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10/11/14 thru 10/28/14 - From Michigan to Kentucky with stops in Indiana and Illinois

We arrived at Van Buren State Park in South Haven, Michigan on Friday, October 10th after a short drive from Dyer, Indiana. Van Buren State Park is on the shores of Lake Michigan and the campground is just a short walk to the beach.  There are a little over 200 campsites but except for Columbus Day weekend we were pretty much alone.  At one point there were only 4 other campers in the park - it was wonderful!  The colors were beautiful and the weather was cool but we had more sunny days than rainy ones so it was a good place to be while waiting for the phone call from Pete's RV letting us know that our parts were in and we could bring the rig in for repair.

This is the Life!!
It's a great campground but there are no sites with water or sewer.  When you enter the park you fill up your tanks and when you leave you dump them.  We stayed here 11 nights and the first few days we took navy showers every other day but then we just started using the shower house.  We were there 11 days and just squeaked by with our fresh water. 

We walked almost every day 2-3 miles trying to get in shape for our Amazon job.   We also took the bikes out, the Kal-Haven trail runs right thru the park. 

One project that needed to be done in our rig was adding some insulation inside the cabinets.  We are living in a tin box and it can be cold so anything we can do helps.  Reflectix is a quilted foil which Marty added to each cabinet located on an outside wall.  It may (probably will) get cold in Kentucky in December so we're hoping this will help.

We also had time to take the truck in for a tire rotation and best of all it was FREE!  Belle Tires is where we went and if you ever need a tire rotations while in Michigan, check them out.

We called our friends at Pete's on Monday, 10/20 to check on the parts and everything had come in except for a part for the leveling jack.  We brought the rig back to Indiana on Tuesday hoping that the last part would be there - it wasn't.  After many phone calls between Pete's and Keystone and between me and Keystone, Keystone admitted they had the part but the earliest they could ship it was Thursday so the rig wouldn't be ready for us until Friday.  We weren't thrilled but there was nothing we could do so we packed our bags and headed west to Crystal Lake where we spent two nights with my sister, Judy.  Go Gators! (that's my nephew, Zach's, soccer team and they are going to state sectionals on Wednesday, 10/29 and then hopefully continue on to the finals)

Taking Maddie and her cousin Buddy for a walk in Crystal Lake.

I have gone back to an old hobby, crocheting and have learned how to crochet rugs.  I've never been good at following patterns so sometimes they are shaped kind of strange but whoever I give them to should remember they are made with love :).  My great-niece, Abby got my latest creation and it actually doesn't look too bad and if you put something on top of it, it will even lay flat.
It fits perfectly with all her doll furniture and it's pink & purple, what's not to like?


Thursday night (10/23) was spent at La Quinta in Merrillville, IN so that we could pick up the rig as soon as it was ready on Friday and head south to Kentucky.   We did, finally, hit the road around 1:00 on Friday and made it as far south as Scottsburg, IN before pulling into a Walmart for the night.  On Saturday we were up nice and early and finished our drive to Campbellsville, KY a little after noon.

Amazon has made arrangements with five campsites in the area to accommodate their Camperforce.  We chose to stay at the Green River Stables and yes it really does have stables.  It also has karaoke every Saturday night but that had nothing to do with our decision (well maybe a little). There are 82 sites so it's not too large and everyone we've met has been very welcoming.  The campground is nice and we have full hook-ups (electric, water and sewer - YAY!).   After taking showers in the bath house at Van Buren and taking Navy showers before that at Chain of Lakes it is pure luxury to stand under the shower for as long as we want.  We back up to the State Park and there are easily accessible trails from our park - you just have to remember that the trails are shared by the horses and watch where you walk!

When we bought our rig it came with two recliners.  We took one out and replaced it with a file cabinet which we have had issues with ever since.  The drawers sometime open while we're traveling and Marty has made many repairs and adjustments to keep it working for us but after the drive to Kentucky it finally bit the dust.   Luckily, there is an antique mart/flea market in Campbellsville and we found a cabinet which should work out just right.  It is solid wood but had been painted an ugly brown so we went over to Lowe's for some paint and glaze and now we have a beautiful new cabinet and, best of all, some color in our home - everything else is boring beige.  We bought the cabinet Sunday morning and by Monday afternoon it was painted and sitting in it's new home. 
Ugly Brown
Beyond Repair


With a little paint and glaze we now have a new cabinet

We started at Amazon on Tuesday, 10/28, with an eight hour orientation and safety training.  We will be working nights (5:30 P.M. until 4:00 A.M.) and our shift is what they call a donut shift, we work Sunday and Monday and Thursday and Friday.  Once mandatory overtime starts in mid-November another day will be added, I think it will be Wednesdays.

Camperforce Group #10 after finishing our orientation/safety training
There are four different departments; Receiving, Picking, Stowing, and Shipping.  We will be in Toys which is part of the shipping department so we'll learn early what the most popular toys are this year.  We start training in our specific job tomorrow so I don't really know much about what we'll be doing except that we are in one spot for the whole shift.  We were hoping to be working in stowing which is exactly what it sounds like, you take packages from the receiving department and then find a bin, any bin, and stow the item after scanning both the item and the bin.  You walk 5-7 miles every shift and it's an excellent way to get in shape and lose a few pounds.

The best department for getting in shape is Picking.  In picking you pick up an order and then track down the items throughout the plant with your scanner from wherever the stowers placed them.   In that job you can walk 12-15 miles per day!! 

One good thing about being in Toys and working nights is that our next door neighbors and their next door neighbors are all in the same department and working nights.  We'll learn from them and we'll all be quiet (or loud) at the same time.

Since we're in training this week and next, we are only working 5 hours a day (5:30PM to 10:30 PM).  We will start working 4 10 hour days on Sunday, 11/9/14 and probably start the mandatory 5 10 hour days the following week.  It should be interesting, especially the working nights part.  I'm looking forward to working but I'm also glad that we'll be done on 12/23 and then heading southwest to Mesa for a less stressful job and warmer weather.