Day 5: January 31, 2012
No Pavement Required
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Unlike the past couple of days which we mostly let slip by while we drank coffee and shot the bull, today Uncle Eldon and I were on the road at the crack of not-yet-noon. Our first target was a stretch of Old Dixie Highway running north from Titusville. The marker in the middle picture is for the Hernandez Trail. I know very little about the trail but wouldn't be surprised if the Dixie Highway overlayed parts of it.

We returned to pavement near Mims but, after a little less than four miles, headed off for some more dirt near Turnbull. The unpaved stretch that begins at Grantline Road is right at seven miles long. Apparently the road has enough traffic on it to justify a fruit stand and enough honesty to permit self service.

I was drawn to this particular section by a discussion about Robert E. Lee / Dixie Highway Monuments over at American Road Magazine Forum. The discussion revealed the possibility that one of the markers once existed at the Brevard-Volusia County Line. Since I was relatively nearby, I thought taking a look made sense. Not quite thriving orange groves surround the intersection of County Line Ditch Road and Dixie Way and it's possible that a marker is hiding behind a tree but I saw none along the road.

The current US-1 lies just under a mile west of the intersection. I don't know that this was ever the Dixie Highway but it certainly seems possible. No Lee/Dixie marker but there is a nice welcome pillar.

We returned to the dirt Dixie Way and continued north. Eldon spotted this Old Dixie Lane sign and we decided to take a look. The "road" ended after about half a mile at the banks of a stream where a visible path on the other side suggested that a bridge might once have crossed here. Since this was running essentially east-west, I figured it really was just a lane or some minor road that someone decided to tack a Dixie related name onto. Then, at the end of the day when I took a look at DeLorme Street Atlas, I saw the road labeled Old US 1. If that is indeed true then there was certainly once a bridge across the Turnbull River here and it's seems very likely that this was once Dixie Highway.

In Port Orange, we headed west a mile or so to see the Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens. This is the same tourist attraction that I visited in 2008 and 2001 and my great-grandparents (Eldon's grandparents) visited in 1921. The roof and some of the signage have been put in place since my last visit.

This tree covered "tunnel" through Tomoka State Park is one of my favorite spots on the Dixie Highway. Today I just snapped some pictures from the car without stopping.

In 2008 I tried to drive the Old Dixie Highway (a.k.a, Brick Road) between Espanola and County Road 204 and discovered that it was no place for a Corvette. This time, with all wheel drive and considerably more clearance, I was determined to cover the six and a half miles I bypassed four years ago. That was easily done though it did get ever so slightly squirmy in the middle.

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