was!

One of my very favorite spots

After spending so much time with so many wonderful people, I needed a break and decided to head for one of my most favorite spots in the Clark Dry Lake bed of the Anza Borrego desert in southern California.  It is 7 miles outside of Borrego Springs.  This place is so peaceful and always gives me a chance to reflect on my future plans.  It was here where I made my resume on workamper.com and emailed it to various people.  Within 10 minutes I had a call for the job I would be working at this summer. More on that later.

Back to the coast

Then it was off to the west coast to Oceanside, where I parked my rig at the Elks Club and took the train up to Orange County to see family.  It was back and forth visiting different members of my family and it was great seeing my Mom.  Love you Mom!

Heading up north

Then it was time to hit the road and head up north.  My first stop was the Trona Pinnacles outside of Ridgecrest, CA.  It is like a trip to another planet.

From there it was off to the Alabama Hills just outside of Lone Pine, CA.  This has been one place I always dreamed of venturing to even before I had an RV.  An absolute MUST SEE.

From there it was off to Mona Lake, where I stayed for about 5 days and ventured around the area seeing the tufa’s at the edge of the lake and the weird cloud formations.

I also took a side trip to the old ghost town of Bodie, CA.  Much of the town is still intact as it was a hundred years ago.  Really neat and another MUST SEE.

Then I finally made it to Oregon where I stayed at Goose Lake SP, La Pine SP and finally Crooked River Ranch.

My workplace for the summer

I met up with my area managers who I would be working for the summer in Prineville, OR.  I am the camp host at the Ochoco Divide, a NFS campground.  It is on the summit (4,726′ elevation) of Hwy 26.  This campground is nestled among giant (200′) Ponderosa Pines among other pine trees as well.  I have now been here 2 months and love this job.  I get to meet a lot of interesting people and have lots of areas to hike in.

Well that about wraps up another fabulous year of my fulltime RV lifestyle.  There were some tough times (truck breaking down) and some great times (caravan trip to Mexico) as well as taking time out to see my family, which is very important to me.  I had lots of times spent with great friends and even some time to myself to ponder how lucky I am.

I almost can’t believe it has been two years since I have set out on the road.  I would also like to thank all my wonderful followers who have been with me as I experienced each and every day.  Every day is a new adventure.