Back on the road

Left Oceanside

I saw my eye doctor for the last time for a while and got my medical for my new job so now I was ready to get out of Dodge.  I decided to wait until Sunday Apr 26 to leave.  I will be driving up the 5 so wanted to keep traffic to a minimum (HA!!) going thru LA.  It was still a rat race and only made it to Castaic where I called it quits.  I was tired, the wind was blowing and it was getting late so I pulled into the Valencia Village RV Park for the night.

I got up the next day with hopes of moving on but the wind was really blowing with gusts up to 35 mph.  I don’t know about you, but I hate driving in the wind, so I paid for another night.  Then I realized there is a Camping World not far away.  I had a rear vent cover blow off some where in my travels and was trying to replace the cover.  But on a 1992 rig that is just about impossible.  I couldn’t find anything on line.  Many of the components used on my rig are no longer being made.  I headed to Camping World to see what I could do.  While there I found out they could replace my rear bathroom vent with a fantastic fan.  They had one in stock so I paid for it and scheduled it to be replaced the following day.  That meant I would have to stay another day at the park as they couldn’t replace it until 3:00.

Chica was a hit at Camping World

The following day I drove the rig to Camping World and checked in.  I asked them if I could bring Chica into the customer waiting room.  Camping World is very dog friendly so she came in with me.  Immediately she was a big hit.  Many of the staff came in to see here.  At first she was a bit overwhelmed, but she finally got used to everyone.  Sorry but I didn’t think of taking pics.

It took a bit longer then I expected as they were very busy, but finally finished and now I have a really nice rear fan.  We headed back to the park and spent our last night there.  By the way this is a great park if anyone wants to visit Magic Mountain.  It is only a couple of miles away.

Elks Lodges

The next night we stopped at the Visalia Elks Lodge.  For $10 I had a great rib dinner and met lots of nice people.  Then it was on to the Lodi Elks.  I was invited to their Happy Hour and met a lot of fellow RV’ers.

My next stop was the Red Bluff Elks Lodge where I only spent one night.  I love the Elks Lodges since they usually have full hookups and only cost $15 – $20 per night.  They all have a nice bar and many nights I get a great dinner.

HELP!!

I was going to cross into Oregon and stay at the Ashland Elks Lodge.  Forget it!  They only offer parking in a parking lot with very little space.  I did see a red/white 24′ LD but there was no place to park.  I checked Allstays (great APP for locating campgrounds) and there wasn’t much around the Ashland area so it headed north to Medford.  

I found the Medford Elks Lodge and parked in front as I couldn’t see any RV’s.  They had a sign on the door that said the lodge had been closed down.  Not sure what that was all about but I needed a place to stay as it was getting late.  I decided to keep heading north and stop at the first RV park I could find.  I landed in Rogue River and the first park was full, but they suggested another park next door to them.  I really landed a gem.  It was $35 per night which is more then I usually like to pay, but she put me right on the Rogue River.

Didn’t want to leave

It is a really clean park with great showers.  We walked right out our door and the river was only ten feet away.  Chica loved looking at the Canadian geese that lived on the river.

The next morning I got up and paid for another day.  I needed to relax a bit as we had been driving every day.  The owner suggested going into town for breakfast and that sounded like a good idea. I had a great breakfast at the Cottage Cafe and it was really good.  

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Chica guards our home

Since we were right on the river we saw many Canadian geese.  In the evening they would come out of the water and feed on the grass around our rig.  Of course Chica had to let them know who was boss.

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Salem, OR

Our last stop before my summer home was an Elks Lodge in Salem, OR.  I stayed there for 2 nights to get organized before heading to the campground at Lake Harriet.  I called my employer to get last minute info about the next few days and instructions on getting to the campground.

Then it was honey do stuff.  I took Chica to PetSmart to get bathed and groomed and have her nails trimmed and I got a haircut.  Then I did a some major shopping for groceries.

Off to the campground

Today I am heading out to my new campground at Lake Harriet.  I will be passing through a small town called Estacada which will probably be where I will be doing my weekly shopping.  I am not sure what kind of cell phone or Internet service I will get at Lake Harriet so here’s hoping with my booster I can get connected.

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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.

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.

Spotted my first bear

Getting settled into job

I am finally getting into a good routine with my camphosting job.  My day is busy but I am able to schedule all my duties without killing myself.  I make 2 rounds of each campground checking to make sure everyone has paid and are in their correct sites.  Then there is 2 pit toilets per campground that must be attended to.  Also each campsite must be cleaned and raked after each camper leaves.

But Washington is so beautiful and it makes my job so much better.  Everything is really green up here and when there is no rain it is fantastic.  It is so nice to be parked here for the entire summer.

Hi Yogi

I saw my first bear while driving on the road just about a 1/2 mile from one of the campgrounds I am responsible for.  He/she was going up a ravine just to the side of the road.  I didn’t have my camera handy so couldn’t get a pic.  Bummer!  I am sure that is not the only bear I will see up here over the summer.

I did come within 10 feet of a deer and he did not appear to be the least bit frightened of me.  He just strolled off into the bushes.

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Checked out a forest service road

There was a forest service road across from one of my campgrounds so had to see where it goes.  I get a lot of hikers wondering where are some good hiking trails so I do my best at finding the trailheads just off of forest service roads.  This one was just a one lane dirt road that lead way up the mountain.

I followed this road up about 3 miles where the road ended.  The scenery was magnificent.

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Relaxing in the sun

This is Chica’s favorite spot.  She loves laying in the sun.

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Weekends are busy

On the weekends the campgrounds are almost full.  This past weekend was a free fishing day.  Not sure what that meant but there were certainly a lot of fishing people.  Then on Sunday night everyone goes home and it is usually slack through the week.  However July 4th is approaching and it should be very busy.

New Jetpack

I just upgraded to the latest hotspot Millenicom offers in the hopes that my connection would improve.  I had one of the very first hotspots they sent out.  It was a Samsung and there was another upgrade after that which I didn’t get.   Using my sleek I do have 4G occasionally but not very often and sometimes even the 3G was quite slow.  Not enough to upload pics.  I will find out later if there is an improvement.

Amazon Friends

Meeting up with Amazon co=workers

While still working at Amazon many of us talked about meeting up while we were in Quartzsite.  After spending two plus months in Fernley, NV with temps as low as 4 degrees, we all wanted to warm both our bodies and our rigs up.  So the best way to accomplish that was to head to Quartzsite.

Kathy planned and scheduled a get together and notified everyone.  So we all got together and hashed over old times.  It was really fun and I saw some people I hadn’t seen since working at Amazon.

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I took my friend Sara along as she was interested in working at Amazon next year.

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Everyone brought goodies to eat and it there was plenty to talk about.  Barb, Kathy and Al chatting away.

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Even Jessica and Max from Harper’s magazine were there.

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It was a great time.  The day was probably the worst day we had experienced since getting to Quartzsite as it was very cloudy and the sun never did break thru.  But we all had a great time reliving some of the crazy Amazon experiences and finding out what everyone was going to be doing and where they were going this year.

 

Hiking to Palm Canyons

Palm Canyon Hike

The other day a bunch of us drove the 23 miles down to the Palm Canyon turnoff and the 7 miles on a washboard gravel road to the Palm Canyons trailhead. It was only a 1/2 mile hike up the canyon to the spot where you can see the palms growing on the walls of the canyon.

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This is looking in the opposite direction out to the Chocolate Mountains.

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A bunch of us gathered at the trailhead.

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You can see the palms growing out of the rock.

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A couple more pics of the canyon.

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Sara checking out the canyon.

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We met this couple coming down the trail.  I knew them from Amazon.  Funny how you always manage to find friends in the most out of the way places.

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Some of the group decided to hike further up the canyon.

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A better shot of the palms.  It is amazing how they grow up there among all the rocks.

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We are planning another hike to a trail we passed before the Palm Canyons trail so stay tuned.

Lake Havasu Balloon Festival

Soooo behind on blogging

I am so behind on both writing and reading posts it is pathetic.  It seems like there is always something that gets my attention instead.  I usually spend my morning on the computer but I always seem to find other things that take up my time.  I will try to bring you up to date.

Barbara and Katie come to visit

A few days ago Barbara and Katie of Me and My Dog fame came by to pay us a visit.  I haven’t seen her since Rockhound State Park in NM last April.  It was really good to see them.  Here is Katie in her new fancy stroller.

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Barbara is located down Old Yuma Rd near the Big tent.

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Lake Havasu Balloon Festival

I had stopped by Kathy and Chuck, my friends from Amazon, one day and they mentioned that they were going to drive into Lake Havasu to the Balloon Festival to meet our other friends Barb and Chuck.  I decided to tag along so off we went to Lake Havasu. We all met at the Walmart there and Barb and Chuck parked their rig and we all headed over to the Balloon Festival.

Unfortunately we did not see any balloons go up as it was late when we got there and we left too early to see the glow.  However we did go on the grounds and ate lunch.  Here is a photo of Kathy, Chuck, Chuck and Barb.

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This little girl was doing a bang up job on the drums.

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There were lots of things going on overhead.

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There were also well trained dogs catching frisbies.

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London Bridge is not falling down

We stopped to walk down to the London Bridge.

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It was a great day being able to get together with all my friends at Amazon.  I enjoyed seeing them away from Amazon as it was so much better.