November 1, 2012. Left Maple Heights Wednesday after sitting in the rain left over from Hurricane Sandy for about five days. We were getting so tired of the rain and the dogs were getting stir crazy being stuck in the trailer all day. Made it to Columbus Wednesday night and stayed at Rippling Stream campground for the night. My brother Bill came over to visit with us and enjoyed a bowl of chili and cornbread for dinner. Unfortunately, Cindy had to work and was not able to join him. We had a good visit - glad he was able to come down and see us for a few hours.
Thursday we drove to Big Bone Lick State Park in Union, Kentucky, which is just south of Cincinnati. What a beautiful park - here are not too many state parks that we have been to that are not nice. This place has some long trails through the woods and a section where they have some bison. Took the girls on a walk down to see them, but could not see all of them as they were in an upper field. They did have one that stayed close to the main area and one in a smaller coral. Hayley & Lucy just stared and wondered what type of creature these huge beasts could be. Then we walked some more of the trails through the woods. Wish I would have checked the geocaches before we went out as there was one on one of the trails I was on. Probably won't have time to walk that far tomorrow as we need to get on the road and head down to Campbellsville so we don't get there too late in the afternoon.
Big Bone Lick is filling up for the weekend - this is their Halloween weekend and people are coming in to join in the festivities. The manager was dressed up as an Oscar Meyer wiener package that expired on October 31. Got a picture of him and Jim up at the main office.
November 2, 2012. Left Bone Lick State Park around noon today and headed for Campbellsville. On our way we saw the sign for Woodford Distillery, which is part of the Bourbon Trail. I wanted to stop at the different distilleries on our way down but the storm in Maple Heights kept us there instead of heading south to tour the distilleries. But since we saw the Woodford Distillery on our way, we decided to take a side trip and go there. Unfortunately, by the time Jim got the rig backed into the parking lot the 2:00 pm tour had already left and we did not have the time to wait until the 3:00 pm tour. So we walked around the building a little bit, Jim got a shot of bourbon and we ate a few of the bourbon candies they had available. I found some bourbon coffee in the gift shop, so of course I had to buy some. It is now in the coffee pot ready for the morning's brew.
When we arrived at Indian Ridge our workamper friends from St. Croix were there to greet us and show us the way to our site. It sure was good seeing them again, and the girls just went crazy when they saw Terry. I thought their tails were going to wag off. Of course, he was there with treats for them.
Our site is toward the back of the campground and there not too many people around us. There are two trails right behind our trailer and go down the hills and toward the river. We are high up on a mountain top with a huge valley off to one side. On the other side of the fence the hill goes straight down. Need to keep Lucy from going under the fence over there, because if she did go there and went too close to the edge, that's all she wrote. They did run loose for a while after we got here - there is some woods right behind our trailer and they had fun running there. I still have to keep an eye on them and not let them run all over the place. Did find out that there is kid here that will walk and feed the dogs for us while we are at work. I will get in touch with him tomorrow to talk with him about our dogs and feeding them after I find out our schedule.
TV is not too good - not many stations in Campbellsville, and we get about four stations, but at least we have internet service.
November 8, 2012. Just finished our second day of the five hour shift that Amazon has its new associates do to get us ready for 10 hours, which we start the week of November 28. Next week, November 19, we still work five hours and our regular shift which is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Monday we had a meet and greet where the new associates met and learned a bit about the company; Tuesday was orientation and then a tour of the facilities. Wednesday was our first day of actual work - 5:30pm to 10:30pm. First half we sat at the computer and learned how to scan in the purchased articles and the different scenarios we may encounter. Then the second half of the evening we actually went to our stations and filled the orders. What an operation Amazon has - it is truly amazing. There are 12 miles of conveyor belts that transport the merchandise around the warehouse. Associates pick the items that people order and put them in totes, which somehow make their way to the conveyor belts and into our sites. There are 7 or 8 rows that have about 7 stations in each row where the merchandise comes down. Each station is in charge of about 20 or so shuts where the merchandise comes down. There are so many stations that have merchandise from orders, it's mind boggling.
November 12, 2012. Had a pot luck dinner here at the campground Saturday night (11/10) for all of the workampers. We all met in the community center and enjoyed a lot of good food, conversation and drink. Everyone here at Indian Ridge are workampers working at Amazon and it is interesting meeting all of the people and learning their stories. Met some that are from Georgia, Ohio, California; couples and even solo men and women.
We are in a dry county here in Taylor County so we have to drive about 8 miles northeast of town just over the county line to buy our wine, beer, and liquor. Not too bad of a drive. But Campbellsville does have some of my favorite stores - Goodwill, Kroger, Tractor Supply, Walmart and Lowe's - and they're all within one block of each other. Very convenient for shopping.
Owner here Rocky likes to deer hunt and has been heading out early every morning down a path next to our trailer. He has a couple of deer stands and a tube that he puts corn in for the deer. I guess it was Saturday when his hunting buddy shot a deer; they brought it up and got the meat out of it, and then Rocky takes the carcass down another flat road that also runs next to our trailer and dumps the carcass next to the road at a turn around. Sunday evening while walking the dogs they decided to take a detour up the hill and straight to the deer carcass where they helped themselves until I could walk up the path and down the road to find them. All the while walking up the path I was whistling and calling for them, which they completely ignored. When I got down the main road to where I figured they were they would not come to me since I was raging mad and yelling at them. I think they knew they were going to get a whipping, which they did. Dragged them back to the trailer and threw them inside where Hayley promptly started throwing up the entrails and bones that she had gorged herself on. Gross. Of course I had to clean it all up as Jim just has to look at stuff like that and he starts gagging. Filled up a Kroger back with the stuff from Hayley. And to top that off, she puked on our bed, her bed and the floor. So I threw her outside.
Lucy seemed OK but it was not until late Sunday night that her stomach finally decided it did not want what she ate inside of her and she started throwing up - all over the floor, on my bed, on the covers, inside Jim's shoe. I was up until about 2:30am cleaning up, putting both dogs outside where they still puked. And to top all of that off, it was also Jim's night to SNORE so that I could not even sleep in the bed with him. Took the covers and went to the couch to try to sleep, but the dogs kept coming and standing by the door needing to go out to puke again. I guess it was close to 3:00am when everything settled down and the rain came in.
Quite a front that is coming through - started in Texas and straight up into Canada bringing lots and lots of rain. Reminds me of Cleveland during Hurricane Sandy. Behind the rain is a cold front - today's high was 50 at around 1:00 pm with the cold coming in during the afternoon and evening - at least the rain will go away before the cold sets in!
Schedule this week for work is Mon-Tues-Thurs-Fri from 5:30 - 10:30pm, which is still work hardening - getting us used to standing on concrete for hours at a time. Next week we start our 10 hour shift and I need to talk with a young guy here Tyler that has advertised dog walking. He charges $5 a day, which is not unreasonably, and I hope coming down to the trailer about 10:30 at night will be OK for him as that is when the girls will need to do their nightly pee. I take them for an afternoon walk/run right before we leave at 5:00pm and six hours is a good time for them to need to go out again. I will talk to him on Wednesday b/c if he will not come down at night, I will have to find someone else to take them out.
November 18, 2012. Finished our five hour work day Friday night. Saturday and Sunday off and then on Monday we start our first 10 hour day. Don't know if we will be there the whole time; sometimes it seems as though there is just not enough work, which means that the orders are not coming through. We shall see. So Saturday we did some shopping and then visited some of the other RV parks that Amazon has on its list of approved parks. We visited Green River Stables and Green River State Park. The Stables are OK but the bathroom is a single one with one toilet and one shower. There were not that many sites and fairly close together, but at least the people had a grass front. The state park was gorgeous with spacious sites but no sewer. Would consider staying there if we come back next year. There are some other parks that we may visit just to see what they look like.
Sunday we decided to hit the Maker's Mark distillerary on the Bourbon Trail not far from where we are; only took an hour to drive there. It was a nice place and tour; took the dogs and sat and had lunch after the tour. On the way home went into the State Park again and check out more of the park. Stopped at one trailhead but instead of walking on the trail headed out into what was a huge over flouw slus cut out from between a huge mountain. Must have been wider than a football field with a large concrete pad running in the middle of it. Walked down to the water and looked at the dam; the dogs had a blast getting a good run in.
Tomorrow we start our 10-hour day. Hired a kid that is here to walk the dogs about 10-10:30 at night so they could pee and not have to sit in the trailer all night before going. I think they will be OK and I do believe they will go crazy when we come home at 4:30 am. Going to try to sleep until about 8-9; take the dogs for their morning walk and then feed them, and then go back to sleep. Going to be an adjustment as to when we eat and shower, but it's only for two months and then it's over. It will all be OK and looking forward to the money we will be making.
November 25, 2012. Finished our first week of our 10-hour shift. We leave the campground about 5:00pm so we have plenty of time to put up our cooler and put our stuff in the locker, and get out onto the floor. We are packing up the merchandise that people order - it is amazing what people order on-line that they could go to the store to buy - dog food, toothpaste, coffee, dog toys, shampoo, CD's, movies, books, to name a few. Have packed up quite a few Samsung phones and Kindles as well. Our section has about 20 sections which has 2 chutes in each section; and we walk our chart back and forth on a track stopping by each chute that is ready to go; scan the chute which tells us what is in the chute and what size box to use. We have the boxes right there on our cart, a tape machine and the cello for stuffing.
Took the dogs on a longer walk earlier this week down to the Green River from the campground. Down a road that runs from our campsite where the owner goes to deer hunt. There is a steep slate road that goes almost straight down to the river. The road was easier to walk than I had originally thought because the road is stepped. (See pictures.) At the bottom of the road is Rocky's falling down cabin where he hides to deer hunt, but the dogs and I walked across the little creek and down a jeep road toward the river. The land by the river is dry now but looks like it is overflow when the river floods. The dogs had a blast walking along the river; rousting out a nest of ducks and chasing other little critters. There was a jeep trail going up the other side of the valley but we did not follow that to the top because I did not want to be gone that long. Next time we go I will take my walking staff and a gun in case we run across any coyotes.
Our first break is at 8:00pm for 15 minutes, so we quickly log out of the computer and rush to the break room for a snack before heading back onto the floor to find out what section we are assigned to. Dinner is at 10:15pm for 1/2 hour so we log out again and this time we have to clock out (no pay for lunch) and rush to the break room and gulp down a sandwich. Last break of the night is at 1:45am for another 15 minutes. We log out of our computers each time and are assigned a new work station every time we head back onto the floor. We get home about 4:15am and of course the dogs are going crazy by then and are very glad to see us. They run around outside a little bit before coming in; eating breakfast and chilling while Jim & I unwind, shower and head to bed about 5:00-5:30am. We have been sleeping until around 11:00am, which is not a full 8 hours, but good enough. On our days off we head to bed early enough to catch up on sleep (10 hours today).
Black Friday was packed - I think everyone had to work even if they had the day off. There were so many people in the Crisplant that there was not enough work to go around. Jim was assigned a cart the whole night but I had to help at the problem solve desk the first part of the night and the secon and third parts I just walked around unjamming chutes. Finally when I was assigned that again in the fourth part, I asked at the assignment desk for a cart and they switched me with another girl.
Today we did a bit more sight seeing and decided to check out the Tebbs Bend Battlefield tour, which was a civil war battle that took place on July 4, 1863 and was "one of the most outstanding small victories in the Civil War." We started off at the north end and found two geocaches before we had to stop at the Green River Bridge, which had a 3 ton weight limit, and our truck being 7 tons, Jim decided it would not be prudent to press our luck. So he backed down the road (single lane with ditches on both sides) until he found a driveway to turn into. We then went back onto the main road and went in the other entrance and found the confederate cemetary (and the third geocache). It also has a statute as a tribute to the unknown soldier.
December 9, 2012. Work has been tough; regemented and push, push, push. Working the night shift you get into the scheme and the adreline starts in, and you just keep on going, even with 5 hours of sleep. We get there for our 5:30 start time and start packing, then get two 15 minute breaks, and 30 minutes for lunch/dinner. We like the split shift working Monday and Tuesday with Wednesday off, then Thursday and Friday. Overtime has been cancelled so far, and if we get any, it will only be two days, if that.
Went to two Bourbon trail distillaries last weekend which was enjoyable and even got to taste the whiskey they brew. Looking forward to going back to Bardstown since we did not get to look around the city too much last time we were there and will hit the Jim Beam distillary while in the area. I think we only have one more weekend to do that, so maybe next weekend we will head out on Sunday to visit that. Have had rain for the last two days so this weekend would not have been enjoyable to head up there.
December 23, 2012. Much has happened since my last entry, but I am going to attempt to do better and make an entry every day since I cannot remember what has happened since my last entry. Our last day at Amazon was Friday, December 21 and we ended at 10:15pm. There were a lot of happy Workampers that night as we met for the last time and left the facility - wondering if we are going to return next year. It is hard to say - will see what our checkbook is looking like at that time. Met a lot of nice people working there and made some friends. Will stop to visit one friend who lives in Alabama close to the gulf on our way from Houston to Florida in February. Met a young couple in their late 20's (who Jim says reminds him of us) who live in a small Class C and are working around the country before "settling down."
On Saturday we decided to take a trip to Jim Beam distillery since it was the last one one on the bourbon tour that we had not gotten stamped into our passports. So now that we have all of them stamped, I will mail them in and we will get our official bourbon trail T-shirts. Yip-eee. Back at the camper we hurriedly starting getting things ready for our Sunday departure; however, it got too cold and we had to stop and continue in the morning. Got up early and finished up with everything and finally left about 11:00am. Arrived at Tremont at about 4:30pm and met Judi, the manager who we will be working for next summer. Tomorrow morning before leaving we will walk around the campground and look at all the sites and the one we will be staying in next summer.
December 27, 2012. Staying at the house is nice - the dogs are able to get outside and just run without having to worry about them. Unfortunately, there is work to be done on the house and this does not make Jim very happy. The well stopped working about a week ago and we are now hooked up to Frank's house. They determined that the low flow switch was bad so I bought another one at Lowe's yesterday so now Jim & Joe have that to do. The kitchen sink needs a new washer and the main bathroom pipe underneath leaks.
Stopped at Josh & Karen's Ringgold house on the way down Monday and buried a St. Joseph's statute to give faith for the sale of their house. Hopefully early next year someone will come along and buy it. House looks good though and we just love that staircase in the back yard.
Christmas Day was very nice. Jacklyn cooked a wonderful dinner (she learned on her own without me teaching her) and Jim & I drove up and got Mom. Met with Jack & Tam'ra while we were there, and then brought Mom back to Stone Mountain for dinner. Also Skyped with Josh in the afternoon so Mom got to see Ellie, which I was very glad about. Mom at 94 is very frail and cannot walk very well. She complains about still being alive and wishing life would be over already - she is ready to go meet Dad already. Will be going to have lunch with Jack & Tam'ra and Mom on Friday afternoon, and then see Janice on Saturday.
My Dad is back home after spending a couple of weeks in therapy. He cannot walk very well and needs to use his walker now instead of just the cane. He is not allowed to drive yet but insists on having his tag put on his car for when he can drive again. It is snowing up there right now so he is just sitting tight and mostly staying in his chair and watching TV. Mike & Diane are getting him a chair for the tub so he can climb in to wash as he is not allowed to go into the basement anymore. I guess Diane will have to go by to change the sheets on his bed and do his laundry.
Trying to decide which day to head out of here. Was thinking of Monday, which is New Year's Eve, but will have to think about it as it is a holiday. Josh & Karen spent Christmas week in Phoenix visiting Steve, and will be back at home on December 31. Need to look at the itinerary since I would like to spend some good quality time in Houston and Florida.
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