Day 12: September 5, 2001
Mixing Gas & Water

To save gas, we used the proven piggy-back technique. Actually, while we were congratulating ourselves on our earliest start yet, the "machine went bad on us". We could smell gasoline and tracked down a slow drip toward the rear along with a few wisps of smoke. We called GM Roadside Assistance and Junior showed up in a timely manner to deliver us to Michael Holley Chevrolet. The problem was traced to a broken fuel filter that was possibly damaged by road debris. Although waiting three hours for the half hour repair was frustrating, I understand that we did have to be worked in with the days scheduled customers and Jim, the service advisor, did a reasonable job getting us in. Mr. H (first name: Incognito) did a good job of replacing and securing the filter and we were back on the road around 2:30 with a big dent in our schedule. The aggravation of the delay was offset by the realization that we were quite lucky in not being roasted.

Granny's Letters:

Understandably, we were not in much of an exploring mood when we reached Winter Haven but we were happy just to be there and did grab one picture to document our visit. A 1919 photographer was more inclined to explore and captured these panoramas from American Memory at the Library of Congress.

During the last couple of days, we have watched near by rain storms while our path just barely avoided them. As we headed toward Orlando, we were also heading toward the storm of the day. The rain finally caught us and compensated for those near misses by dumping phenomenal amounts of water for several minutes. At times, visibility was reduced to a few feet and pools of water, looking many inches deep, covered portions of the road. I don't recall ever having the car's wipers on high before but I certainly did today.

Visits to Orlando, Sanford, and Deland rounded out the day.

At Lake Monroe, we were struck by this view of old vs. new. It turns out that even the "old" bridge did not appear until a dozen years after the Robbins passed through. They probably crossed on the wooden toll bridge mentioned on the sign and that may have been the one that Granny reports as costing them 50 cents.

The combination of repair & rain (We're very thankful they did not happen simultaneously.) forced us to give up on hopes of getting out of Florida today. At Daytona Beach, we found the hotel we had stayed in during the 1999 24 Hours of Daytona and booked a room overlooking the ocean. We then enjoyed a great meal at a restaurant we had discovered during that previous visit and called it a day.

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