Sunday, June 25, 2006

Making sausage

We are parked at the Casino Queen RV Park, adjacent to the casino of the same name which floats regally in the Mississippi River in East Saint Louis, Illinois (map). Our FMCA rate of $24.25 per night gets us full hookups with 50-amp power, meaning we can run all our air conditioners at once, a welcome relief in the 95+ heat and humidity here. The spaces on this side of the park are pretty close together, though -- not that it matters to us, since we are gone all day. For $5 more on the south side of the park we would get a bit more room, both side-to-side and front-to-back, as well as grass between the sites (we have gravel).

A phone next to the mini-mart, which also serves as RV park office, rings down to the security desk, and they will send a van any time of day or night to pick us up and take us to the MetroLink light rail station. (The return trip necessitates a short walk from the station to the casino entrance, where a van can again be summoned to take us back to the RV park.) The mini-mart, by the way, is especially well stocked, with a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits, frozen dinners and breakfast entrees, snacks, soft drinks, a small selection of food items, and the usual RV supplies.

We've been using booklets of ten two-hour transit passes, making each pass $1.75. Generally we only ride one-way on each pass, but I've been doing a round-trip back home mid-day on the longer days to walk the dog, and I can ride round trip on one pass. Our total transit outlay for the week will be less than $40 -- not bad in a city where that is also the going rate on dinner for one in a downtown bistro. The convention center is just two stops away -- less than two minutes -- across the historic Eads bridge, where the trolley runs on the old L&M train tracks on the lower level, below the roadway. You can look out the train window and straight down to the river below.

We've both been pretty busy at General Assembly since we are both delegates this year, meaning we have to attend all the plenary sessions and vote on the business issues of the association. (We also have to write a report on our experience, which we are doing by keeping another blog.) That's left little time here at home, including time to post here. We did have some time Wednesday and Thursday mornings (we pulled in here Tuesday evening), and I used most of that time to bondo, sand, bondo, sand, prime, sand, prime, seal, and paint the giant divot we got when a rock or some such hit us en route here on Monday. I got as far as a second coat of paint just in time -- Wednesday afternoon the heavens opened and dumped a few inches of rain on us.

Now that the paint has cured more than 48 hours, I can move on to the next step, which is to blend and smooth the area with rubbing compound, after which I can start applying clear-coat. It doesn't look like I will get much of a break in the program to do that, but I'm going to try to find time tomorrow, so we can leave Monday as scheduled. If I wait until Monday to spray the clear, it won't be dry enough to drive off. If I don't clear before we leave, the repaired area will be exposed to dirt and bugs as we drive, and I'll have to sand it again before applying the clear. I suppose that if we have to drive off with it unfinished, I can cover the whole area with some plastic sheeting held on with painter's tape.

I expect that the very full schedule of GA and the additional pressure of the remaining paint touch-up will mean that I will not post here again until either just before we leave on Monday, or at our next stop. I haven't a clue yet where that might be.

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