Saturday, November 28, 2009

MANDATORY

We expected a few days off before the CHRISTmas rush season got into full swing at Amazon.com, but it wasn't to be. They called today starting mandatory overtime and eleven hour days, also adding an extra day to our week ! Internet sales must be astronomical ! Our Turkey dinner didn't even have time to hit bottom befor...e we are off and running on the CHRISTmas rush season ! He, he, and, we still have CYBER MONDAY to go yet !! Here is a quick roll by to give an idea of the size of Amazon's Coffeyville Fulfillment Center. Remember, we are only seeing a small part of two sides of the place, and trucks are being loaded on every side.
videoFriends Jeff and Glenda arrived in their Casita yesterday afternoon and we sat around Jeff's wonderful campfire late last night shooting the bull and reliving great times togather. The Barred Owls and the Coyotes were responding to my calls and the visit was great, we stayed late around the campfire.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

HITCHED

One thing that seems to always catch our eye when traveling through our wonderful land, is the many and varied hitching post and Carriage step styles. These durable posts and steps were often an eye catching item since they were often in the front of business and homes. Here are a few from the Coffeyville / Independence area:
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This simple pipe hitching post served as the only marker of the Dalton's graves for fifteen years, until one of the brothers served his time and returned to place the monument seen here slightly in front of the pipe.
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Carved from stone, this unique post has held up well. Click the photo for a larger view. The nearby sign has a great story about the post.
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This more traditional appearing hitching post seems timeless and has no doubt been "re-set" in it's origonal stone works because of it's proximity to automobile traffic.
These intresting and sometimes ancient hitching posts and carriage steps continue to fascinate us and the occasional photo will likely continue to pop up here, as they were a important part of the development of America as we know it today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

TUBS

We have a habit of looking over a town's surface streets as we tary there for awhile, looking for former main arteries that have since dried up as State Highway departments improve traffic flow patterns. Those traffic flow changes leave dried up business and their buildings as well as other cool "time capsule" things associated with that time frame.
Hot Springs Arkansas has it's Bath House row, and , Independence Kansas, has it's Bath Tub row. So, whadd'ya think, was there a plumbing related business nearby ? Here's a look:


This bathtub row has made some pretty cool elevated garden beds.

Monday, November 23, 2009

CHOICES

When we arrived at Coffeyville to work at Amazon, we had a choice of several places to park our Oliver Travel trailer. Some of those choices were, Heritage Rv park, Walter Johnson Rv park, Riverside Rv park and Elk City Lake State Park. The Lake being the furtherest, with a commute of about 20 minutes.
Being Mountain folks made the choice easy for us. We chose the Lake !
Many of the "Old Timers" at Amazon prefer Walter Johnson, a closer commute or have friends there and have prepared their RV's for Winter with bales of hay duct taped up in heavy plastic garbage bags. Click photo for larger view.
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Wonder if we will be wishing for this winterizing technique before this workamper stint is over ? Click the photo below to view a short video of Walter Johnson Memorial RV Park operated by the city of Coffeyville Kansas.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

DALTONS

Saturday was a day off, so we went Geocaching. Here is a look at one cache we went to:
I have looked forward to going to and researching this one ! The Dalton Family was a family divided. Law enforcement and Outlaw elements. Makes you wonder how they handled looking across the table at each other on Thanksgiving !
Given the date of law man Frank Dalton's death, near Fort Smith Arkansas, do you suppose that he worked for the famious Judge Issac Parker ? If so, how did Parker handle the fact that Frank's brothers were such notorious outlaws ?




Then, there are the pennies that have been left on the monument of Law Man Frank Dalton's grave, . . . .. What's up with that ? Any ideas ? Please comment with the link at the bottom.

MISCH

While geocaching in Coffeyville Kansas at a cache named PO'S TREE, a sharp, shiney, tricked out Jeep Rubicon pulled up to say Hi. The driver was a long time neighbor of Po and gave us some cool background about him. Then, as Jeepers tend to do, the conversation turned to Jeeps.
I had asked about a cool overhead shelf in his Jeep, located just above the sun visors. The shelf had caught my eye because our Jeep's dash is always covered with things like GPS, Camera, binoculars, ball caps, and just on and on. That very cool shelf just seemed to be the perfect solution ! Here is a look:


Well, to make a long story short, it turns out that Doug Misch makes those cool shelves and other sweet Jeep storage and convenience items. Before long we were talkin' Jeeps at Doug's office a short distance away, and Betty and I were looking at some of the slickest Jeep solutions ever ! Here is a look at Doug Misch in his office, after hours, taking care of business for his newest satisfied customers, that he met at a geocache.

There was so much cool and practical stuff at Doug's place, that we left with more than the shelf, or those sweet storage bags for the Jeep's headrest, we had found a friend. Thank's Doug, for your attention to our needs.
Should you have a intrest in 4X4 innovations, Misch 4X4 products may be viewed at: www.misch4x4.com If you want to call him instead, he is at: 620-251-9100 . Or mention it to me and I have a hand full of brochures that show many of his cool products.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

HOUSE

One of several prarie homes for the Ingalls family as they lived in America's Heartland.

Located near US Hwy 75 between Bartelsville, Ok and Independence, Ks. Easy to find, well marked and is a travel trailer friendly pull through loop back to the highway.

Betty, Poco and Dillon the retired drug dog.


Self service, open 24/7 and pet friendly. It is a cool place to visit and think about how it was for the Ingalls family.

The obligatory disclaimer sign, with the rest of the story:

Friday, November 20, 2009

NEEWOLLAH

An Independence Celebration:
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

30*

This morning at 0430hrs, the outside temperature was 30*. One of the first things we did at our lakeside campsite, upon arrival, was to build a freeze proof water hose connection to our Oliver. We knew that we would be here for about six weeks, putting us into much colder weather that would freeze the water hose that runs to the trailer. Here is a look at the hookup:
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We purchased duct tape, 4' sticks of 1" inside diameter foam insulation and a heat tape to go inside next to the water hose. The heat tape stays plugged in all of the time and comes on at 38*, to keep the hose from freezing up. Since the water stays on all of the time at the freeze proof faucet, it defeats the freeze proof feature, so we wrapped it along with the hose in adhesive foil backed foam tape. The next step, should this prove not to be sufficient, will be to place a large cheap plastic trash can over the faucet and place tent stakes through the trash can lip to keep the wind from blowing it away. This will provide rain protection, dead air insulation and give a place to coil up our extra hose while keeping it hooked up for ready use.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

COMMO

No, NOT cammo, but COMMO, as in communications ! As we wander about our wonderful Nation, enjoying and marveling over all of the cool and sometimes not so cool stuff, we are challenged with the mechanics of keeping in touch.
In the previous blog entry I was raving about the great 3g connection here at the Lake in Kansas. Here is the reason why:

It is usually about proximity to the cellular tower, though not always. Line of sight can be almost as powerful of a factor as proximity. For example, in Colorado we found a place up on a mountain where we had "line of sight" to a cell tower over in New Mexico some eighteen miles away and had a good enough signal that we could upload lengthy videos. Locating that gap in the mountains was a wonderful thing and it allowed us to hook up our next job in North Dakota, while camped at 10k elevation !
The North Dakota job, Sugar Beet Harvest, had a cellular tower so close by that we could hear the North wind howl through it's metal beams at times.
This conectivity, or, commo has made it easier to pay bills, visit with friends, video confrence with the Grand kids and post here on the blog.
Our digital camera is another commo tool that we use to post pix to the blog and to various forums, ect.. The kin folks back in Arkansas like to see what we are up to these days, and a quick photo can show folks what it is that you are talking about on a forum. Our camera is a very early Kodak Easy Share C813 that is travel worn to the extent that the finish is worn thin in many places. He, he, while up in the Rocky Mountains earlier this year, it traveled to the continental divide about 12K elevation, in the bib of my overhauls, and that was when I first noticed that it had developed a hick up of sorts. It would turn on and run the lense out as usual, but the lense cover stuck in the closed position, keeping the LED display on the back blacked out. The cure seems to be a simple flick with a finger nail and it opens like it should. It is a 8 mega pixl resolution camera and when it finally succombs to the rigors of travel and my redneck neglect, we will likely move up to a 10mp or better unit. Hey, I mean, after all, we need to improve our commo ! Right ?
Here is a look at the camera's case, note that is quite travel frayed also:

Our easy share is a battery consuming machine, if, you use the regular AA batterys. But the Ultimate lithiums last quite a bit longer and we are trying a newer battery that we are just beginning to learn about, the Lithium Photo. Here is a look at both:


Yeh, commo, ain't it cool ?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

CONNECTION

videoThe 3G connection here at the Lake is so good that I am watching an old classic movie "A BRIDGE TOO FAR", chatting with a old Navy buddy in Ohio on Yahoo messenger and posting to the blog as I upload a video to the blog !
Now, that's a smokin' hot connection ! The video will give you a look at the connection supporting four multimedia tasks at once !

Friday, November 13, 2009

BATTLE

Our Civil War not only divided our Nation, it divided familys. And, our American Natives were no exception. The Osage Nation in Kansas was also divided on the issues. A battle between Union supporting Osage and Confederate Calvary Officers occoured South East of Independence Kansas. This monument marks the event.

Here is the complete text from the monument:
In May, 1863, a mounted party of about twenty Confederates,
nearly all commissioned officers, set out from
Missouri to recruit troops in the West. Several miles
east of here they were challenged by loyal Osage
Indians. In a running fight two Confederates were
killed and the others surrounded on a gravel bar
in the Verdigris river about three miles north of
this marker. Ignoring a flag of surrender, the Osages
scalped and cut the heads off all but two of the party.
These, wounded, hid under the river bank and escaped.

After the war when settlers began staking claims on
the Osage reservation, Congress authorized removal of
the tribe to present Oklahoma. In 1807 a treaty was
signed in a grove on Drum creek, three miles southeast.
Ironically, the cheap lands to which the Osages were
removed became a great oil field and for a time they
were the wealthiest people per capita in the world.

The monument just piqued our imagination and prompted further digging into the incident, we were curious about the two survivors and how they made it, being wounded and all. It turns out that they walked eighty miles to safety and one of them died as a result of his wounds. It took months for the remaining Calvary Officer to recover enough to get back to his unit for duty and report the out come of their mission. As they crossed the river one time they lost a pair of shoes and during the eighty mile walk through hostile territory they took turns wearing the shoes that remained and the other wraping their feet with clothing articles.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CORVAIR

Independence, Kansas:
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Monday, November 9, 2009

SHOWER

A quick video look at Elk City Lake State Park's new Shower and Laundry room. It is one of the nicest we have seen in quite some time ! After ten hours at Amazon, it is a treat to take a long hot shower in this new, clean, well lit and heated facillity. Kudos to the State Kansas for having the needs of workampers in mind for this project ! Sombody had their "thinking cap on" while this one was in the planning stages, for sure.
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Sunday, November 8, 2009

CLOSET

We have been home for only seven days since May the fifth of this year, so, our "stuff" is beginning to accumilate to a critical state. We can carry it all by carefully packing. However when we stop for an extended stay, such as our current stay at Elk City Lake State Park, we need a place to put stuff. A place out of the way, to improve the quality of life in our small space.
We have used our sun room by sewing Susan for storing clear totes full of stuff. But, as you well know, digging through several totes while looking for a speciffic peice of clothing to meet a weather exposure need, can be frustrating and tedious.
Then one day up in North Dakota, while looking for some special clothing at Gander Mountain, we saw our first Hunter's Closet. We thought it over for a few days, weighing the pros and cons. Then we bought one. Here is a look:



Saturday, November 7, 2009

LAUNDROMAT

After getting our trailer hooked up, one of the first order of business items was a trip to town to do laundry. A staff member here at the lake, recommended the TIDY WHITIES LAUNDROMAT on West Main Street in Independence. Were we in for a supprise when we got there ! Clean, very clean ! And the most modern and efficient machines we could imagins. The old addage about the whites being whiter was absolutely true at the Tidy Whites Laundry. Here is a few pix:






The friendly and most helpful staff:
It was a new experience for us to load a special credit card to use in each of the machines. The Card could be purchased and loaded right on site. There were no machines marked out of order and every thing not only worked well, but the clothes came out clean, very clean.
It was a cool thing, such a high tech laundry in such a Historic old town. As we loaded our super clean laundry into our Jeep we noted this example of Independence's Old West History:

Friday, November 6, 2009

1.9Mb

One point nine megabytes per second ! With 3G signal showing five, yes that's right, I said five full bars of cellular service. Wow ! With 1.9 megabyte, up load speeds to the internet, we are gona' be spoiled when we leave the Elk City Lake State Park, located just outside of Independence Kansas. We arrived here late yesterday evening and spent the night down by the lake. It was windy and chilly with a stiff wind coming off of the water. This morning early we were at the Express Employment Professionals office in Independence. Signed the doccuments we had sent in to them last week, submitted a urine sample and were back in camp by 0930hrs. Express will reimburse our camping and other miscellaneous fees with our payday on the 25th of the month. Otherwise it would have cost us in total, $442.20 for a month. Now that includes a Kansas State Parks camping and vehicle pass that is good for a year. A Barred Owl is calling out side of the window across the meadow from our campsite, and we are beginning to settle in quite well as I return his call, prompting a territorial response from him.Here is a video look at our camp site and loop:
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

SUNBLOCKERS

We ran late lastnite, arriving in Council Bluffs Iowa around midnight. Though we had slept in on anchor day, we still covered 450 miles. The temperature this morning was 32* AT SUNRISE. HE, HE, IT AIN'T ENOUGH YET ! We should make Independence Ks today. Then, HELLO, AMAZON.COM ! Here is a quick video of our overnite stop at Camping World:
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ANCHORDAY


Today is up-anchor day ! It was a slow night on the piler and there was plenty of help, so, Betty and I turned in our personal protective equipment, and told every one good bye. It was the end of a grand adventure for us. We look forward to seeing all of our friends when we return next year.
We slept in a bit this morning, waiting for the overnight freeze to abate a little, then we started the final up anchor chores. Eight hundred miles to the South in Coffeeville Kansas a new adventure awaits us. That and warmer temperatures. We have absolutely and totally enjoyed our time and experience here, but, warmer temps will be pleasant.
We will run long today, stopping late tonite in warmer climes !
In the photo above, things may look a bit "helter-skelter", but in 45 minutes it will look like we were never here !
Next blog update either on the road, or at the lake in Independence Kansas.
Hey, Pete, note the MilSpec camelback hydration pack hanging on the wall of Ollie. I found it at a thrift store in Grand Forks North Dakota for eight dollars. It still had the quality assurance stickers on it and was like new ! It wil come in handy on our next Rocky Mountain Continental Divide adventure !