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.

RV Show

Lots to see at the big tent

I decided to go down to the RV Show at the big tent and leave my wallet at home and take my camera instead. It was certainly a lot cheaper that way but also a lot of fun. Here are some of the pics I took.  If you enter the tent from the south side you are greeted by the Michelin Man.

Everyone likes FREE camping

Once inside the tent don’t forget to stop by and say hello to Don and Kim Greene.  They are the nicest people you will ever meet and they run Harvest Hosts where you can camp overnight for free at many wineries, orchards and farms.  Just click on the link below to be taken to their site for more information.

 Harvest Hosts Affiliate Banner

Right now they are running two tours of wineries in Mexico and in the Fall they will be running a 23 day RV trip to the wineries in France.  In the works is also an RV tour of the wineries in New Zealand.

Here is a pic of Don Greene posing in front of his booth.
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If you get hungry

This is the soup lady where you can get easy to fix packaged soups.  I bought them from her last year and they were really great.

When lunch time rolls around you might want to stop off at J T’s Louisiana BBQ.  They have both beef and pork sandwhiches for only $4.  They are soooo goood.

This BBQ is operated by JT and his family.  Here you can see them cooking up that delicious BBQ in the back.

And then top that all of with an ice cream cone.

We all could use extra money

If you are looking for a great job next winter check out the Amazon booth.  They will sign you up for a job at three different fullfillment centers.  I signed up here last year and worked at the Fernly, NV center.  It was a good job that gave me some extra spending money.

While walking through the tent I ran into Clay and Tami who I worked with last winter at Amazon.  In fact I saw quite a few co-workers while walking the tent.

Lots of other stuff as well

This guy takes laying down at the job quite literally.  He is selling bedding.

Need a hat?

Checkout these butts!  HA!

Old guys rule!

If you have any pains you might want to stop off at this booth.

Maybe you just need to clean your RV.

No need to be in any hurry.  We all have plenty of time.

Finally you might even hit the jack pot!  Great name for a toilet.

Want More Bandwidth?????

Verizon Air Card UMW190

Many people utilize the Verizon Air Card UMW190 to connect to the Internet while traveling. It is a great tool and with some exceptions you can usually get online anywhere. I have used it for 2 years and was happy with its ability to wander the Internet. I read email, pay bills, purchase stuff online, read blogs and watch movies on occassion. However there is only one drawback to the air card that really irks me. It only allows you 5 GB per month.

you will NEVER use 5GB!!

When I purchased it and signed up for the 2 year contract, the sales person at Best Buy told me that I would NEVER approach 5GB. I guess he didn’t know me very well.  I not only use all of the 5GB allotted per month, but there have even been times when I go over that amount.  Then you are paying big bucks.

You ask how I am using so much bandwidth.  Well I like to watch movies and I am also one of those people that click on the little arrow within blogs that take you to a 5 minute short video.  What is so wrong with that?  Nothing except it uses up all your allotted bandwidth.  A movie can use between 1.5-2GB.  I was limited to one movie per month and if I was real careful in my Internet reading I could squeeze a second movie out of it without having to pay out the nose.

To make a long story short (HA!), my 2 year contract on the air card expired in Nov and I was hoping I could come up with a better solution for my Internet viewing.  In the meantime, I had also signed up for Amazon’s Prime Membership.  They have over 11,000 movies you can stream to your computer or tablet and many of them are FREE.  What a deal!

I contacted my friend Ed of “The travels of Ed, Carol & Gopher the dog ” fame.  He suggested I might check out the Escapees Forum for more information.  He also threw out the name Millenicom, which I had heard before.  The escapees forum has loads of information but I wasn’t sure what to buy.  But based on many of their readers I started to investigate the Millenicom 3G/4G Hotspot that so many people had mentioned.  The more I read about it the more I liked what I saw.

Features

  1. It is a 3G/4G Hotspot Samsung modem that will go out and try to obtain a 4G signal if it is available, otherwise it will get you a 3G signal.
  2. There is no contract to sign and you can stop service anytime you like.
  3. You are entitled to 10GB of 3G and an additional 10GB of 4G.  Or you can get 20GB of and combination of 3G or 4G.
  4. You can hook up to 5 wireless devises to it.
  5. Only $69.99 per month.  The price on their site states $80 per month but if you sign up now they will grandfather in the lower price.
  6. Did I mention NO CONTRACT!

So I went ahead and pulled the trigger.  It costs me a total of $221.82 which includes the hotspot modem, a one-time set-up fee, shipping and the first month’s usage.  When it came it I followed their instructions and was on the Internet in no time at all.  I was staying in Fernley, NV working at Amazon at the time and I was getting a 4G signal from Reno, NV.  It was really fast.  I still had my Verizon Air Card which I disconnected and stopped using in December as soon as I got the Millenicom hotspot.  I didn’t want to cancel that service in case there were any problems using the Hotspot.  I wanted to wait until I was traveling to see if it worked as well as the Verizon.  I took it with me to SO CA and was using it there without any trouble.  I used it at the airports both in Phoenix and Las Vegas and then used it on the road all the way to Quartzsite where I am able to get a good 3G signal.

I am hooked.  They bill my credit card automatically.  The only problem I see thus far is “How much bandwidth do I really use?”  I wrote there support and asked them how I know the amount of bandwidth used in a month.  They do not have that information available online, but told me they would be happy to send me the amount if I submitted a ticket.  So when my first month was up I submitted a ticket thru their support system and they sent me a reply.

WHAT!  I used 11GB!!!

I USED 11GB FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  With my Amazon Prime Membership I was able to watch 8 full-length movies, plus all my other Internet activities and still have 9GB left over.  If I had still been hooked to my Verizon Air Card my bill would probably have wiped out all my income for many months.

I still haven’t used my Verizon Air Card and had suspended service so I wouldn’t get billed.  I am calling them and tell them to cancel all air card service from now on.  The Millenicom 3G/4G Hotspot is the only way to go.  Now I can watch a movie or surf the Internet anytime I want for as long as I want without the constant worry about going over the limit.  I used to have an Excel spreadsheet that showed me how much I used daily and how much I have left.  I won’t need that anymore!

I have included a pic of it.  It is very small and can even fit into your pocket.  It does have a power cord but also contains a lithium battery which lasts a very long time.  It’s range is about 350 feet so you can have it in your rig and be outside enjoying the great outdoors while surfing the net.

 

 

Back on the road again!!

Love to be back on the road

I finally got back on the road again and it feels SO GOOD!!!!!  I left Reno and drove to Beatty RV Park just outside of Beatty, NV on Highway 95.  These pics shows the road and surrounding desert.

What a bathroom!

I had stayed here last year but did not use the bathroom facilities.  If you are here be sure to check the bathrooms out.  They will blow your mind.  This is what the bathrooms look from the outside.

Nothing spectacular.  But it will blow your mind when you open the door.  It is like bathing in a 5 star Las Vegas penthouse.  The shower is floor to ceiling marble.  Very impressive!!

The BREEZE feels good!

My rig felt right at home and was glad to be back on the road as you can tell from this pic.

Great Breakfast.

I only spent one night there.  I got up the next morning and fixed myself a great bacon and eggs breakfast and then headed out.  It was so great being back on the road.  I have been in one spot in Fernley, NV for so long and it is a wonderful feeling to be traveling again.

Visiting family and then on to Quartzsite

I am now headed to visit a family member in Bullhead City, AZ and then I will head to Quartzsite where I will catch up with many friends who will be staying there.  I will also get to enjoy the RV Show in the big tent that they put on every year.

It may be a couple of days until I post again, but I will keep you updated on my adventures in Quartzsite and what is happening at the RV Show.

Wishing all a Merry Christmas!!!

Work at Amazon finished!!!

I completed my workamping for Amazon on Wednesday 12/21.  We all gathered for a meeting with the GM of the fulfillment center and were told that he very much appreciated all our efforts in making Amazon’s peak season a success.  We were all asked to return next year and many of us have already made reservations with Desert Rose RV Park to return.

Dead battery!

Yesterday I had made plans for a follow-up Dr. appointment and also to meet a future fulltimer for lunch.  I got everything organized to travel to Reno and turned on my key.  NOTHING!!!  No noise came from my engine.  Not even the click of the starter.  I had started it about 2 weeks previous to this but it was a bit slow in starting.  I had hoped the drive to Reno at that time would charge it enough.

I immediately called Coach-Net (my emergency road-side service).  They had a truck out to my campsite within 45 minutes.  The driver hooked up the jumper cables to my battery and we waited a bit and then I tried to start it.  This time all I got was the clicking of the starter trying to start it.  We waited for some time and I tried to start it again.  NO LUCK!!!  My neighbor, Steve came over to see what was going on.  I explained to him that I was going to need a new battery.  He graciously offered to drive me into town to pick one up.  I removed my old battery and loaded it into his truck and off we went.  $110 later I got a brand spanking new battery and installed it into my RV.  It started up in a second.

New battery

Although I hated spending the money I was glad I finally did get a new battery.  I had purchased 2 new Trojan batteries in June, 2010, but wasn’t sure about the starting battery.

Since it took most of the day to take care of the battery I had to contact the guy I was meeting fort lunch and also postpone my Dr appointment.  I will probably take care of both after 12/29.  I am just glad I took care of this now rather than finding out the day I was to drive to Reno to catch a flight to Southern CA.  That would have been disastrous.

Freezing cold in Fernley

The weather here has really turned cold.  The night of the 21st it got down to 7 and last night down to 4.  I can’t wait to get into a warmer climate.  I am nice and cozy in my rig but it still gets a little chilly at night.  I will leave Fernley on Sat 12/24 and drive to Reno where I can park my rig and take a shuttle to the airport.

I will be returning on the 29th and will probably stay in a RV park for the night and then head south to warmer temps.  Today I will gas up and get everything ready to go for an early departure tomorrow morning.

I would like to wish all my faithful readers a very Merry Christmas.  I hope Santa is good to all of you and you get all the RV gadgets you have been hoping for. HA!

Working at Amazon

First I would like to apologize for not writing more often but just too pooped to pop after working and not really too exciting here except for working.  Once I get back on the road I will write more often.

Now I want to tell you about my experience working for an Amazon Fullfillment Center.

Applying for the Job

While boondocking in Quartzsite last January I came across the Amazon booth in the big tent.  The representatives from Amazon were looking for seasonal campers to help out during the peak rush season during the holidays.  I had read where it was a good paying job that only would last for a couple of months.  I signed up then and there.  They had you fill out an application and they actually hired you at that time.  However, I wouldn’t be starting until sometime in October and would work until Christmas.

I read a lot online by people who had worked there the previous year.  I even met several people on the road who had worked there and gave me their impressions of the job.  Some of the reviews online depicted the job as very tough and I also heard the same from those I talked with.  Long hours, very sore body parts and cold weather to boot.  I had my concerns about all of these subjects, but went ahead and filled out the application.  Then it was just a matter of waiting to hear from them.

I need my High School Diploma?

A few months later I started getting emails from them.  They mentioned that they would need my high school diploma for starters.  You have got to be kidding!  I looked everywhere for it and realized that was not one of those important papers I kept.  I even called them to see if a college degree would suffice but they said they would need the high school diploma.  I graduated from Henry Ford High School in Detroit, MI so I called the school to have a copy sent to me.  They said “no problem” what year do you graduate?  1962.  OK that might be a problem.  You will have to contact the records office downtown.  All I could picture was that the records were all burned up in the huge riot they had there in the 60’s!!  So I called and then had to fax all the information to them and they would perform a search.  I never knew the results of the search until my sister called me and told me she had received a letter from Detroit which was confirmation that I actually had graduated from high school dispite the awful grades I pulled.

Then the only thing left was a drug test and a background check.  I passed both of those and then they asked me to make a reservation in an RV Park in the Fernley, NV area.  I chose Desert Rose since I had already been there the summer before.  Then it was just a matter of waiting until I finally got my start date.

I get my start date

I finally got my start date (Oct 30) and headed to Fernley.  The nice part was that Amazon pays for your camping site.  All I had to pay for was the electric and propane.  They allow you to arrive 2 days in advance of your first work day.  I don’t have a toad so I was hoping I could find someone who I could ride to and from work.  Greg, my next door neighbor said I could ride with him.

Off to work I go

Then it was off to work.  There was orientation the first day and we all learned what to do and what not to do.  The first week you are on 8 hour per day shift for 4 days.  Then you are thrown to the lions!  Ten hour shifts for 4 days, then 3 days off.  I hadn’t worked 10 hour days for many years so it was a little brutal getting used to it.  But that was the easy part.  I was assigned to Outbound, which meant packing products only one item to a box.  The first week was tough on the body.  You are on your feet for the entire 10 hours except for lunch and breaks.  But the hardest part is the pain you suffer in your hands, arms, legs and feet.

OUCH!!!

There were times I would come home and just VEG OUT!!  I didn’t want to fix dinner or even drink a beer or glass of wine.  I always like to have wine at the end of the day, but even that got to be a burden.  I got so that I took 2 Aleve pills daily to help relieve the pain in my hands.  The hand pain for me never went away and although I have only 2 weeks to go I still experience it daily.

The people are the greatest!

The people at Fernley are the greatest.  The Desert Rose RV Park is completely filled with Amazon seasonal workers.  I have met a lot of very friendly, fun people.  The Amazon people are also the best!.  They are all so friendly and always willing to help with any problems.  It is a great work environment although a VERY FAST PACE.   Would I return next year?  You bet your sweet bippy!!!  I will be there for sure.  I like it regardless of the pain to the bod!!

Benefits not too shabby!

The benefits aren’t bad either.  The pay isn’t bad at all, $11.50 and $17.25 for OT.  Plus they give you 10% off on everything you purchase through them up to $1000.  I have already bought a Kindle Fire

Nikon Coolpix S9100 camera

Silva compass (the same type I had when I was a Boy Scout)

IPOD Touch and Altec Lansing player

that I can hook up my IPOD touch to for a GREAT SOUND SYSTEM for this guy.  Nice and loud to play all my great R&R, classical, etc.  music.  I think I have used up my allowable employee discount.

Tough hours

There are times when it gets very busy and they put us on an 11 hour shift.  That is pretty tough.  I now have 2 weeks to go and this next week we are now on the 11 hour shift.  They are very good about overtime and you can have quite a few hours per week, but only 4 hours per week is required.  Also I read online that they send you home a lot because the oshipments have slowed down.  I have only been asked once to take time off and that was only for 4 hours each time.  There was one time I requested to go home early because my ride had been asked to take time off.  They were very accomodating in my request.

Would I do it again?

Aside from the aches and pains, I would highly recommend working for Amazon.  I intend to sign up for next year.  Amazon is very big on hiring recreational workkampers.  They really like us.  We are all responsible, on time, always at work, at don’t complain.

I hope this has helped to answer questions about what it is like to work at an Amazon Fullfillment Center.  If not let me know.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!!!

Just working…

It has been a while since I last posted, but not much has been going on here except working at Amazon.  My body is finally getting used to the type of work I am doing.  I pack one item per box and it was very busy here.  On Wednesday they sent me home after just 1/2 day since the work had slackened off a bit.  They explained my name was drawn from a hat and after Thanksgiving day they expect it to be nonstop work with mandatory overtime as well.  I am already scheduled to work overtime on Saturday so my work week instead of starting on Sunday will begin on Saturday instead.

New camera…

I did receive my new Nikon Coolpix S9100 (from Amazon, who else) and yesterday gave me a chance to walk around the park and take a few pics.  My home for two months while I work at Amazon is the Desert Rose RV Park.  It is located 6 miles outside of Fernley, NV.  The city has a population of about 13, 000 so it is not very large, but it does have all the stores I look for such as Walmart, Lowe’s, etc.  There are also several gambling casinos there as well but I haven’t ventured into one of them yet as I have either been to busy working or spending time to let my body recuperate.

The park has many beautiful trees throughout, but we had some really high winds last week and it blew most of the leaves off them.

Most of the people staying at the park are workkampers for Amazon.  They are from all parts of the country and I have met some really nice folks.

This is my site.  You can rent a 20 gallon propane tank from the park, which I hooked up to my extend-a-stay propane connection.  I can now utilize the 20 gallon tank, my own propane tank and my barbecue as well.  I decided to get the 20 gallon tank because the weather here dips down into the 20’s and less at night.  I also run my electric heater as well.

 The weather has been really nice throughout the day, usually in the high 50’s or low 60’s so it is real pleasant.

I am so thankful to all my readers for following me on my journeys.  I really enjoy writing this blog, but  I find it difficult to write daily if I am not traveling and don’t have much to say.  I have another 4 weeks to go and I will finish my contract with Amazon.  Then I plan to fly to So. CA. to spend Christmas with my family.  Then it is on the road again and I intend to start posting more often.

HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!!!