Aug 272023

Leg 8 Indianapolis to Davenport, IA

On this trip, I have a lot of time. I’ve got 4 days to travel 6 hrs of driving. So, I’m doing it about an hour at a time… rest area to rest area, with stops for ice.

Started out poorly. I was going to stay another day at the Indianapolis park but they were full up. Add to that I got a very late start AND it was raining like cats and dogs. I was hooking up my trailer in 3” of standing water (no exaggeration).

I had only one issue on my trip to Davenport. Before I tell you what happened, I have to tell you that I’ve been RVing pretty extensively for six years. I have a good deal of experience. OK, enough preamble.

One morning, I got up to move to the next rest area. I did my morning routine and finally was ready to travel about an hour. I reeled in my power cord and climbed into the truck. I start driving. I get no more than 10 feet when I can feel something isn’t right. It feels like I haven’t lifted my stabilizing jacks. But I had lifted them. I look back in both side-view mirrors. All four are up. I edge backward and still, something isn’t right. I wonder if the trailer’s emergency brake has been triggered. I get out and walk around and don’t see anything. I get back in and drive forward again. The grinding feeling definitely indicates a problem.

This time I take out my checklist, something I’ve not been using of late because I’ve been doing the same thing over and over… “I know what I’m doing.” Airline pilots have checklists, too. Why? They do what they do over and over and over again. Surely they know what to do. Well, they do it because they just MIGHT miss a step. I have one, too. But I hadn’t been using it. (Can you see what’s coming?)

I go out and go down each of the checklist items. Lo and behold, I found that my tongue jack, the one that you use when parking your trailer and hitching your trailer, was still down. Granted, it had a wheel on it, but a crude one only for moving it around when not connected to a tow vehicle.

In this case, that plastic wheel had been ground down to a semi-circle. Yes, I was an idiot and not pulled up the tongue jack and put away the wheel and thus the weight of the back of my truck and the front of my trailer sanded away that plastic wheel to half its original size.

All that being said, it was a minor nuisance. It necessitated a stop to get a replacement and a cost of $45. Needless to say, the checklist became my bible for the rest of the trip and the future.

Anime-Zing: I hadn’t been to Davenport in eons (yes, I’m that old) so I don’t remember it. I was looking for a place to stealth camping because the convention is in the middle of town. To my surprise, there were a number of choices but they all gave me a feeling of concern. I ended up traveling ten minutes through town to stay my nights at a truck stop outside of town.

Anime-Zing takes over the RiverCenter in downtown Davenport. I am surprised at the sprawling location. But going into the dealer’s room dampens much of my enthusiasm. Over half the room cordoned off with drapes makes the area seem small, but even that small area seems oversized. There are twelve main vendor locations, but only nine showed up all weekend. The artisans’ booths along the edges were all filled.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never attended a strictly anime convention as it isn’t my genre or that of my books. This set my expectations low. The setup in the dealer’s room made them even lower. I wondered if I would even cover my booth costs. Day one didn’t dispel those fears with only a couple of sales and only a couple hundred attendees. The convention did pick up both in attendance and sales. I did reasonably well. That being said, I didn’t make many “friends”. We didn’t really speak the same language…. I spoke SF and games, they spoke anime.  

I won’t say that Anime-Zing is a barn burner but I’d do it again if my path crosses it.

 August 27, 2023  Uncategorized

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