Switching Focus

I end up spending six nights dry camping in Misty’s driveway in Lubbock Texas. We work on our computers, watch Netflix, and I finally visit a Sprouts store for the first time (it’s a grocery chain focused on healthier foods, several friends of mine have recommended it).

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Misty’s cat (Thomas) loving on my sandles

I don’t have a lot of photos, we don’t get out and do much. Mostly this visit is about catching up. It’s not exciting material to blog about, but a pretty great perk to being an RVer. Visiting friends and family is easier when you’re bringing your own house with you, there’s less worry about stepping on toes when everyone still has their own space.

On the 2nd, it’s time to make the final run to Boyd. It’s another sunny, warm day in Texas. It being a Sunday, traffic is light and the drive is a breeze. Bertha carries me and Cas up and down rolling hills through numerous small towns east of Lubbock. 200 miles fly by quickly, probably due in part to a head cold that leaves me feeling a bit disconnected. One thing I really like about Texas, even the back roads have these little picnic areas which are great places to stop with an RV to take a break.

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I arrive at Lake Eddleman RV Park in Graham just as the sun is going down. This park is run by the city. For $12 a night, you get electric (50 amp available) and water hookup right on the lake, and there’s a dump station there as well as trash cans, a great deal. I slide into site #2 and catch this photo, it’ll likely be the last photo I get of the Casita in a scenic place until the end of December, so enjoy it.

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The farther east I go, the more humid it gets. I sleep a whopping 11 hours (being sick will do that – I’m feeling much better now!) and by the time I awake it’s already getting hot inside Cas. It’s only about an hour and a half to Boyd from Graham, and I arrive around noon.

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Lake Eddleman park the next morning

For newer readers, Boyd RV Park is where I stayed last year while working at Amazon, and that’s where I’m going to be this year too.

Since I hit the road four years ago, I’ve been doing the CamperForce program at Amazon during their busy holiday season which starts sometime in September and goes up to December 23rd. The job is manual labor in a warehouse for 40 hours a week (plus mandatory overtime once peak hits), and in exchange RVers get a full hookup campsite free of charge plus a decent hourly wage for all hours work.

First evening back at Boyd

First evening back at Boyd

I’ll say it isn’t exactly fun, but it’s one of the best paying work-camping jobs out there. This year I made enough money from my writing to avoid working a summer job (which I’ve had to do every year prior to this one) but I’m still not at the point where I can afford to give up Amazon, so after a glorious nine months of boondocking around the western United States, it’s back to work for the next 11 weeks to make up the difference.

This time of year, travelogue posts become less frequent and how-to posts become more common as working 40+ hours a week at a physically demanding job hinders my ability to get out and see things. If there’s some aspect of RVing or deliberate living you’d like to know more about, let me know in the comments below (do check the Useful Stuff page first, that’s where I link my helpful articles) and I’ll see what I can do over the next couple months to answer your questions while I’m grounded here in Boyd. Have a good week everyone!

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This year I’m in site #3

Related Links:

About Amazon’s CamperForce – An in-depth overview of the program, links to everything I’ve ever written about working at Amazon.

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Thank you for doing your usual Amazon shopping using my affiliate link.

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39 Responses to Switching Focus

  1. Terry Brawley October 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    Great to see you on the road and flourishing again. I’m in my Casita in N. Florida beginning preps for Hurricane Mathew, expected Friday. KHopefully the last storm of the season!
    Terry

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:10 am #

      Stay safe Terry, several of my friends along the coast have had to evacuate for Matthew.

  2. Ken Howitt October 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    Welcome back to Texas!

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:10 am #

      Thanks Ken!

  3. Ron October 4, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    Welcome back to Texas, hope you have a profitable Amazon season. Good to hear your truck is running smoothly again. We are heading back to Mission Texas ( our winter home) in about a week.

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:11 am #

      Have a good drive down Ron and thanks. It’s a little hot for me right now (especially coming from Colorado) but come December it’ll be a lot nicer. 😉

  4. pamelab October 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm #

    Hi, Becky –
    My daughter and her family live in Lubbock. It has certainly grown since I first visited in 1992, Nice for you and your friend that you could have some time to catch up.
    I remember reading your blog when you worked for Amazon in North or South Dakota. Ice and snow, big time.
    i spent one month in Michigan visiting good friends and am now on my way to visit family and friends in Virginia. After hearing about the hurricane, I decided to take my time getting to the coast of Virginia. I’ll wait to arrive after I feel it’s safe. It would be a good thing if the hurricane headed out into the Atlantic Ocean, rather than a landfall.
    Take care and thank you for your very nice blog. (So happy for you that Cas is in good shape.
    Pamelab in Virginia for now

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:13 am #

      Yeah Pamela Lubbock was bigger than I expected, a nice enough place though all told.

      Glad you had fun in Michigan and taking your time sounds like a good idea, I’ve had several friends who live along the coast have to evacuate for Matthew. I think we’re all hoping it goes back out to sea.

  5. Misty October 4, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    I was so glad to have you, Becky, and I’m so sorry I made you sick! 🙁 I hope you got well quickly!

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:15 am #

      It was similar to when you had it, I had one day where I needed Nyquil to sleep because of my nose and was tired for a couple days, but I’m over it now. It was worth it to visit you. 😀

  6. Upriverdavid October 4, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    Stepping on toes??..Looks as if Thomas liked your flip-flop toes……
    Have fun at Amazon!
    Upriverdavid

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:15 am #

      Cats dig my shoes, I don’t know what it is. Thanks David.

  7. Judy Blinkenberg October 5, 2016 at 3:26 am #

    We are headed back to Texas in Mid November through January 4th. I’ve been searching for RV parks with a nice rating near Allen, TX. I wish I could find a $15 rate park. Most all are $30 plus but we can get a monthly rate for December. If you or someone knows a park near Allen or Dallas, TX. For $20 a night let me know. This will be our first trip, and I hope we can find something. Our trailer has always been a hunting trailer. In fact my hubby is above Truckee, CA now and stuck in the snow. It will soon be a “honey” trailer! Enjoy your time there and don’t work too hard. Inwish you wonderful blessings during these holidays!

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:18 am #

      I haven’t researched parks in that area Judy so I don’t know. You can always try looking on http://www.campendium.com or or Allstays. Good luck!

      Thanks and I hope you have a good trip.

  8. MnDreamer October 5, 2016 at 4:47 am #

    Glad you made it to your work site safely. May the work at Amazon fly! You always make the best of every situation, and I know you will this time too! Take care!

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:20 am #

      Thanks Mn. It’s going to be hard going back to a full-time job after spending all of this year traveling but that’s okay. Doing Amazon pays for months of boondocking.

      • MnDreamer October 6, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

        Becky- Wondering if you would consider creating a post about the physical side of solo rv’ing — things like hitching and unhitching, using chocks and leveling, setting up and tearing down camp, dumping tanks, etc. It’s old hat for you now, probably, with all of your experience, and you are young and fit; I’m sure that helps. But…as a not-as-young-as-you woman, dreaming of a life as an rv’er and starting as a newbie, the way you once did, I’d be very interested in a post about your learning curve for these aspects of the lifestyle. What do you think? I realize your time will be limited as you are work camping, but sometime, when you have time…

        • Becky October 7, 2016 at 7:42 pm #

          I’ll see what I can do Mn!

  9. Rodolfo M Tenorio October 5, 2016 at 5:19 am #

    Thank You for sharing. Don’t work too hard. Yes, sprouts is a great inexpensive alternative to all those expensive fancy grocery stores.

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:20 am #

      You’re welcome Rodolfo.

  10. Rodolfo M Tenorio October 5, 2016 at 5:24 am #

    I should have mentioned b4 about Sprouts. They sell bulk Quinoa @2.79 per lb. What a deal on that wonderfully complete food. Cheers!

  11. Angela October 5, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    What are you doing right now for health insurance, due to all the recent changes in ACA and insurance companies dropping out?

  12. Rene Kipp October 5, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    I had to chuckle a bit when I read that you were in Graham as that’s where my cousin lives. I now know a place where we can stay when we visit him. As in years past, I’m hoping your Amazon work goes smoothly. Glad to see Bertha is in good shape too.

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:24 am #

      It’s a nice little park Rene, there’s a 14 day stay limit but that seems reasonable for the location. Thanks.

  13. Linda Sand October 5, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    Is the $15 rate for anyone or just for Camperforce?

    • Becky October 6, 2016 at 7:26 am #

      I’m not sure what you mean Linda? The city park in Graham was $12 a night for everyone, there is a 14 day stay limit though. My spot in Boyd costs much more than $15 a night but Amazon pays for it because I’m an employee.

  14. Lara / InspiredTrekker October 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    I love parks like that, simple and great rates.
    I have a couple of questions. First, your shoes look comfortable and I wonder what kind are they and can/do you hike in them?
    Next, not too long ago I think you mentioned flushing your tanks a certain way once in a while when you have a sewer hook up… I was wondering if you’d share what you do and how. I haven’t had full hook ups yet, just water and electric sometimes. I’ve used lemishine as I read a lot of pros to do so on occasion for the toliet. Anyhow I didn’t see that in your useful stuff list so maybe you’d like to share more.
    Hope you have fun at Amazon!
    Lara / InspiredTrekker recently posted..Rose Colored Glasses and My Expectations My Profile

    • Becky October 7, 2016 at 7:54 pm #

      Hello Lara,

      Those sandals are part of the Sketchers “outdoor lifestyle” series. They’re very comfortable and I can walk miles in them, but because they don’t strap to the foot (they’re a glorified flip-flop) they wouldn’t be good for hiking up or down hills or over obstacles as your feet can slide out of them.

      As for the black tank, when I have full hookups I dump it twice in a row. When it gets full I empty it, but then I flush it with water by holding the flush lever down on the toilet until the tank is completely full again with just water (takes a few minutes) and then open the valve and dump again. This gets any residue that may have been left behind from the first dump and keeps solids from building up in the tank. The problem with this method is holding the flush lever down on the toilet for that long allows the smell from the black tank to come up the pipe into the RV so it stinks a little for a while afterwards, but I never need to use any sort of chemical or additives with this method and the smell dissipates quickly enough if I open windows and turn the fan on.

      • Lara / InspiredTrekker October 9, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

        Thanks, Becky!
        I have done a similar thing by filling the toilet with water and then flushing a few times(essentially sending a lot of water at once to clear anything out), however, completely filling the tank with fresh water and emptying sounds good, too. I will keep this in mind for the future. I do usually put the eco friendly green stuff in the tank after the dump station and used lemishine when the toilet was sticking open some and it basically clears compounds built up from the water that can cause that. Worked great.
        🙂
        Lara / InspiredTrekker recently posted..Cloquet, MN: Free Concert, Cool Store, Nature, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Gas StationMy Profile

        • Becky October 9, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

          Never heard of Lemishine but if I ever have a problem with that I’ll look into it!

  15. Vanholio! October 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    Vanholio agrees that the best part of being a rubber tramp is being able to spend more time with more far-flung loved ones. It’s not as exciting for readers as entertaining them with exotic locations and experiences. But for a person’s actual, real life, nothing could be better.
    Vanholio! recently posted..On the Trail of Nomadic FanaticMy Profile

  16. Norm H. October 7, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    Glad to read you’ve safely and happily made it back to Amazon. How many people have the opportunity to work a “9-5” job (I know it’s really a bit more) for a couple months and then take the rest of the year to wander like John Muir or Henry David Thoreau? You are blessed and you pass that blessing along to all of us in these blogs. Thank you so much. (And, yes I know you do work hard at writing as well, but your “office” views are so often spectacular.). Have a great season at Amazon. We’ll enjoy this part of the journey, too. 😊

    • Becky October 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

      Yes Norm, I know I’m fortunate to live like this and that’s why I don’t complain about the 11 or so weeks I spend in “drudgery” at Amazon. When it gets boring or tedious I just tell myself it’s temporary. That helps so much, knowing I don’t have to do it all the time.

      • Marilyn in Dania Beach October 8, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

        Figure for every week at Amazon, 4.5 weeks free to do as you please. That is almost 1 Amazon day for 5 free days. Nice trade off.

        • Becky October 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

          Working 10-11 weeks at Amazon pays all my bills for maybe 3-4 months afterwards, barring things like the truck breakdown. Couples probably do better because they’re getting twice the pay but not quite twice the expenses since they go in together on gas and other shared expenses.

          I was thinking about it today and realized that with all the cumulative time I’ve put in at Amazon, I’ll pass the one year mark in employment near the end of this season, lol.

  17. Jodee Gravel October 8, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

    Love those just hanging out visits with friends – they’re so rejuvenating! Glad you’re safely tucked into Boyd. Can’t believe it’s already time for holiday work.
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..White Mountains, New HampshireMy Profile

    • Becky October 9, 2016 at 6:51 pm #

      Yeah the year passed so quickly Jodee. Probably because I didn’t work during the summer, haha.

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