1 1/2 Days To Go

Almost over

My term at Amazon is almost over with only 1 1/2 days remaining in my schedule.  By 11:00pm Saturday I will be done.  KAPUT!!!  I will probably be heading out Monday morning for So CA to see family for the holidays.  I can’t wait to get into some warmer weather.  This winter wasn’t as cold as last year (thank God) but it is still cold.

I go thru 5 gallons of propane a week trying to keep Chica comfortable.  I will really be glad to get to a warmer climate.

RV has new shoes

I got 2 new tires for the front end.  I checked out prices and the Purcell’s in Fernley gave me a great price on a couple of Michelins.  I had to set my alarm for 9:30am to get up and go to Purcell’s  after only three hours sleep.  YUK!!  I will be so glad to get back to normal sleep habits.  This night shift is for the birds!

Heading to Southern California

I will probably take my normal route down 95 when I head to California.  I always stop in the Beatty RV Park which is about 100 miles north of Las Vegas.  Then it will be on to warm climates.  HURRAH!!!

I am looking forward to seeing my Mom and sisters and their families as well as a few friends.  Then after the first of the year it is off to Quartzsite and Roger’s 1/2 Acre and all my friends there.  If you are anywhere near Quartzsite in January stop by for a few days and take part in the fun.

Back on the Road

Working is OK as it helps to get the money for tires and other RV repairs and a little bit in the bank as well, but it sure will be nice getting back on the road.  I really miss that when I am working.  Chica misses that as well.  See you all down the road!!

 

 

 

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.

My Workamping Experience

Camphosting in the Northwest

To begin, Washington was the only state I had not visited in the west.  So I jumped at the chance to work there.  As many of you already know I signed up for the job last January while visiting the annual RV Show in Quartzsite.  I just happened upon the Hoodoo booth, since at the time I was not really looking for a job.  After talking to Rob (who turned out to be my boss) I was offered the job at Panorama Point on Baker Lake in Northwest Washington.  We went over the pay and job duties and I signed up with them.  The whole process took about 15 minutes.

Then I had the whole winter to prepare for the journey north.  The first thing I did was NOT work but spend time with my friends for a few months.  I also took the time to go to Algadones, MX for dental work.  Then it was off to see my family over the holidays, before heading north to WA.

VERY wet weather

When I arrived in the campground it was pouring rain and didn’t stop raining for several days.  I hoped I didn’t make a mistake and come to a climate that continually rained.  However the rain did stop eventually and the weather was a bit chilly but very nice.  The summer turned out to be fantastic.  It did rain a bit but nothing really bad until August when it poured and poured.

Camp Host at three different campgrounds

I parked my rig in a nice spot in the Panorama Point campground.

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We had to drive 100 miles to orientation and then the campgrounds officially opened up on Memorial Day.  The campgrounds I was responsible for were Panorama Point, Boulder Creek and Shannon Creek.

Panorama Point has 16 campsite including the host site.  Many considered it to be one of the nicest of all the Baker Lake campgrounds.  I ran into many people who returned there year after year.  I even spoke with one man who’s father had brought their family to Panorama Point when he was eight years old and he had been coming back there every year since.  He is not 62.  WOW!

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Boulder Creek is a small 10 site campground located on Boulder Creek.  It doesn’t have any direct access to Baker Lake.  It was located a mile from Panorama Point.

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That is Mt Baker in the background.

Finally Shannon Creek is a 20 campsite campground at the very northern end of Baker Lake.  It is located 5 miles from Panorama Point.  It is also down 3 miles of gravel road.  This is the view I have twice a day on my way to Shannon Creek.

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This is a view from the beach at Shannon Creek.  Many campers would park their cars at Shannon Creek and boat over to the other side where there were several dispersed campgrounds.

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Most of the campsites are small and perfect for tent camping, but there are also many RV type campsites, especially down by the lake.

I had to make the rounds of all three campgrounds twice a day taking the money from the posts, writing receipts, cleaning pit toilets, firepits and campsites.  I also had to charge campers for extra vehicles and sell firewood.  It kept me busy most of the day.

Days off

Each camp host was assigned 2 consecutive days off where we were on our own to do what we pleased.  That was GREAT!  We still had to deal with campers that came to our door, but we could leave the campgrounds completely as I mentioned in previous posts.

However we had to fill in for camp hosts when they had their days off.  It made for a long day, but that was only 2 days a week and the days off made up for it.

Company vehicle supplied

Each camp host was supplied with a company truck and all the equipment that was needed.  We also had a cage that was filled with firewood for sale.  If we needed anything at all Hoodoo supplied it for us.

No maintenace

Hoodoo has a crew that performs all the maintenance.  That includes lawn cutting and weed eating.  They also did all the repairs on the campgrounds whenever needed.  It sure made or life easier.

Would I do it again

You bet!!  All the camp hosts on Baker Lake were invited to return the following summer at our final camp host meeting.  I am hoping to get the same campgrounds.  It was a great job and the pay was good.  I was able to save some money while also visiting much of the surrounding area.  Washington is a very beautiful state.  It was GREEN from the day I got there until the day I left.

Still alive and Kickin’

Sorry for not posting

I had to look up the last time I made a post and found it was July 3.  That is awful!  You know I am not one to post every day as I feel I just don’t have too much to say.  But still I should do better then I have been.

I am still camphosting in the Mt Baker Snolqualmie National Forest and loving it.  However I am working a bit more then I thought I would.  With that said I am usually very tired at the end of the day and just want to relax with Chica.  My hosting job will come to an end shortly after Labor Day and the it will be back on the road again.

Lousy Internet

My Internet up here is nothing to right home about.  If I didn’t have a Wilson Sleek booster I wouldn’t even be able to send this.  It is extremely slow and I can’t upload pics without going into town.  When it rains, as it does quite often, the Internet goes down the drain.  Then I can’t even access the Internet.  I can get good 4G in Concrete, but I am usually busy shopping or doing laundry.  Trying to upload pics is almost impossible.

Chica doing great 

Chica is doing great but misses me during the day while I am attending to campgrounds.  She loves to run around up here in the woods.  It will be nice when I am no longer working so I can spend more time with her.

Very busy days

My work days are usually 8-10 hours depending on the day.  Normally I take care of 3 separate campgounds and have to visit each at least twice per day.  It involves a lot of driving.  Two days a week I have to fill in for another camphost who has those days off.  Then my days get really long, so not really too energetic about writing a blog post.  But it has been worth it as I have been able to save some money and decided not to work at Amazon this winter, but go south instead to AZ.

I have had some great times with Marti and Charlie and will still post later on a couple of Anacortes trips.  This area is really beautiful.

Till later,

Jim

BUSY, BUSY and a visit from friends

Very busy

Since my last post it has been a very busy couple of weeks.  I am learning each day how to handle visitors, cleaning pit toilets,fire pits, extra vehicles, Day Use areas, etc. etc. etc.  It has been very busy to say the least.  Even on my days off I find myself working doing this or that.

Covering 3 campgrounds

I am parked at the Panorama Point Campground, but I am also responsible for 2 other campgrounds as well.  The first is Boulder Creek Campground with 1 group site and 9 normal sites.  They also have 2 pit toilets.  Boulder Creek is only a mile down the road so I can usually check on everything there in a short time.

Shannon Creek Campground is 4 miles north with 3 miles of it on a dirt road.  This campground has 18 sites with 2 multisites.   A multisite is a bigger then normal campsite with room for several cars.  Shannon Creek also has a boat ramp with a day use area.  This seems to be one of the campgrounds most popular with tent campers although there are a few larger sites for RV’s.  Here are a couple of pics heading north to Shannon Creek.

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Covering 3 campgrounds makes it a very busy day on the weekend as I usually visit each campground twice a day.

Extra Vehicles

I find I spend a majority of my time checking on those campsites with extra vehicles.  One camper reserves the site and then invites a lot of family and friends to join them.  This makes for cars all over the place and I have to see that they either pay a day use fee if just spending the day or an extra vehicle fee if they are staying overnight.  Some campers can fit 4-5 cars in a campsite.  HELP!  But most people have no problem paying the extra fee.

Memorial Day Weekend

Most of the campsites are reserved online through recreation.gov.  I have to put up signs showing that the person indeed reserved that site.  I don’t have to collect any fees for these sites since the customer already payed online.  I just have to collect the extra vehicle fees.

Both Panorama Point and Boulder Creek were totally full with only a couple of sites left in Shannon Creek.  Friday it poured rain all day and I think it kept a few campers away.  Saturday was beautiful and then it rained on Sunday and Monday.  LOTS of MUD.

Concrete, WA

Concrete is a very small town and located 19 miles south of the campground.  Prior to the Memorial Day, I spent my day off in Concrete doing my laundry.  It is a great laundromat and also met one of my fellow host’s who was also doing her laundry and another workamper who works down the road at an organic farm.  She was very interested in working at Amazon so I had to fill her in on workamping there.

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More pics of Concrete.

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It is a rather old town but has most of what I need such as small grocery store, post office and a great little diner.

Mount Baker

On my way to the Boulder Creek Campground you cross a bridge over Boulder Creek.

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When driving south on the bridge on a clear day, you have a fantastic view of Mt. Baker.

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My friends drop in

This past Monday Marti and Charlie as well as Kay and Paul all dropped in to see me after attending a Lazy Daze Northwest rally.  It was really good seeing them but the weather was not cooperating.  They set up a tarp in the Day Use area and we had a great Happy Hour.  I got lots of tips from everyone for places to see up in this area.  After Happy Hour they picked up the tarp and walked it down the road to my campsite where Marti and Charlie are letting me us it this summer.

DSC_0455I wish I had my camera with me as they were walking it down the road.  It was a riot. to see.  Thank you Marti and Charlie for allowing me to use it.  Also thanks for the wine and brewskies.

I am posting this from the Burlington, WA library.  There is also a Fred Meyer here as well where I will be doing any major shopping.  I will try to post more regular, but I have to go into Concrete where I can get a 4G connection.  The connection is 3G at my campsite and that is with a booster, but it is very intermittent.

 

 

Home Sweet Home – for 4 months

Last leg of journey completed

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

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This pic shows the entrance to the campgrounds.

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

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Cloudy and Rainy

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

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

Sunny Day

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

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

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The trees are very tall as you can see.

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

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Day use for fishermen

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

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

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

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Poor Internet

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

Camp Host – Panorama Point

Camp Host

In case you haven’t heard yet I was hired by Hoodoo to be their camp host at Panorama Point, a NFS campground on Baker Lake in the Cascades in Washington.  I got the job while touring the big tent in Quartzsite last January.  I have to report there on May 14 so will begin heading up there in the next couple of weeks.  I am really getting excited about spending my entire summer in this beautiful spot.  I copied a few pics to show you where I will be camp hosting.

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It is located about 17+ miles from the small town of Concrete, WA where I will be doing much of my shopping.  The next largest city is Bellingham, WA which is about 70 miles from the campground where I will probably do major shopping.

Last state to visit in the west

Washington is the only state in the west that I haven’t visited.  I will now be able to fill in that empty spot on my map.  At last!!!

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Drop on by

If you happen to be in the area please drop on by, say hi and enjoy a beautiful scenic park.

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!

 

A visit from my son

My son stops in for a couple of days…

My son Curt is traveling from California to Texas and stopped in to see me for a couple of days.  We went out to dinner at Gordon Biersch Brewery in downtown Tempe.  It is a great restaurant overlooking Mill Street.

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We also walked around the Mill Street?University Drive area.  It was a great place and lots of people out.

Off to see the MIM again…

He hadn’t seen The MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) so I suggested we go there on Tuesday.  We spent most of the day walking around this fabulous museum.  They have an “Experience Gallery” where you can experience playing the many instruments they have on display.  Or should I say trying to play them.  HA!!  It was a lot of fun.  Here are several pics from the Experience Gallery.

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While there I found several things that I had not noticed in my prior visit.The first was instruments made out of cans.

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Bamboo

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and even a brake cylinder.  It is amazing the different instruments that people use to make music.

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I can’t imagine paying $27.45 for this organ, but back in 1902 that was probably a fortune.

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Gourmet meals in the MIM cafeteria…

After touring the museum we were hungry so stopped in their cafeteria for lunch.  What a pleasant surprise.  The lunch was all gourmet meals.  I couldn’t believe it.  Someone had commented on my previous post about the delicious meals so I just had to see for myself.  What a pleasant surprise.  Of course I had to have a Monkey Shine ale to wash it down!

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Here is a pic taken in the courtyard of The MIM.  This statue moved ever so slightly that you could not even tell if you were looking at it.

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Chica pic

Curt also had a good time with Chica and she enjoyed his company.

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Rangers game and then off to Texas

Curt is a Texas Ranger fan and went to the game on Wednesday.  Then it was off to Texas.  It was fun getting together and I really enjoyed seeing him.

Workamping at Spring Training

What a gang!

I have been working at the LAA Angels home Spring Training games at the Tempe Diablo Stadium since 2/23.  I was assigned to work with Phil who I met while workamping at Amazon last winter.  Here is a pic of our group lined up in front of our booth the Triple Play Grill.

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We are located on the third base side of the field and every now and then a foul ball happens to come our way.

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Watching batting practice…

We come in 2 1/2 hours prior to each game and get the stand ready for all the food and drink sales.  Sometimes when we are all set up we can watch batting practice.  Today I got to see the Angels hitting.

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I was really lucky to get this shot of Albert Pujols at bat.  How great is that!

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Busy, busy, busy…

But once the game starts it is very busy.  The orders are flying left and right and sometimes it is hard to keep up, but we all have a very good system of staying on top of the orders and getting the food and drink to the fans as quickly as possible so they can enjoy the game.

Her are a few pics of our group in action and our work area.

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We have a great group and everyone gets along really well.  We are always laughing and everyone enjoys each others antics at times when there is a lull in customers.  We are all kept very busy but still have a good time together.

Last game coming up…

Our last game will be on 3/27 against the Angels arch rival, Texas.  It should be an exciting game.  Then the Angels are off to Anaheim and we workampers are off to points unknown.  It has been a great experience working with this group and we sure have had a lot of laughs.