Thursday, October 29, 2009

Neewollah Festival, Independence, Kansas

Hi all -- Dianne here.

We're publishing three posts at a time this week, so scroll down to see the other two, if you are interested.

Roger and I have decided to be tourists at least one day a week on our days off. Yesterday we took advantage of a beautiful (albeit windy) day to check out the food vendors at the Neewollah Festival in nearby Independence, Kansas.

Neewollah ("Halloween" spelled backwards) was started WAY BACK in 1919 as an effort to provide positive activities for kids of all ages in place of the typical Halloween pranks. Today it has grown to be one of the oldest and largest celebrations in Kansas, featuring parades, a queen coronation, a carnival

and professional shows and entertainment in the

bandstand right in the middle of town.

Food vendors line the streets of downtown throughout the week, offering all kinds of tempting treats. (No elephant ears, though; must be a regional thing :-(

Roger here... This is really a cool festival. The five blocks of "state fair" food booths alone are worth the visit.

We had a delicious concoction called an Indian taco, that used Indian fry bread instead of a taco shell.

The fry bread was like an elephant ear without the sugar coating, though not as large.

We finished off with a cinnamon roll and coffee from another vendor.

Independence, Kansas is a pretty town of about 10,000 people. During Neewollah, the population swells to over 80,000! The celebration goes on for nine days, and includes activities like a 10k run, a chili cook-off, a great pumpkin contest, and much more. Roger really wants to go back this evening to see the Doo Dah parade (advertised as adults only). If the predicted rain holds off, we just might do it. The kids have their own separate parade on Friday, lest you think they've been left out of the fun.

I have always loved Halloween, and have been dismayed in recent years at how it has been watered down to a "harvest" holiday (at least in Indiana), with kids at school not even allowed to celebrate it. No such thing here; there are ghosts and witches decorating all of downtown, and the local school children help make decorations which are displayed in the downtown store windows, ghosts and witches and all!! The entire town of Independence is decorated with orange and black flags and banners.

I AM glad kids today don't feel the need to soap windows and do destructive pranks on Halloween. Is anyone else old enough to remember the wooden spools that were nicked on the edges, put on coat hangers, wound with string and used as noisemakers on unsuspecting homeowners' windows?? (That was a 1950s thing; I forget what they were called). I wish I could say I have never soaped a window, but that activity was still going strong in the early 1960s. My favorite of all, though, was trick or treating. (I have a real sweet tooth, so Halloween and even Easter were my favorite holidays). I will miss doling out candy this year to the Pendleton, Indiana trick-or-treaters. The house we just sold was right in town, so we went through BAGS AND BAGS of candy every year. I always bought the chocolate "good stuff," secretly hoping for leftovers.

I'm feeling nostalgic, since this will be the first year we won't be around our granddaughter on Halloween. I think I'll include some of my favorite halloween photos, just for old time's sake:

This first one goes WAY back to the 1980s, when our two daughters were little. (When they got older, they insisted on better costumes!)

The rest are photos of our beautiful granddaughter, Kaia, at different ages, either in costume or posing with our yard decorations:

As you can see in the last photo, even our "grandpuppy" Cinnamon celebrates Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!!

The REAL Little House on the Prairie

Dianne here --  When we don't refer to it as our "glorified storage unit," we jokingly call our little Pendleton, Indiana house the "Little House on the Prairie."   Well, yesterday we took a short road trip to the site of the REAL Little House on the Prairie!   Laura Ingalls and her family took a covered wagon from Wisconsin and lived for a time outside Independence, Kansas (just a few miles from where we are here in Coffeyville).   In her series of books, the one entitled "Little House on the Prairie" is the story of the time they lived here, 1869 - 1871.   In the book she describes their covered wagon journey from Wisconsin, how her father built the home (in detail), the packs of wolves and tribes of Indians that would stalk their home from time to time.   She perfectly describes the high prairie and the wind that we've come to know, although the tall grass is gone.

I had never read the "little house" books, but as a child my eldest daughter read the whole series, and we of course watched the TV show with the rest of America.   Two Kansas  women researched the area after reading the book, and were able to track down through Montgomery County records the site of the actual log home built by Charles Ingalls.   The tiny log home has been painstakingly reconstructed on its original site.   They have even found the well dug by Charles Ingalls and his neighbor, as described in the book.   The book also refers to  the Verdigris River (the one that flooded Coffeyville; see my prior post).   The Verdigris River winds its way near the site of the Little House on the Prairie, Independence, and Coffeyville.

We were struck by how small the log home was.   You can get an idea of this by the photo below.   Roger here...  REALLY, really small.  I visualized the two story house with the loft from the TV show.  It was much smaller than that.  There was no loft.  The space seemed to be about half the size of our motor home.  It was very windy during our visit.  It did not take any imagination to understand descriptions of the wind whistling through the small chinks in the plaster between the wood logs.  

  My imagination kicked in, trying to imagine what it must have been like to live there on the vast tall-grass prairie,

 so before we left I purchased the "Little House on the Prairie" book in the gift shop, went home, and read the whole thing!   The local landmarks are all in the book.   Charles Ingalls would take their wagon to get their supplies from Independence, Kansas (check back soon for a related blog on the Independence, Kansas Neewollah festival).

From the log cabin I could see the bluffs in the distance described in the book, where the Indians were camped.   I rationalized the purchase by thinking that after reading it, I would send the book on to my 11-year-old granddaughter  to read.  I suspect, though, that having been raised on Harry Potter she will politely accept the book and never open it!   Oh well, even as an adult, I really enjoyed it!!   It is so well written and descriptive that I could really imagine life in this area around 1870.   

Also on the site, they have moved an authentic 

one-room schoolhouse

 from a couple miles away, and also the tiny local post office

 that was in use up until the 1970s.  There is no admission fee, but donations are requested, with the suggested amount $3 per adult.  Roger and I both enjoyed this attraction more than we expected to; it was not nearly as "touristy" as we thought it might be.   It is open March through the end of October, so we just made it over there.  The web site for the attraction is   

Purdue - Ohio State Football Upset

Well, you can take the boy out of Indiana, but you can't take....

Since we have the weekend shift, it's a good thing Roger works nights so that he can still catch his Saturday college football games!   The money spent on Direct TV for our motorhome was money well spent, because no matter where we are, Roger can get the Big Ten Network.   He was so excited at the outcome of the Purdue - Ohio State game that he took photos of the fans rushing the field!   I was working my day shift at Amazon at the time, so I missed all the excitement.   I'm surprised I didn't hear his whoops and yells five miles away at work; I'm SURE everyone in the campground did!!

Roger's brother, Dick, also graduated from Purdue, and on football and basketball days the  phone lines heat up between Washington State and wherever we are parked, while they discuss the game at half time and afterwards.   I'm a little tardy in uploading these photos for a blog, but when Roger wakes up I'll have him add his belated "commentary.

Roger here... After Purdue's miserable performances this season - flashes of brilliance followed by unbelievable turnovers, I decided that I was not going to put myself through another three hours of misery  watching an Ohio State debacle.  I intended to take a nap before going in for my night shift, but decided to turn on the game for just a minute to see how far Purdue was behind.  It was half way through the third quarter and we were AHEAD!  Not only that, we did not blow our lead and won the game.  So much for the nap.  

It brought back memories of another Purdue-Ohio State game,  when Drew Brees completed an across-the-field pass at the very end of the game for a spectacular win.  That pass took Purdue to the Rose Bowl.  Dianne and I were at the game, and even Dianne was excited.  We followed the crowd onto the field and decided at that moment that we would travel to the Rose Bowl, which we did.  Good memories.

I have a Purdue flag that we fly when we are in Indiana.  Unfortunately, it consists of a black "P" on a gold background - very recognizable in Big Ten country, but probably not so much in Kansas.  I figured that people in the campground would think we were Steeler fans, so I did not get it out.  Since we intend to travel all over the country, it is time for a new flag.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What it's like to work at - Dianne's View

Hi all -- Dianne here.   I'm trying to think of something quiet to do not to wake Roger up, so I thought I'd write a blog on just what in the heck it is that we're doing here in Kansas.   We found this job through Workamper magazine.   For our non-camping buddies, this is a magazine devoted to finding part-time or seasonal work for people like us who live and travel in their RVs.  Most of the jobs are at campgrounds or state and national parks, jobs like checking people in, trail maintenance, campground hosts, bird counting, etc.   Many of the jobs are volunteer positions, and you are compensated by a free camp site for the duration of the job.   A lot of that work is easy, part-time work, only about 20 hours a week.   Many RV'ers who do this only work a month here or there. 

I was intrigued by the ad for seasonal work at, because I have shopped there for YEARS.   My friends know that I am not a girlie-girl shopper.  The only browsing I like to do is in hardware stores  or at Costco!   Everything else is either purchased at the grocery store or on line from Amazon, if they carry it.   I have always been impressed that my orders are  always correct and always fast delivery.   I often wondered what it would be like to work at a place like that.   

This blog will be a little different, because, of course, we are not allowed to take pictures in the facility.   We are not even allowed to take our cell phones into the building.   They take great care in security, because it's a giant place chock full of brand-new goodies, especially hot items and best sellers.    If they sell it there, you're not allowed to bring it onto the floor.   Unless I take a water bottle to work, everything I take fits into my jeans pockets.  That's a weird feeling and I always feel like I MUST be forgetting something.   I  just take a little chap stick in my pocket and put my car keys on my belt loop.

We've already discussed how we asked for separate shifts on purpose, because the hours at Amazon are long, and closer to Christmas there is mandatory overtime.  We didn't think it would be fair to the dogs to cage them up that long, even if someone walked them in the middle of the shift.   Right now we're working four 10-hour days (Fri-Mon) with three days off.  Lots of people work either Sun-Wed or Wed-Sat.  

 The Coffeyville, Kansas location is a HUGE fulfillment center, with everything from books/DVDs/CDs to apparel to electronics and lots of "other stuff."   It is highly automated.   Roger and I are what are called each-to-bin "stowers" on "inbound."   (The peak season for receiving merchandise is right now; later the peak will go to "outbound" where they process the orders and ship them out.)

Trucks arrive at the facility with shipments of merchandise.   The "receivers" then unload the shipment and put up to 23 pounds of whatever-it-is into tote boxes on pallets, which are stacked, wrapped, and delivered by fork lifts to the various work areas.   What Roger and I (and hundreds of others) do is take four totes at a time, put them on a cart, and wheel them to find empty spots in little "bins" for each item.  Each item is meticulously tracked on hand-held scanners, from the time it is unloaded until it leaves the building.   

From there, "pickers" roam around these bins, and load up items that have been ordered to take to shipping.   Their scanners tell them what bin to go to to find the items.   The outbound process takes place in another building, so I can't speak much to that, other than this place is FULL of miles of conveyor belts.   A lot of the shipping process is computerized.   It even checks to make sure the box weighs what it is supposed to weigh.   If it doesn't, it gets kicked out and re-checked to make sure all the ordered items are present in the box.

Some jobs require standing in one spot all day.   Some require walking 10-15 miles per day (pickers).   I can tell you that "stowing" is a total-body workout.  It's like being paid to go to the gym!   Roger and I will probably be in better physical shape than we've ever been by the end of our jobs (December 23).   I may even acquire some arm muscles; something I've never had before!   I worried about carrying the scanner around all day and scanning items with my bad arm (residual pain is something I've dealt with since two surgeries 20 years ago on my right arm from a repetitive-strain injury that occurred while I worked as a court reporter).   I have been pleasantly surprised that the job is varied enough that it is not making my arm flare up and I am able to do the work.

Roger says he's not too sore (we leave notes for each other since we don't see each other on our work days).   You stow different merchandise each day or even different parts of each day, depending upon what is being received off the trucks that morning.  On night shift he has mainly been doing apparel and miscellaneous electronics, toys, and other stuff.  

I, on the other hand, am VERY sore, especially my quadriceps muscles.   I have spent most of my week stowing books, including huge medical and reference volumes.   The book area bins are various sizes.   You have to find a space that each item will fit into.   Some bins on shelves are high (we have little step stools that we cart around with us).  Some are right on the ground, so that we have to actually kneel or sit to see what we're doing.   Using the stool for the upper shelves is like a step aerobics workout!   I made the mistake my first day of squatting to do the lower shelves.   I am still paying for it with extremely sore quadriceps muscles from getting up and down from that position.

The temp agency who we actually work through has an excellent video on the web that   shows a visual representation of the different jobs, if you want to learn more.   It can be seen at

This will be good, quick money for us to then take to South Texas and play for two months.   If our house hadn't taken 16 months to sell we might not have needed to do this, but I am glad we are.   We might do it again next year and use that good money for a cruise or overseas trip or something, even if we don't need the money for expenses!   

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dalton Defenders Museum

Hi all --
 Dianne here.  Roger and I learned at our Workamper meeting that we would be on the new weekend shift, working Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.  We are on different shifts, so that we don't have to leave the "boys" caged up for 11 or 12 hours a day. (Roger here...  it makes no difference to Big Chuck since he is always loose in the motorhome and free to make cat noises at the great-tailed grackles that taunt him while he sits in the window). 
  I am on days, working 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Roger is on nights, working from 5:00 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.  Roger has arranged to carpool on the night shift, which solves the one car problem.   This is the shift assignment we expected, because we had volunteered for the new weekend team, and had requested different shifts. Basically this means we won't see each other at all from Friday morning until Tuesday morning, but then we have the next three days off together.  

Drawing the weekend shift also meant we had another week to kill in  Coffeyville before starting work.   We were really ready to get out of the motorhome for a while.   The weather here has been so crummy (rainy and cold and gray) that we've been stuck inside.   We decided to be tourists this week and see some of the local sights.

On Tuesday, we drove back into Missouri to visit Colaw's RV Salvage.   We learned about this place from veteran RV'ers at the rally in Ohio last month.  Colaw's has the largest selection of salvage parts in the US.   There is a motorhome "graveyard" out back where parts can be stripped from different makes and models.  There is also a large indoor showroom of new and salvage parts.  We didn't venture out back (Roger here... because it was gray and cold, the weather norm so far here), but spent a lot of time nosing around the showroom. We were able to finally find lug nut covers to replace the ones that we lost the first week we owned our motorhome, after having new tires put on at Camping World.   (They didn't tighten them properly, so we lost 14 of them as we drove it home).   We'd been unable to find the correct size and shape in any store, truck stop, or even on line.   When we inquired about buying new ones to replace those that were lost, the dealer explained they would cost about $14 EACH!   We dug through boxes of them at Colaw's and were able to find several exact matches and some replacements that would work, for a better price of $2 each.    We stopped for lunch at the Golden Corral in Joplin, MO.  My old lunch buddies from my job at Hamilton Southeastern Schools referred to it as the "Olden Corral" when we ate there for lunch before I retired.  I consider this quite an insult.  I must also report that there were younger people in the restaurant - two toddlers with their grandmother.  There was also a six-year old who single-handedly emptied the bread center of all nine of the warm rolls.  The toddlers and the bread thief were all definitely younger than Dianne and me.

Thursday we visited the Dalton Defenders Museum

 in downtown Coffeyville.   I'll let Roger elaborate on that for you.  Following that, we had a delicious lunch of chicken-fried steak and sides at Lanning's, a mom and pop restaurant/bar in the historic section of town.   Since I knew we'd soon be getting lots of good exercise in our new workamper jobs, I even splurged and had some homemade pecan pie.   I reasoned that they probably made good pecan pie here, since this is a big pecan growing area.   I was right; it was delicious!   We even have a grove of pecan trees right here at Walter Johnson Park.  We watched the CNN version of the escaped mylar flying saucer while we ate, and were very relieved to find out, when we returned to the motorhome, that the little boy was not in the balloon.  

Roger here...  The Dalton Defenders Museum was very interesting. 

 I had heard of the infamous Dalton Gang, but did not really know that much about them.  Four of the five of them met their end in Coffeyville in 1892 when they attempted to rob two banks at the same time - an attempt to upstage Jesse James.  One of the townsmen recognized the gang as they entered the town and tied up their horses in an alley.  Several courageous citizens of Coffeyville, armed themselves at the local hardware store 

(still in business), and  ambushed the gang members as they exited the two banks - four of the defenders, including the sheriff, died along with four of the gang members.  A lot of the shooting took place in the pictured alley 

across the street from the banks where the horses were tethered.  One of the banks has been restored - really neat looking. 

 The one surviving gang member, Emmet Dalton, survived even though he was shot 23 times and served 14 years of a life sentence before being paroled and moving to California.  I had always thought of the wild west being in the far western states of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and California.  Our stay here in Kansas has helped remind us that a goodly portion of the western legends took place in Kansas, Oklahoma and, of course, Texas.  

The museum also had exhibits confirming other prominent citizens of the town including, Walter "the train" Johnson who was an outstanding pitcher for the Washington Senators in the 1920's AND presidential candidate Wendell Wilkie, who (though growing up in Elwood, IN near my hometown of Pendleton) taught high school in Coffeyville prior to his political career.  There were also exhibits of the Osage Indians who at one time flourished in the Coffeyville area, before it was overtaken by the white man.

I could not resist taking a picture of Dianne next to the Indian figure. 

 When the museum manager saw me taking the picture, he left his post and insisted on placing a cowboy hat on me and taking a picture of the two of us.

Today was our first day of work at Amazon - five hours of orientation and safety training, and no actual work.  As a former HR director, it was interesting to see how a large corporation does the same thing that I used to do for my former school corporation - the same, but different!  Tomorrow the real work begins.  We will let you know about our new blisters, as we are told that we will be walking up to 15 miles a day.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Anxious Weather in Coffeyville Kansas!

 Hi all - Dianne here.  No, this is NOT a real-time photo, but it IS a photo from the July 1, 2007 catastrophic flood Coffeyville, Kansas experienced, and it is a photo of exactly where we are currently parked!  I don't want to break any rules, so the link to this photo and others like it can be found at

Also note that any of the photos here in our blog can be made larger for viewing by double-clicking on them, if you want a closer look.  (Except for the small photo below that I can't figure out how to fix)

 The flood was made truly horrendous because the local oil refinery also flooded, and there was an oil slick that ruined over 300 homes in the town, and many businesses.  (If you go to the above link, there are several photos showing just how disastrous this oil slick was).  

 These homes  have since been razed, and the east side of Coffeyville has many empty places where neighborhoods and homes once existed.   Walter Johnson Park, where we are parked for three months, is right in the middle of the area that experienced some of the worst flooding.   If you double click and look closely at the top photo above, in the top left quadrant, you will see a small red roof and a travel trailer.   That trailer would have been parked right across from us.  

Roger wrote about the rain in our last blog.  Let me say that at that time the rain was just beginning!  Like much of the Midwest and Southern Plains, we had steady and/or heavy rain for 26 hours straight!  

 You can imagine that being parked in this flood-prone area, we were just a bit nervous.   We did experience a flood warning for Coffeyville, but it never reached the stage that would have topped the levee.   The Verdigris River in this area is twisty-curvy, and surrounds us on three sides.   


 morning Roger and I walked the dogs on top of the levee and took some photos of the river, which had spilled over its banks at that point, but had not yet reached its crest.  Just the day before, the river looked to us to be about the same size as Fall Creek in Pendleton (for those of you familiar with it) or Sugar Creek at Turkey Run.  

 What prompted me to Google the 2007 Coffeyville flood in the first place, were signs we had seen while walking the dogs around Walter Johnson Park that showed the flood level reached in 2007. 

 If you look closely at the photo I took, you might be able to still make out a faint black band at the top of the water mark on the building.   That's where the oil was floating on the top of the flood water!   

This time, Coffeyville was  on the northern edge of the storm.   Even though we did get about 5 inches of rain, the worst of the flooding was east of us in Missouri and south into Oklahoma.   Coffeyville, Kansas is located 4 miles from the Oklahoma state line, and about 80 miles west of Joplin, Missouri.

This evening we will get our name badges and learn our work shifts at the Amazon Distribution Center.  We are ready to get started in our first Workamping experience! 

   I am glad we are here, and I'm happy to be helping the local economy a little bit (laundry, groceries, etc.), because this town has not fully recovered, even two years later.   

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Good, The Bad, The "Pretty Good," and the Ugly

  Roger here....  


The first day of the trip from Celina, Ohio to Coffeyville, Kansas went well.  We spent the morning and early afternoon in Celina getting ready for the long trip.  I aired up the tires on the motorhome and the car to the levels that we think are correct.  (We will know the exact levels when we receive the printout from Rick Lang who weighed our rig at the rally.)   With the additional air, our new Doran tire pressure monitoring system will let us know in real time if any of our tires are below the inflation level that we want them to be - peace of mind.  

Our second task of the day was to get rid of, or redistribute, some of our weight.  (The weight of the stuff in the motorhome - not Dianne's weight or my weight)   The initial weighing of the motorhome at the rally indicated that the total weight of the rig was good, BUT that the rear axle was carrying too much weight, while the front axle could handle some more.   We spent a few hours moving heavy items from the back to the front, and putting items that we did not need in the car to store at our little house in Pendleton.  In order for this to be effective, we had to weigh each item so we could redetermine the new weight on each wheel.   We did this on the bathroom scales.  While it was a lot of work, it was very worthwhile to know that we are no longer overweight on either of our axles - a good feeling.  By the way, 
Jasper, Chaplin, and Big Chuck (the cat) enjoyed a little lounge time while we worked.
We left Celina at 2:00 p.m.   Pendleton was directly on our route, so we stopped by to drop off our post office box key and unload the unwanted items from the motorhome.  Since we needed to buy a couple of things for the motorhome, we then headed for the Camping World on the south side of Indianapolis to spend the night.   You can park there for free with  30 or 50 amp hookups.  We had a quiet night catching up on TV shows that we had recorded.  It was a full day, but much was accomplished.


Day two started well.  We slept in, bought some light bulbs at Camping World, and moved down I-70 toward Missouri.  Everything went pretty well until we approached St. Louis.  We decided to take the southern interstates around the city to I-44, rather than the northern loop.  Our GPS "Sacajawea" agreed - BIG MISTAKE!   Two miles after exiting I-70 all traffic stopped.  For the next three miles (and one hour) we crawled along in a stop-and-go construction zone.  Ouch.  Oh well, we weren't in any hurry. 

 After crossing the Mississippi River, Dianne began looking for a place to stop for the night.  We thought we might try to get halfway through Missouri before stopping for supper and spending the night.  Those of you who know me and my semi-obsession to have everything planned would have been very proud that we did not start planning until what we thought would be an hour before the stop.  What ensued next has set me back several years - deep into an anal-retentive state.

Our first attempt to stop was at a Walmart in Sullivan, MO.  We gassed up at the Flying J and confirmed in our Walmart printout and "Walmart Locator" book, that this Walmart does allow overnight RV parking.  We intended to buy groceries there, including our supper.  We arrived at the Walmart to discover that bars had been erected over ALL the entrances, at a height of ten feet, preventing an RV or large truck from entering.  We slowly proceeded down the narrow access road looking for a place to turn around, only to discover that similar bars prevented entrance to all the businesses on the street - restaurants included.  We finally found an abandoned parking lot (very unlevel) to turn around.  After making the turn and exiting the lot, the uneven ramp to the street caused our hitch to scrape the pavement - luckily no damage, but some tense moments until we checked things out.  The merchants at Sullivan, MO probably lost about $200 in the purchases we would have made.  It was the most UNWELCOMING place we have ever visited

Back on the road....  (hungry with no supper), we considered several private campgrounds and possible Walmart stops.  We passed a Good Sam sign next to a motel that was not listed in our guides.  We decided that if the next exit, did not work out, we would go back.  At the Rolla exit, we got junk food at McDonalds at a truck stop and decided that a two-mile drive on local roads to the Walmart was not worth the risk (based on our experience in Sullivan).   So, we traveled back east to the Good Sam Park from the previous exit - another mistake.  When we got to the park, we discovered that it was an uneven gravel area behind a run-down motel.  There were no signs that even indicated an office.   I got out to check things out on foot.  Scary!  Knocked over hookup sites and dingy trailers that looked like they had been there for a year!   I walked completely around the motel to make sure that we could get out, which we did quickly.   (Dianne here:  I can't believe that they advertised that place from the interstate, and with a Good Sam logo, no less!)

So...  Back on the road.  It was beginning to get dark.  We drove another 20 miles to our final destination for the day - a private park in the Ozarks three miles from I-44 down a very narrow road that was literally falling apart.  Fortunately, we did not meet an oncoming vehicle, and we did not fall off the road in one of the crumbling (turning to mud) areas.  The park itself was pretty nice, and was on the bank of a pretty river.   The staff was friendly.   Too bad we had no time to enjoy it.

On the third day, we decided to drive the rest of the way to Coffeyville.  Since the city park, where we hoped to stay, does not take reservations, we wanted to secure a spot before everything filled up.  It was an uneventful drive.  We left I-44 in Joplin, MO and drove an additional 80 miles into Kansas, 
arriving in Coffeyville.  We were able to drive into the park and secure a spot with a southern view (the satellite works!) thanks to the advice of Mike, a fellow work camper that had been communicating with Dianne and others about what to do when we arrived.  Within an hour, John (also a work camper and a chaplain), knocked on our door with all kinds of information about Coffeyville, church services, and working at Amazon.  He even picks up everyone's mail at the post office three days a week.  We have already met a lot of really nice people here, including Mike and his wife Joyce, from Pensacola, Florida.

The campground, 
though not luxurious, is fine.  It reminds me of a county fair ground. 
 The sites are gravel with grass between the sites.  We have water and electric hook ups and a honey wagon that pumps out our holding tanks three times a week (a job Dianne says she would NEVER do!)  We have views of the livestock buildings and the rodeo arena.  The only concern about the campground is that it is adjacent to the Verdigris River, which is subject to flooding.  In July of 2007 the park was under nine feet of water!   Oh well, it is October, and it is not raining - probably nothing to worry about.  

Yesterday, Dianne and I had an employment meeting in the nearby town of Independence, a really neat town that I know we will be visiting frequently.  The meeting was pretty simple.  We both peed in a cup and took a skills test.  No big deal.  We will probably start work next week.  We still don't know our shift or our work assignments.


It is Thursday, and it is raining and raining and raining.   Remember what I said about the flooding in Coffeyville?   Well, we are under a flood advisory.   The rain is supposed to continue until tomorrow morning.  

I went out in a downpour to load up everything outside and to unhook everything except the electric connection, just in case we need to make a quick exit.  The dogs did not enjoy their rain-drenched walk this morning, but they did do their business much quicker than usual.  

We will let you know about our adventures working at  That is, unless we float down the river into Oklahoma.

By the way, it is still raining.