Monday, June 26, 2006

Deployed to Ohio floods...

We are still parked at the Casino Queen in E. St. Louis, IL.  We decided to extend our stay here by a day, since we were pretty wiped out last night when GA ended, and we needed some down-time.  Also, we had no clue where we were heading next, and I also wanted to get the clear-coat on my paint repair.

I am happy to report that the clear-coating is done, although it is a bit orange-peely, and I will need to fix that either with rubbing compound and elbow grease, or with some sanding and another quick coat of clear.  We also got the waste tanks rinsed out today, and re-calibrated the level sensors on the black tank, which has lately never read below two bars even when empty, and the drinking water tank, which has not read any bars above empty even when full since sometime last year.  The calibration process on this latter tank suggests that there is a sensor problem, which I have long suspected.  However, at least now it is not constantly in "low" alarm.  A couple days ago, I installed the replacement for the broken fridge door handle, and adjusted the door so it now correctly latches, so it has been a good week for maintenance and repair.

The other thing we did today, after some much-needed rest and a slow morning (which included, by the way, using our lone 2-for-1 coupon at the casino's breakfast buffet, which we can report, at $7.95, was an excellent spread even at full price), was to be canonical tourists.  I walked across the historic Eads bridge and over to the arch, and Louise took the metro and met me at the riverfront, where we took a one-hour narrated riverboat cruise.  Then we went into the arch, taking the four minute tram ride to the top.

Louise has claustrophobia and I have acrophobia, so we had to help each other through our respective fears -- hers the clothes-dryer tram gondolas, and mine the dizzying 630' nothing-underneath-you view straight down from the observation deck.  This was my third time up in the arch, and I am always awed and fascinated, but it was the first time for Louise, who was happy to make it up and down without hyperventilating, and was rewarded with the spectacular views from the top.  She's making either a movie or a photo montage as I type, so I expect you will get to see some of this shortly.

The big news of the day is that while I was walking over to the arch, I got a phone call from the Red Cross Disaster Operations Center.  They would like us to report to Akron, Ohio to help the relief efforts for the major flooding there.  We will be leaving first thing in the morning on a direct route to Akron.  It is a ten hour drive from here, so we will be team-driving tomorrow to make the marathon drive in one day.  En route we will find out where in Akron we are to deploy and what, if any, major routes in the area are impassable due to flooding.

I will not likely have time to post or update our position tomorrow, so look for an update here after Wednesday, when we get settled someplace.

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