We are settling into our autumn home in Campbellsville, Kentucky, right across the street from an Amazon Fulfillment Center (think “warehouse”). The town was founded in 1817 by Andrew Campbell, who ran both a tavern and a gristmill, and became the town’s first real estate developer, subdividing his land into residential lots. The highlight of C’ville’s history occurred in 1864 when elements of the Confederate Army burned the county courthouse which Union troops had occupied as a barracks. The bluecoats must have all been up in Lebanon at the nearest liquor store; otherwise you’d think them boys would have protected their home.
C’ville now has a year-round population of 10,000, a Wal-Mart, two Krogers, Campbellsville U., a couple of hospitals, and two high schools. It’s small-town America, and on weekends we hear the drums at high school and Division III football games just down the road. Between September and January the local population swells to over 12,000 from the influx of Amazon’s Camper Force, comprised solely of motivated trailer trash. That would be us and our neighbors at Heartland RV Park, fondly known as ‘The Rockpile’. Other campers park in a handful of scenic, but distant RV parks contracted to Amazon. The local labor force is insufficient for Amazon’s peak season, hence their emphasis on employing full-time RV’ers to cover the Christmas rush. Amazon came here in 1999 and opened shop in the Fruit of the Loom plant vacated when all the textile jobs went to Southeast Asia.
The work at Amazon is tiring or grueling, depending on your fitness level and the progression of one’s arthritis. It pays fairly well and Amazon picks up the tab for Camper Force campgrounds. There is an easy orientation week of 20 hours, followed by several 40 hour weeks each consisting of four ten-hour days. When it gets busy, 50 hour weeks are required, and 60 hour weeks are frequently offered. It is not unusual to walk ten to twelve miles a day, and the next Camper Force job with a chair will be the first. (When they offer one with a chair I shall apply.) Meanwhile I cook, clean, grocery shop, and hone my skills as The Professional Dog Walker to the gainfully employed.
Campbellsville’s weather is nice except when it’s too hot or cold. Last year we had two weeks of hot, two weeks of perfectly dry and crisp fall, but long before Halloween we began having night-time lows in the twenties, and then down to the low ‘teens in December. Last year, ten days after we left, the town suffered through 36 hours of below zero temperatures, and nearly a week without a daily high above 20 degrees. That’s fatal for RV plumbing. Which is another RV’er reason to go south for the worst of winter.
My forecast this season is two months of Indian summer up to Thanksgiving, followed by a month of mild winter with only a handful of soft freezes before New Year’s Eve.
Yes, I’m a dreamer.