Houston trip to see family

I haven’t posted in a while because Tammy and I traveled to Houston, Texas where I planned to get a job in IT as an SAP ABAP Developer. We thought that I could work for a few years in IT and save up money, and then get back on the road to seek new adventures. Houston was chosen because that is where my children and grandchildren live and I have business contacts there. Below are pictures of the RV park near Houston

Lone Star Lakes RV Park 004 Lone Star Lakes RV Park 005

Unfortunately I was unable to land a job mainly due to my lack of recent IT experience. Many companies were interested based on my experience but none were willing to take a chance on me.

Me, Tammy, daughter Michelle, and grandson Jackson

Me, Tammy, daughter Michelle, and grandson Jackson

Me with granddaughter Lily

Me with granddaughter Lily

Me with grandson Odin

Me with grandson Odin

We didn’t want to stay in Houston unless we had a high paying job so we contacted our previous summer employer at Silver Lake and were told that all of the positions had been filled. So it was time to search the internet to see if there were any openings as Camp Hosts. By March almost all of the good summer jobs are filled and it was slim pickings, but then it happened. I spotted a job on the CLM Services website for two fulltime seasonal camp hosts in Big Bear, California! The pay will be much higher than last year and so we think that we can continue to fulltime RV indefinitely barring any major calamity.

9 of my 10 grandchildren in Texas

9 of my 10 grandchildren in Texas

Megan, Ty, Lauren

Megan, Ty, Lauren

Lily, Abby, Sammy, and Blake

Lily, Abby, Sammy, and Blake

So the preparations were made for a long road trip and we sure were ready after many rainy days in an RV in Houston.

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AMAZON Camperforce

I am writing this from Fernley, Nevada, home to one of 58 Amazon Fulfillment Centers in the US and 100 worldwide. A few of them hire work campers like me to help out during the busy Christmas season. They pay for our RV site nearby and pay a decent hourly salary. There is a lot of overtime also and I plan to work as many hours as they let me.

I am a stower which means that I grab a cart loaded with hundreds of items and try to find room in the bins to stow it. The surprising thing is that we can place the items anywhere we want with the exception of books, DVDs, and CDs which have separate areas. So there is stuff everywhere mixed together but the computer knows where everything is so that the “pickers” can find it and send it to your door.

It is tiring work because I am on my feet for 10-11 hours 5 days a week. The saving grace is that the season only lasts nine weeks and I already have survived three of them. I am really getting in shape with walking 5-6 miles a day and all of the heavy lifting. After “Black Friday” when stuff starts flying off of the shelves I might be shifted to an outbound job.

Some campers have already left due to the hard work but most stick it out because they need the money.The management treats the campers very well and appreciates the hard work that we put in. I had to get used to punching a time clock and eating out of a lunch box. But the job is basically what I expected of a warehouse job.

I have met many great work campers, many of which are fulltime RVers like us who head to Arizona in the winter months. They love the lifestyle like Tammy and I do. It is a terrific life and you don’t need much money at all to get by.

It is great to have Tammy to come home to at the end of a hard day.

NOTE: This is Amazon’s last year in Fernley as the warehouse is moving to Reno. It is not known whether that location will utilize campers in the future and the next nearest facility that does is in Tennessee. So I might have to find employment elsewhere next fall.

Well, that’s it for the updates………Everyone take care and God Bless……………….

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Virginia City, Nevada

After a very busy summer at Silver Lake it was rather eerie to see the place so empty the last couple of days. We had some cleanup work to do to prepare for the opening next April, the owners invited us back next year and we gladly accepted. The deer are very numerous and they were getting braver and braver and would even walk through the RV park where some campers would hand feed them.

Here are a couple of photos of the deer. Can you count them? I see 12 of them.

Deer, deer everywhere

Deer, deer everywhere

Virginia City, Nevada 002This doe decided to pose for the camera for a pretty picture.

One of my first days off we visited world famous Virginia City, Nevada, made famous for the rich Silver mines and the TV series Bonanza.

The other famous old mining town nearby, Bodie, is a much different experience because Bodie is a true ghost town with no residents, whereas Virginia City has been turned into a true tourist place, complete with saloons, hotels, mine tours and museums.

Virginia City

Virginia City

Tammy outside the Bucket of Blood saloon, yeah it was a very dangerous town in its day.

Virginia City, Nevada 016

Posing after touring the old silver mine

Posing after touring the old silver mine

Virginia City, Nevada 030Since I am tall I was required to wear a hard hat which I was thankful for since I hit my head on several timbers. The average miner was about 5′ 4″. This mine only yielded about $400 in silver whereas the neighboring mines yielded millions in silver and gold. Very risky.

Virginia City main street

Virginia City main street

Catholic church

Catholic church

Okay, next the Amazon stuff…………………………………..

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Placerville Apple Farm

A couple of weeks ago Tammy and I had the pleasure of seeing my daughter Megan, son-in-law Ty and their adorable son Caleb. We met up at an Apple Farm near Placerville. It had a craft fair, cafe, pumpkin patch, and a petting farm. We had a great time getting caught up on what everyone has been doing since we saw them last year.  They will be returning to Texas next spring. They are also expecting another addition to their family next spring.

Caleb

Caleb

Megan and Caleb

Megan and Caleb

Rich, Megan, Caleb, Ty and Charlie Brown

Rich, Megan, Caleb, Ty and Charlie Brown

We all had a wonderful time…………….next stop Fernley, Nevada and the Amazon experience………………………

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Yosemite trip

Whew! I finally was able to login to the WiFi here at Fernley RV Park and since I am way behind on my posting I will get everyone up to date today.

Before we left Silver Lake we had to make a trip to Fresno and it just so happens that Yosemite is right on the way so we made a quick drive through a tiny piece of the park just to get a feel for it. It was decided to make a longer trip to Yosemite next spring when the waterfalls are full and spectacular.

El Capitan

El Capitan

We parked right next to El Capitan which I believe is the largest piece of granite in the world. Many rock climbers have climbed up the face.

 

 

 

 

Yosemite valley

Yosemite valley

Here is a very hazy view of Yosemite Valley due to a forest fire that started right before we passed by. We learned later that a helicopter crashed soon after and the pilot lost his life.

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September fun

Tammy and I have been enjoying our days off here in Silver Lake, so busy that I haven’t posted anything in over a month. We have been boating on Silver Lake, hiking to Parker Lake, and camping at Tuff campground on Rock creek.

Here are some photos of the fun……………..

BOATING

Tammy and Hudson

Tammy and Hudson

Jason, Heather, and Hudson

Jason, Heather, and Hudson

Camping

Tammy at Tuff campground

Tammy at Tuff campground

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown

HIKING

Parker Lake

Parker Lake

Rich at Parker Lake

Rich at Parker Lake

As you can see from the following picture it is starting to get chilly here in the High Sierras as we prepare to leave and head to Nevada for two months of work. It will be cold there but the money is good. Then it’s time to head south for the remainder of the winter to keep warm and enjoy the desert trails and sunsets.

001

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Agnew Lake hike

Tammy mentioned that she was up for a longer hike than we have done so far this summer and that it might be a good time to try Agnew lake. I of course was delighted and was raring to go.

One advantage of the hike is that the trailhead is right next to our RV park and passes behind it so we headed up the trail. The lake is 2.2 miles away making it a 4 1/2 mile roundtrip hike, and the trail climbs 1300′ in elevation on a very rocky slope. There is very little shade but the views are outstanding.

Silver Lake

Silver Lake

As you can see from the above photo fall is upon us and the June Lake loop is one of the best places in the country to see fall colors.

Silver Lake

Silver Lake

Here is a pic of a small track that starts at a power plant along the main road and is used to ferry supplies to the dam at Agnew lake. The track is very steep and old but is reported to still be in use or will be soon. We have seen helicopters ferry men and supplies this year but that must be very expensive.

Agnew Lake hike 010

Agnew Lake itself is not much to look at and it is actually a reservoir with a man-made dam. The next lake up the trail is Gem lake which we will try next time when Tammy is ready for it.

Agnew Lake dam

Agnew Lake dam

Hole in tree

Hole in tree

Well, see you on the next Rich adventure…………………………..

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