Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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

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!


  1. We are here in Sparks Nevada ready to start our job with Amazon. We arrived early so they are letting us start on Wednesday. This will be our first time. Hope it works out! We are 25 miles from Fernley but the campground we are at is very nice. There are about 50 other sites with Amazon workers. We did meet two of them. Hope everything goes well for you.

  2. Enjoy Amazon. We were there last winter. Our RV park was in Fallon and we loved the drive from Fallon to Fernley. Great road.

    Warning: watch out for the Nevada State Patrol. They are very strict!

  3. We were going to stop by on our way back from Columbia, MO today, but we thought it might be too late. We came across that bridge last week in KC. I thought it was really pretty also. See you guys on Monday.

  4. Hard to get on the internet here but wanted to check and see how it was going. Sounds like things are progressing much better this year. So glad you got the picking job like you wanted. I'll be checking in from time to time to see how its going. Hope the park is truly better for you too, I remember wading through that water to your place for dinner. The new owner has to be more organized than the lady last year. :)


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