Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The Bowling Green Kentucky Railroad Museum has the neatest old mail cars on it’s lot.


It used to be quite a sight to see one of these fast mail carriers grab the mail bag from a station’s bracket and leave the arriving mail while on the fly.


Usually blowing and going at full speed, it was over in the blink of an eye. Yet this was such an important thing in the Ouachita mountains, that when we heard when the last train mail drop would be made, we drove to town to watch. As we sat in the parked Rambler automobile, just across the street for a better view, we could hear the train blowing for the crossing, just South of town. The engineer was still blowing for the crossing by the station when, as always, slam, bang, and it was over, it was a thing of the past. The Station master picked up the bag of incoming mail, kind of nervously looked around to see if any one besides him was there for the last mail delivery by train. Seeing us, he waved then went into the station.

We had sat there quietly, and witnessed the passing of an era.

Monday, December 27, 2010


One of life’s simple pleasures for us is to sleep in on a day off, while working here at Amazon, then go to the Huddle House for breakfast. With one week left on our assignment here, we are both beginning to feel the fatigue that many hours on our feet brings.

In this photo Betty studies the menu carefully, looking for that special item to reward her self with.


We are counting the days until it’s over. We will work an extra half day on Tuesday, three full days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, then Saturday will be our last day.

We will likely rest up a bit on Sunday then leave for Arkansas on Monday.

Post script:

Windows live writer is such a cool thing ! It lets us capture these special moments while they are fresh on our mind and save them until we have time to upload them to the blog.

Note the glare off of the several inches of snow that is coming through the windows, and the fatigue on Betty’s face. This was our last days off before the completion of our job at Amazon.

As we post this entry, we are getting ready to move on over to Vandervoort .

Saturday, December 25, 2010


After completing our Amazon job in Campbellsville Kentucky, we rounded up our plunder for a day or so, then started towards Arkansas. Though we had it in mind to make it a quick trip, somehow that just didn't happen for us. We have laid up in Norman for a couple of days to recouperate from the rigors of the Amazon CHRISTmas rush season. Merry CHRISTmas !

It is great being in a room packed full of loved ones where the excited buzz of conversation is accented by the occasional shrieks of hyper active children. The re telling of shared good times and the planning of future family adventures absolutely saturates the atmosphere !

Betty and I hope that your CHRISTmas is giving you as much pleasure as ours is !


Our tiny little tree, sits on the desk in the office slide out.


Early this evening we will have a casual family get together at a local family style restaurant that has a wonder full buffet.  The main idea is to relish in each other’s company without the worry of food preparation or any kind of dress code. Tables will be slid together in the banquette hall and we will be a little loud. Yeh, it will be extra cool for us since we have been out on the road for many months.

I expect that I will be called out on some of my controversial and possibly questionable moves and atrocious behavior during last evening’s Mexican Train domino match, the one that I won. Oh well, I guess that it is time for me to take my lumps ! You may have heard the “big Boy’s” talking about what goes around comes around ? Well, I was certainly “dishin’ it out” last night, so, I expect that it will come home to roost for me tonight. He, he, what can I say, after all, I earned it didn’t I ?


In honor of the occasion, I will be wearing my prized   Indianapolis Motor Speedway, official logo, less than half price, extra discounted, XXL size, tee shirt for the occasion. See the above photo.

It had the coolest hologram tag on it:


He, he, it don’t take much to entertain a red neck does it ? Well,the dinner is over now. And as expected the domino game came up a number of times. All in good natured family “joshing”.

It was a good time with great folks ! Here are some photos to show the setting and the gathering:


Thursday, December 23, 2010


Being a tow dolly newbie, I had asked a lot of questions, around the campfire, of tow dolly owners. One thing that I wondered about was, on the first tow, on the way home from the factory, would the fully inflated tires cause the dolly to bounce or jitterbug. I had seen one being towed empty out on the interstate, with sand bags strapped down on each side. Campfire wisdom was that if it did, I could simply deflate the tires from 50 PSI to 20 Psi when jitterbugging happens while towing empty, sand bags wouldn’t be needed. The first tow proved that the dolly just didn’t bounce or jitter at any speed when empty. That is good news, for when our completion date is reached reached, we will immediately leave out to be home for the holidays, towing the  empty dolly behind the fifth wheel.

The campground owner told us that we could park the dolly in front of a rental cabin that is usually unused this time of the year, giving us more room on our campsite. Here is a look:


We are counting the days until we head home for CHRISTmas.

Update: Our stint at Amazon has been completed and after a day of rounding up our stuff and getting ready, we departed the Indian Ridge Campground .

We are now in Norman Arkansas for a couple of days catching up on visiting with home folks.

We pulled the tow dolly with fully inflated tires and no extra weight on the dolly for about six hundred miles. This photo was taken after overnighting at Gander Mountain in Jackson Tennessee as we prepared to get underway.



  Here,  we are beside the kin folk’s driveway with the tow dolly still attached.


So, over the six hundred miles, how did the dolly tow ? Good. But there were times when interstate 40 was just plain old rough, that it did jitterbug, but not real badly. I would expect that with the small Nissan 4x4 on the dolly, it will be just fine.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We worked the inbound receive dock’s RAMBO,  for manager Emerson. Talk about a real motivator ! Emerson was a pleasure to work for. The last night there, someone put a bug in his ear  that it was my birthday, and he sang Happy Birthday to me in Portuguese at our stand up meeting after lunch.


There was lots of motivation in the form of incentives, that I know always meant extra work for Emerson and his staffers.

He was always on top of the flow of the product and moved along the lines handing out the gold coins for performance. Our last night there Betty had several that she used in the vending machines.

I lost track of how many hot spots we reached our goal on, and were in a drawing for discount cards, gift certificates and so forth. One night Betty and I each received a $25 dollar Kroger gift card. There were many times when we would go out to eat on our day off and we would have a $5. discount certificate to pay on our meals, that we had received at work.

So, how was our over all experience here at Amazon’s Campbellsville Kentucky fulfillment center ? It has been great ! It is like, Toto, we ain’t in Kansas any more !

During our exit interview, various managers all the way up to the Plant manager, sang our praises for our part in breaking many records for performance. Ashley remembered that it was my birthday, which was quite a feat because there are over four hundred workampers here. Gifts were passed out, then the next night we turned in our ID cards and the peak season was over for us. Even the security officers were shaking the hands of the departing workampers and welcoming us back for next year.

We made so many good friends while here, that saying good by was hard on us. As focused on numbers as Amazon is, I hope they realize what a valuable asset their wonder full team members are. Each day we were at Amazon, it was readily apparent that it was the PEOPLE that made the difference in our time there.

Next year they hope to be able to employ one thousand workampers !

Thursday, December 16, 2010


While here in Campbellsville Kentucky we have both been going to a Barber Shop called DISCO’S CHOP SHOP. Located in the front end of the Domino’s Pizza building, the chop shop has the coolest, wildest, décor, with an automotive theme !

Here is a look:


The address and telephone number.


Betty’s chop is up next. That’s Disco himself getting ready to do the honor’s.


Hub caps, license plates and auto emblems are everywhere. 


VW hub cap and tire coffee table.


Van seats for customer waiting or Bull sessions.


A good place to park.


Cool stickers everywhere.


Tire and wheel clock. It even has a disc brake rotor behind it !


Large screen TV on concrete blocks. Please note that the television is set on the History channel.


Disco’s neat auto shop style uniform shirt.


License plate.


The office wall.


If you are in C’ville, be sure to stop in and say hello. Don’t be caught by surprise, if the well read Disco is heavily involved in a serious discussion, involving world affairs, or if the flow of conversation is intriguing enough to drag you deeply into it  ! Or he may researching some topic on the internet, that is being discussed animatedly among the patrons !

The CHOP SHOP, a cool place to get a cut !

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


We woke up this morning to 13* with a wind chill factor of  minus 1* !


Everything had about five inches of snow on it.


It was our second day off,so we just flipped the switch on the dashboard and went 4x4 to the Huddle House for breakfast.


Some of the icicle’s reached all the way to the ground !


The cabin near our campsite where we park the tow dolly.


It was just too rough outside for the volunteers !

Look how deep the snow is on the kettle !


Mail boxes covered in deep snow.


Dillon, taking care of business in the snow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


The forecast low for Tuesday of next week is eight degrees ! Shazam ! Now, throw in a little wind chill and that’s a challenge for RV’ers ! So, to prepare for that event we drained and rinsed the black tank and made sure that our sewer hose has no swags in it to hold freezing water and stop up. Then we topped off our fresh water tank so that if freezing happens in the county’s water system somewhere, we will still have  water. Our generator is in the truck bed and ready should power go off. We test ran it, topped off the fuel tank and made sure we had a couple of extra gallons of gasoline for it. We also added anti gelling additive to our diesel tanks, we have nearly 100 gallons of it onboard at this time. We still had the blue windshield washer stuff in the reservoir, it was beginning to freeze up, so we ran it out and replaced it with the orange “no freeze” stuff.

Bought a few groceries after breakfast at the Huddle House, it’s our day off, and I guess we are ready to “hunker down” and “weather out” this Winter storm that’s coming in.

I expect that this very hard cold front that is to arrive on Tuesday, will provide a “gut check” for RV’ers that have been struggling through the last cold spell. Some folks here decided that it was just for a few weeks and hardly worth serious Winterizing. The lesser cold spell, just past, spawned stories of frozen faucets and toilets with neighbors having to get water from lesser frozen or un frozen friends. Soooo, it may well be gut check time next Tuesday.

We have been working a little overtime so far and are scheduled to do the same next week which will likely be our last full week of work at Amazon. We may have a day or two to work in the last week before being released to head South down I-55 towards Nashville Tennessee and on to Arkansas.

Update: We heard the official release date at work last night, December 18th. Oh Yeah ! It won’t be long now. Also the forecast has been updated to 12* but the radio station in Columbia is saying the wind chill will be at –1* !!

It will be good to visit with loved ones over the holiday’s !

Thursday, December 9, 2010


This morning when we woke up, the outside thermometer and the weather channel, both said that it was 18* here ! Hello Winter in Campbellsville Kentucky ! Last cold snap had the temps down in the low 20’s, so we put a light bulb in the plastic barrel that we covered the water hydrant with. It made a difference. When we came in from work I plugged in the truck’s engine  water jacket heater and noted the temp at the barrel. I had placed a pulp thermometer in the top vent hole and it read 40* ! Not bad when it is 18* outside with a bit of a wind chill factor. Here is a look at our salvaged from the roadside ditch barrel and set up.


This photo taken at the day’s high of 32*, the temp in the barrel is 70*.


The highway construction barrel had been flattened by a truck then left in the ditch when the construction company left. We straightened it out and put it to use. It is still a bit warped, but works for our use.


A power cord runs to it for the light bulb inside and then one cord runs to the trucks engine heater.


Both the bathroom’s and the kitchen’s 42 gallon gray water tank’s  valve’s stay open in very cold weather. Yep, both tanks will hold a total of 84 gallons of grey water.

Our black water tank is 46 gallons and the valve for it and the bathroom tank are up in the heated belly of the fifth wheel. They operate smoothly in freezing weather because they can’t freeze unless the furnace is off.


You may remember that one of the first setup chores that we did was to fill and hook up our 100 lb. propane tank. This morning’s check of it’s level showed the liquid level to be about half full. Here’s hoping it makes it till’ we  leave for home !

Monday, December 6, 2010


Day off today, and we slept in, then, we went to Betty’s OK Country Cooking Café for breakfast. A couple of western omelet’s later, mine with biscuit’s and gravy on the side, then we were ready to hit the road for Somerset Kentucky and the Gator Made Factory. Here is the online link: GATOR MADE INC link

Back in October we had went to the factory and ordered a tow dolly to be made to our specifications, all part of a diabolical redneck plan, you see  .  .  .  .  The dolly was now ready for us to pick up.

One of the first things that we had done last April after getting our Coleman fifth wheel home for the first time, was to have our friend who has a fabrication shop, install a hitch on the back of it. The receiver has lots of gussets and bracing that will allow us to pull our tow dolly behind the fifth wheel.

As with any double pull, length is an issue. This is no different. In most of the state’s that we travel, the maximum length is 70 or 75 feet. In those that are less, Betty will pull the tow dolly behind our Nissan 4X4. We will communicate with each other by mobile business band radios.

It has been snowing here for a couple of days now, with no accumulation, because of warm ground temperatures. Last night the low was 19*, so it started to stick some today.

On the way back home we stopped to check lug nut tightness, ect., here is what it looked like: 


Now, what about them 3 foot long icicles !


Who would have thought that a tow dolly could have so much paperwork associated with it !

We are looking forward to being able to drive all of those 4x4 trails up to the old mines and ghost towns in Colorado again !

Then there is that other thing, gas mileage. The Nissan gets 24 MPG and the weekly fuel savings will soon pay out the cost of the tow dolly.

Because of the steep grades we encounter out in the Rocky Mountains, we had disc surge brakes with ez lube hubs put on the dolly.

Towing double will be a bit of a hassle, but, the benefits, we think,  out weigh the negatives.

Besides, Betty needs more room to haul “necessary stuff” in the bed of the Nissan ! And, maybe there will be room for a tool box for me ! He, he, yeh, I know, always a scheme n’ ain’t I !

Friday, December 3, 2010


The Happy Days Soda Fountain and Grill, located in downtown Campbellsville Kentucky is not only a cool place, it is also a great place to eat.  With a couple of old juke boxes, no, not the bubbling Wurlitzer, but instead, the rarer Crosley, the place just reeks of the 50 and 60’s era ! The menu is a blast out of the past ! Here is a look.


Look at the smile of anticipation on Betty’s face as she reads the menu.


If these well worn bricks could only talk !


I ordered the Cheezy Fonz Burger, below.


Betty’s Burger with onion rings.


Cool tee shirts, he, he, you know we had to have em’.


Side door mural, with web address.


Here is a clickable link to their web site:

Link to Happy Days On Line