Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mother-in-Law Suite?

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something surprising comes along. Today a converted bus camper pulled into the campground.

We remember this bus being here last year. The dad worked at Amazon. The mom stayed at the bus with the kids. I think they had two or three kids last year and she was pregnant with another. They also had two dogs. They’ve added some extras to the bus this year.

The main thing you notice is the second story they’ve added. It could be a mother-in-law suite, but my guess is maybe a master bedroom or a room for the kids. They now have a trailer for bikes and other things they need. They also have a car this year. Last year whenever they needed to go anywhere, they had to take the bus.

The second story is very interesting and ingenious. I hope they reinforced the roof of the bus. That’s a lot of weight up there. Also, notice the BBQ on the right front. It’s attached to some bars and swings out from the side.

Last year they were parked near us, and the kids were often outside playing. They were the sweetest, most polite kids we’ve encountered. They put up a sign in the laundry room to be dog walkers. There are a lot of people with dogs, so I’m guessing they got some work.  I wonder if their last name is Scholl. Notice the spelling on the bus.


We finished our first two full shifts at Amazon. This week we’re assigned to half of the warehouse. Next week they’ll be assigning us picking areas in the entire facility. Last night I wore my pedometer and clocked just under six miles. My feet are pretty sore by the end of the shift, but its so much better than last year. At least my back and wrists aren’t aching from the standing and packing. The good news is we’ve both lost a few pounds. I have a lofty goal of losing 20 pounds. We’ll see how that goes.

Last night all pickers and packers got sent home an hour early because of lack of work. This happened a few times last year as well. They bring in the work campers in September and October to train and prepare for the big Christmas peak season. So, right now they have more workers than work. At almost every shift, they offer VTO (voluntary time off) to all workers. Many of the regular employees jump at the chance because they know once the rush starts, there is no time off allowed.

Some work campers take VTO, but many say no thanks. We came here to make as much money as possible, so we’re working. They can’t make you go home unless they send everyone home. I was okay with leaving an hour early last night. I was tired and my feet were aching. Today we rest, and tomorrow we’re back for two more full days.

I can’t get my mind around how the computer system works at Amazon. Everything is scanned and placed in the warehouse. The computer knows where every item is located, assigns each picker items to pick based on orders, then tells the packers which orders to pack and in what size box, then prints a shipping label for the box. All of this is done by computer. All the workers do is scan an item, and the computer does the rest. Its amazing how it all works!!

I talked to both boys this week. Eric is doing well and is happy the hot summer days are behind him. Work is now back to a normal pace. Korey just got back from a two week vacation cruise with his friend Jeremy. Jeremy works for Disney World and gets awesome deals on Disney cruises. This year they went to Disneyland and then a 14 day cruise to Hawaii. They had a great time.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

We Survived Week One

Week one at Amazon went very well. This year they have implemented a new procedure where work campers have a hardening week. That means only working half shifts your first week. For us that was 5 pm to 10 pm on M, T, Th, and Fr. If it was up to me, I’d like those hours the entire time I was here. Of course, that would also mean less than half the pay once overtime kicks in.  On Monday we’ll start our full shifts of 5 pm to 3:30 am.

I’m loving the picker job. Its much better than the packing jobs we had last year for two reasons. One, it is very noisy in the packing plant, not so much in the rest of the warehouse. Two, we’re moving rather than standing in one spot.

The first week they program the computer to lock you into a limited area to do your picks so you can get used to how it works. We were in an area of mostly small items like books, DVDs, CDs, and all kinds of bottles of pills and supplements. With the use of MP3 players and iPods, I’m surprised how many people are still buying CDs. We both had no problem meeting and exceeding the quotas set for us.

Next week they’ll release us to pick in half of the warehouse. The following week we’ll work the entire one million square foot facility. That’s when I’ll start wearing my pedometer to report on how many miles we actually walk. We’ve been told it will be around 15 miles per shift. So far, our feet are holding up very well. I’m sure once we are running around the entire warehouse, they will start complaining much more!

We’ve gotten our first paycheck for the week of orientation. They only paid us for one of the days, so I had to send an email to try to get that resolved. Mike in HR replied that he would take care of it. We’ll see how that goes.

On Wednesday the campground owner hosted an Oktoberfest get together. He provided brats and beer and campers brought dishes to pass. There is not a clubhouse building at the campground. The foundation is poured, but the building has not been built. Everyone brought chairs and we sat on the foundation. Luckily, the weather was warm although pretty windy. I’d estimate there were about 75 people who attended. They had gotten donations from local businesses for door prizes. We won a gift certificate for a free large pizza at Pizza Hut. There is a new owner of the campground this year, and it sure was nice of him to host this event!

The weather has been very strange. The first part of the week was hot with highs in the 80s and very humid and windy. We had to run the air. On Thursday morning a cold front came through and dropped the temps by 40 degrees. We went from running the air in the morning to turning on the heater by late afternoon. There is a freeze warning in effect for the next few nights. Kevin disconnected the hose and we’re using water from the tank. Last year it didn’t get below freezing until December. The extended forecast is looking pretty good, and the winds have finally died down!

I like to cook using my crock pot, but the clean up was always a pain. Last summer, Kevin noticed our friend Betty using a product that has made the clean up so easy. These crock pot liners are only about 50 cents a piece and so worth it. Why didn’t I know about these sooner???


We don’t have any big plans for the weekend. Kevin is going to take the fourth original tire off of the fifth wheel. There is a Goodyear dealer in Independence where we will get a replacement. I’m still waiting for an estimate from Burlington RV so I can submit our claim to Goodyear.

I’m going to find a movie to rent at Redbox. Other than that, we’ll rest up for the big week ahead.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Variety Galore

We had our second orientation session on Friday. More paperwork and training videos. They talked about changes that have been made since last year. If the information is correct, it sounds like things will work more smoothly. We start tomorrow, so we’ll find out.

We’ve been walking for about an hour a day to keep working on conditioning for our 10 hour shifts on our feet. If we walk up and down each row of the campground twice, it takes an hour. There are 6 rows with 22 sites per row for a total of 132 sites. Currently about 115 of the sites are occupied. There certainly are a variety of units here.

Today Kevin and I counted how many were motorhomes or other types of RVs. We really need to get a life :) There are 52 motorhomes and 59 fifth wheels or travel trailers, pretty equally divided. Then there are a few other types of units such as camper vans.

Units run from very expensive to barely road worthy. People work here for a variety of reasons. Some are hear just to supplement a nice income. Others are barely scraping by and really need this money. We met a number of people last year who said they just needed something to do.

Most of the people in this park work for Amazon, although a few work at an oil refinery in town. Here are a few pictures of the diverse types of units at this park.

The front one looks like a work van converted into a camper. It has a sewer hose so must have a bathroom. A lone guy and his large dog live in it. The back Casita is occupied by a lone young lady. Rumor has it she is traveling the country before attending college.


These two trailers appear to be occupied by one family. They have a little boy and a dog. You’ll notice the hot tub on the right side. I don’t know if its hooked up. They also have a Dish satellite dish, everyone has their priorities.


Many units are very nice. These three motorhomes are all parked in a row and look like they cost a few bucks.


I’ve never seen a Class C made by Forest River. This one is called a Solera and has solar panels on top that take up most of the roof. I wonder if it comes with the solar panels and that’s why its called a Solera. The Class B next to it is occupied by a lone man. I can’t imagine living in such a small space.


Some work campers start working here as early as August. Its very hot here that time of year. We’ve seen a number of creative air conditioning options on some the trailers. Here’s an interesting one.


The weather this weekend has been wonderful with highs in the low 80s both days. This morning before football started we washed our windows and Kevin cleaned off the front cap of the 5th wheel. Those darn bugs sure do make a mess up there.

It’s time to start working. There’s not much to do in this neck of the woods other than count trailers :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

So Far, So Good

Today was our first day of orientation at Amazon. We were there for 4-1/2 hours. They explained how the CamperForce program works, showed us the diversity and workplace ethics videos, took our ID badge pictures, told us our job assignments, did the drug test, administered an easy skills test, filled out I-9 forms and fed us lunch. We also got CamperForce shirts. They had a drawing for some prizes, but we didn’t win any of those. Mostly shirts and coffee mugs.

The drug screen was interesting. They had a stick that you had to place in your mouth for a few minutes. When the dot turned blue, you were done. You placed the stick in a vile and closed the top. This was then put into a bag and sealed. It was quite painless and nice to be able to do the drug test on site. Last year we had to drive over an hour each way to a lab and do a urine test. They did tell us that next year they’re going back to the old way of doing things. No more on-site drug tests. I don’t know why. I hope they change their mind.

I’m much more impressed with the CamperForce personnel this year. They seemed to be much better organized and concerned about everyone’s happiness. Everyone in our group got the job assignment they were promised. We have another 4 hour orientation session tomorrow. I’m not sure what we still need to do that will take that long, but we’re getting paid, so who cares.

We start our jobs next Monday. We’ll be pickers working 5 pm to 3:30 am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. The first week is a hardening week, so they only let you work half shifts. That means we’ll be done at 10 pm. Another week of good sleep for me :) Last year we were told there would be a hardening week, but we just started full time right away. The downside is less money, the upside is a chance to get used to the job.

We’ll still have 8 full weeks with at least 4 of them at 50 hours. Plenty of time for exhaustion!

Our travel day on Tuesday was much better than on Monday. No tire problems!! The only other mishap we had was that our large shade on the back window pulled lose on one side. There is only one screw on each side holding up that large, heavy shade. Last year the screw on the other side pulled out. Kevin has now reinforced it across the entire top. It should be good forever!

I’ve been in touch with Burlington RV in Wisconsin where we’ve had repairs done on our 5th wheel in the past. They are going to send me an estimate for repairs based on pictures I’ve sent them. That way we can submit our claim to Goodyear and wait to have the work done when we get back to Wisconsin in April. The damage isn’t that bad and is all cosmetic. We really don’t want to deal with repairs while on the road this winter. I’ll let you know what happens with Goodyear.

On Tuesday we crossed this cool bridge over the Missouri River into Kansas City.


Here’s the Kansas City skyline. The tree colors in Missouri and Kansas were fantastic.


We traveled on Hwy. US-169 in Kansas. Parts of it are four lane and other sections are two lane. Twice while we were on the two lane sections they were repaving and had traffic down to one lane. 

P1130307At the first stop, they had this lady with her stop sign standing out in the weather. It was in the 70s out, but it was quite windy. We waited there for about 15 minutes until the pilot car came to guide us through the construction. The lady switched spots with the driver and then she drove the car. At least she didn’t have to stand there all day.


At the second stop, they had this portable red light set up. It had a barrier down across the road like they have at railroad crossings to help assure cars stopped. We waited at this stop about another 15 minutes and then a pilot car came to guide us through. This red light sure seems like a better and cheaper alternative to having a person with a sign.


We arrived at the Big Chief campground in Coffeyville, Kansas Tuesday afternoon. There is a new owner this year. It looks like he is making some improvements, but its slow going. We are parked in site D-11 this year. This is one row over from where we were last year, and its on higher ground. I told the owner we did not want to be in the lake we were in last year. Here’s a reminder picture in case you forgot about our lakefront property last year.

Campsite in Coffeyville, Kansas

The owner claims he has built up that row. There are some motorhomes on those sites right behind us, so we’ll see what it looks like when it rains. It still looks low to me.

The weather when we arrived on Tuesday was 82 degrees. Its been quite windy and in the 70s since then. This afternoon they actually closed down a stretch of I-35 south of us due to poor visibility caused by blowing dirt. The weekend is forecast for sunny and low 80s. We’re off, so we’ll have to get out and enjoy.

Kevin is super pleased with our new truck. He says it tows like a dream and the brakes work much better. We also averaged almost 10 mph even while driving into the wind. We’re able to travel farther before refueling so we didn’t have to stop once for fuel while towing. This also made Kevin very happy!!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Tire Bites the Dust

This is getting quite ridiculous!!! This is the third tire that has failed in the last 18 months. This tire also has the tread pealing off of it, but it also blew.

We were driving along on I-35 about 20 miles north of Des Moines, Iowa when we heard a loud POP. Kevin looked in the side mirror and saw the tire had blown. This is on the same side as the one that blew in March, 2011 only it’s the front one this time.


Luckily, we were close to an exit so Kevin slowly limped us off the exit and onto the side of the entrance ramp across the road. He did a great job keeping control of everything.

As you can see the tire was quite flat. It also did damage to our 5th wheel again. Kevin tried to put the spare on, but his jack wouldn’t raise the axle high enough. We were not in the best place for changing a tire, so I suggested we should call for help.

We got to try out our On Star on the new truck. They connected me with GM Roadside Assistance who sent out a guy to change the tire for us. The bill was $259. Wow, that sounds pretty steep. We have coverage under our trailer insurance, so I will have to submit the bill to them for reimbursement.

While waiting for the roadside assistance guy, I used my smart phone to find a Goodyear tire dealer near where we would be staying the night. After calling a couple of places, I found one with our type tire. Its about a 45 minute drive from where we’re staying tonight, so we’ll drive over there first thing tomorrow morning, pick up the tire, mount it, and continue to Coffeyville.

So, after a two hour delay we were back on the road. This is now the third tire that has failed. At most, these tires have 12,000 miles on them. I don’t care what Goodyear says, there had to be some kind of defect in these tires. They will be getting a real earful from me. I expect them to cover some or all of the cost of the tire and the damage to our unit. I also expect them to give us some compensation towards the fourth tire as we will be replacing it. We do not trust that tire at all.

We know of many other RVers with these Goodyear G rated light truck tires on their 5th wheels, and no one else seems to have had the bad luck we have had. That’s what makes me think we had a defective batch. Kevin has been so careful checking them since our first problem. He had just looked at them about 20 miles earlier at a rest stop. But, you can’t always see if the tread is separating.

As always, things could have been worse. No one was hurt, the tread did not wrap itself around the axle which would have been so much worse. The damage to our 5th wheel is only cosmetic. On Star worked very well.

Tonight we’re staying at Wallace State Park in Cameron, Missouri. It’s about 30 miles north of Kansas City. This is really a beautiful park. We’ll definitely have to come back when we can take advantage of the hiking trails. The tree colors are just gorgeous. Here’s our site. We have a pull through, paved, 30 amp electric only site with free Wi-Fi for $21 per night.


On a brighter note, we had dinner at Joe and Julie’s on Saturday night and got to spend some more time with our niece Jen and her family. We had a great time visiting. Here’s the required family picture.


Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Two Enjoyable Bike Rides

On Thursday afternoon Kevin and I went bike riding with Kevin’s brother Joe. Unfortunately, Joe’s wife Julie had to work. Joe and Julie live in Waverly, Iowa where Joe took us out on the Rolling Prairie Trail. Another very nice paved Iowa bike trail.
We rode 16.3 miles round trip. The forecast was for 60s and sunny. Unfortunately, the weather guessers were wrong again. It was much cooler and overcast. We even got sprinkled on a bit. However, it was still a great ride. Thanks to Joe for giving us a tour of the trail. Here are Kevin and Joe next to the tallest Pompous Grass I have ever seen.
On Friday Kevin and I rode about 9 miles on the paved trails in and around George Wyth State Park. There are some small lakes in the park. This one is called Brinker Lake.
Part of the trail runs along the Cedar River. As you can see, most of the colorful leaves have already fallen to the ground. It was still a very pretty ride.
Much of the Midwest, including Iowa, is experiencing a severe drought this year. According to the newscasters, this area is over 16 inches below normal. The drought conditions are very noticeable in some of the waterways. The water level on Fisher Lake in the park is very low. These Canadian Geese must be wondering what all this mud is doing here.
Last night we went out for dinner with Joe and Julie, their son Robert, and their daughter Jen with her husband Mike and their son Nathan. Jen, Mike and Nathan live in Chicago and are visiting her family this weekend. When we found out they were going to be here, we extended our stay so we could see them. It’s been almost three years since we’ve seen them. Nathan is now four years old and is such a little cutie.
We ate at a retirement community. You may be thinking that sounds a bit odd. The story is that the chef at the retirement center used to own his own German restaurant in the area. He got out of the restaurant business because of the crazy hours. He was hired at the retirement center. Once a month he puts on a German dinner in their dining room and the public is allowed to make reservations.
It’s really a win/win/win situation for everyone. He gets to prepare his German cuisine, the proceeds go to the retirement center, the public gets to enjoy the great food and visit the fantastic retirement center which is great publicity for the center. Their dining room was just as nice as many restaurants I’ve been in. The food was fantastic!! They don’t serve alcohol, but the public is allowed to bring in beer or wine. What a great idea this chef had!
Today has been pretty rainy, but that’s okay. They really need the rain. Tonight we’re going to Joe and Julie’s house for dinner with everyone. It’s so nice to have a more flexible lifestyle now and be able to spend some extended time with family.
We got a phone call from Amazon yesterday. They were confirming our assignment as pickers. The lady I spoke with assured me that we will be pickers working the 8 shift which is nights on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. That’s exactly what we wanted. Hopefully, this year what they told us and what happens will match! On Thursday we report at 8 a.m. for orientation.
Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Yesterday morning I saw evidence (droppings) that a mouse had been in our kitchen and bedroom. That is not going to fly!!!

While we were out, we picked up some basic traps. We keep mouse poison in our basement and under the bed, but none of that had been disturbed. Kevin thought I was imagining things; but let me tell you, my mouse radar is very accurate!

Kevin promised he would set the traps before he went to bed. We were sitting watching a movie, and my ears perked up. There was a rustling noise by the garbage can in the kitchen. Kevin went and looked, but didn’t see anything. He again told me I was imagining it, he didn’t hear anything. He rolled his eyes, but set the trap next to the can. Within a few minutes, snap. He walked around the counter, and, sure enough, there was a pretty big mouse caught in the trap. (I’ll spare you any pictures.) I told you I have excellent mouse radar :)

He reset the trap just in case this mouse had friends, but no more snaps. I think we’re safe, and I was able to sleep peacefully last night!

We’ve actually been quite lucky regarding rodents in our 5th wheel. This is only the second time we’ve had any evidence of a mouse.

By the way, last night on the local news there was a story about the Field of Dreams movie site. It seems it has been sold to investors from Chicago who plan to build a large baseball complex surrounding the site. The original farm and field will remain, but there will be a complex with fields and facilities for tournaments, etc. Some locals had filed court papers to stop it, but a judge ruled yesterday to allow the sale.

One of the signs stated that they originally did rent the site out for games and special events, but the family didn’t think that worked very well and chose to keep it simple and open for all to enjoy. I’m glad we got to see it in its non-commercial state.

I got a text message from Redbox yesterday giving me a free rental code for their 10th anniversary. Amazing they’ve been around for that long. We rented Snow White and the Huntsman. I would say it was just an okay movie. Charlize Theron did a great job portraying the evil stepmother. The end definitely left things open for a sequel.


Today we’re going bike riding with Kevin’s brother and joining them for dinner at their house. Temps are supposed to be in the 60s today and sunny. Should be perfect for a nice long ride.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Field of Dreams

On Monday we traveled to George Wyth State Park in Waterloo, Iowa. It was about 240 miles, and we averaged 8.8 miles to the gallon with the new diesel truck. Kevin was very pleased with how the truck tows. He is especially happy with how much better the brakes work. I’m thinking we were definitely overweight with the old truck. The entire trip was into headwinds of between 15 to 25 miles per hour, so we think we did pretty good on the fuel mileage.

P1130278George Wyth is a nice park. Sites are 50 amp electric, but no water or sewer at the sites. Originally, we had planned on staying only three nights so we would have plenty of tank space. The fall rate is only $11 per night including electric. What a great deal. There are lots of hiking and biking trails in the park. It’s a beautiful place.

Yesterday we planned on biking with Kevin’s brother Joe. Rain and cold weather altered those plans. Instead Joe and his wife Julie came to the park and we spent the afternoon visiting. We met up with their son Robert for dinner at Old Chicago and enjoyed some delicious Italian food.

Joe told us that their daughter Jen, who lives in Chicago, was coming for a visit this weekend with her husband and son. We haven’t seen them in almost three years so we’ve extended our stay here through Sunday night. We’ll just be a bit more conservative with our water usage.

Today we drove about 65 miles to Dyersville, Iowa to visit the Field of Dreams movie site. The farm used in the filming of the movie is owned by the Lansing family. They have kept the property pretty commercial free. The site is open to the public to come and take pictures and make memories free of charge. They do have a gift shop to help them with costs. There were a few signs on the property with some interesting movie facts. About 65,000 people visit annually.

Here’s the view from the end of the drive. The baseball field is on the left behind the curve in the drive in front of the cornfield.


Here’s an aerial shot from a postcard I purchased.


Kevin posed at home plate. Can’t you just see those ballplayers coming out of the corn!


Here’s the bleachers Kevin Costner sat on with the house behind it. The movie production company actually extended the porch around the corner of the house so they could add the porch swing. The swing used in the movie was rented from a family in Dubuque and returned to them after the filming.


In the movie Kevin Costner’s character carved “Ray Loves Annie” into the bleachers. And here it is, still there.


Filming of the movie took place during the summer of 1988. Some walls inside the house were taken down to enhance filming. The owner of the house actually lived in a trailer on the property during the 14 weeks of filming. There was a drought that summer so water had to be diverted from a nearby creek to get the corn to grow. The baseball field was constructed in 3 days. The Iowa Film Board lobbied heavily for the filming to take place in Iowa. When the producer saw this farm, he knew this was the place.

I have received another email from one of my German cousins. This one was from Irina, my youngest cousin. She sent some pictures of her family. Rainer also sent some pictures of his family. Its so amazing to see my cousins as adults around the same age as I am. I still picture them as I last saw them as young adults or teens. I am so loving this virtual reunion!!!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Guten Tag Across the Ocean

I’ve had some very surprising communications the last two days. Let me tell you the story.

On Friday when we dropped our car off at my mom’s house, she was worried about her sister in Germany. My mom and her sister communicated by mail and she hadn’t received a letter in a while. Her sister had not been well, and my mom had a feeling something was very wrong.

My mom had an email address for her sister’s son, her nephew, my cousin, but she wasn’t sure if it was still valid. Since my mom doesn’t want to have anything to do with computers, she asked me if I would try sending a message to the email address and see if my cousin would respond.

A little background on my family history would probably be helpful at this point. In 1958 when I was 11 months old, my family immigrated from Germany to the United States. Both of my parents were born and raised in Germany.

My dad’s family, his parents and brother, also immigrated at the same time. My mom left her parents, her two sisters and their families behind. My mom was 20 years old at the time. It must have been very hard for her to leave her family and move so far away.

Over the years we visited Germany a few times and I got to meet my grandparents, two aunts and uncles, and eight cousins. Some of them also visited us. The last time I saw any of my German cousins was 30 years ago when my mom and I, along with my son Eric, flew over for a visit. Eric was 18 months old at the time.

Yesterday morning I sent an email to my cousin Rainer. I wrote in English as my German is quite rusty. I knew my cousins all learned English in school so I was hoping he could read my message. I told him he could respond in German as I could speak and read much better than write.

By afternoon I had a response with some sad news. My aunt Lily had died on Thursday. Rainer was also able to reach my mom by phone. Apparently, he had tried a few times, but my mom couldn’t hear very well and thought it was a wrong number.

Since yesterday Rainer and I have exchanged a few emails with some pictures. He is married and has a very cute little girl who has just started school. I sent him my blog address and his wife has signed up as a follower.

It turns out she also writes a blog. She is quite crafty and has created some wonderful items. I’ve joined her blog as a follower. Blogger actually translates it into English so I was able to read her entries. The translation isn’t the greatest, but between what I can read in German and the translation, I am able to understand it quite well.

I asked Rainer to share my email address with my other German cousins. I’m hoping I might be able to reconnect with all of them. The internet is truly an amazing invention. I’m so excited to be able to reconnect with my family across the ocean!

Auf Wiedersehen.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gorgeous Fall Colors

One positive consequence of the drought our area experienced this summer has been the exceptional color of the leaves this fall. I’m glad we stayed in the area long enough to enjoy the natural splendor.

P1130271Driving around the last few weeks has been such a treat. The red and orange trees actually looked like they were glowing at times.









All the pictures in today’s post are from the park we’re at. I have seen even more beautiful trees as I’ve been out and about, but didn’t have my camera with me.







This weekend the weather has turned cold again. Highs struggling to make it to 50 degrees and lows in the upper 20s with pretty strong winds. We disconnected our water hose and are using our pump with water in the tank. Kevin had to let the water trickle at the water towers at the dump last night so the pipes wouldn’t freeze. They’ll be shutting the water off within the next few weeks.


P1130270We have 10 sites occupied this weekend. Four of them are tenters. You couldn’t pay me enough to be out in a tent in this cold weather!







Yesterday we dropped our car off at my mom’s for the winter. It is so nice that she has an extra spot in her garage for us to use. Then we went out for fish fry with a group of friends. Tonight Kevin is playing cards with a group of guys he used to work with.


2012-10-01 11.45.41We’re leaving Monday morning. We plan to drive to George Wyth State Park in Waterloo, Iowa for our first stop. We’ll stay there three nights and visit Kevin’s brother and family.

Then we plan to stay at a state park in Kansas for the next five nights. We haven’t decided which one for sure yet. We’ll arrive at the campground in Coffeyville, Kansas on Oct. 16th. We have our orientation day at Amazon on Oct. 18th.

I spoke to Amazon yesterday and they have assured me that we will have the picker job. They offered us either day or night shift. Believe it or not, I actually chose night shift. It pays better, Kevin prefers the night shift, we know two other couples that are working nights and I won’t have to set an alarm. I figure I can do it for nine weeks. I know what to expect this year, and I think that will make things easier. Time will tell.

We’re excited to be on the move again. Time for some new adventures!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Beauty in the Sky

The harvest moon made an appearance this weekend. What a beautiful sight!

P1130267I did a little experimenting with my camera. The first shot is on the daytime scenery setting.









P1130263The second shot is on the sunset scenery setting. Either way it was a beautiful moment!









As if seeing the moon rise in the east wasn’t enough, the view to the west wasn’t too bad either. Nature certainly provided a gift yesterday evening.


The weather the past week was fantastic with highs in the 70s and crisp sunny skies. Kevin took advantage of the beautiful weather and did some maintenance projects on the fifth wheel. On Saturday he repacked the wheel bearings on the tires.

While he was doing that, I ran some errands and then came back and washed our car. We leave the car parked in my mom’s garage over the winter, and I wanted to get the dirt and bugs washed off before we park it later this week.

On Sunday Kevin flushed our hot water heater tank. We’ve been having a problem with smelly water at our bathroom sink. After much research, the consensus of opinion is the smell is being caused by a chemical reaction inside the hot water heater. We’re not completely convinced flushing the tank will fix our problem, but we thought we should do it anyway. The owner’s manual says the tank should be periodically flushed, and we haven’t done it in the four years we’ve owned our fifth wheel.

The weird thing about the smelly water is it is only happening with the water at the bathroom sink. We use hot water at the kitchen sink and in the shower, but that water never smells. Flushing the bathroom water lines with bleach about once a month has been getting rid of the smell, but who wants to be doing that every month. Now we’ll wait and see if the smell comes back.

The wonderful weather brought out lots of last minute campers this weekend. We had one reservation, but ended up with eleven occupied sites. Next weekend is predicted to be cold with highs only reaching the 50s. I’m thinking we’ll have a lot less activity in the campground for our last weekend.

The great weather also brought out the bugs. We’ve been inundated with box elder bugs and flies. We’re not alone. Apparently, the hot dry summer has produced a bumper crop of the box elder bugs. At least, that’s what they said on the news.

I think all of Wisconsin breathed a collective sigh of relief at the end of the Packer game yesterday. It sure looked like bad calls by the officials were going to cost our team another win. They were able to pull out a win in the last few minutes. Unfortunately, the Brewers are not going to make it into the playoffs, and the Wisconsin Badgers are not playing well at all.

Today we’re both getting our hair cut before we hit the road. We’ll also stop in and say happy birthday to Kevin’s sister and have a farewell dinner with my family. Busy, busy, busy!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!