I've now been on the road 28 days, 4 weeks.
Well, that's not exactly true as there's been more than a little down time. There was that Texas situation and the time I spent at my sister's house. Oops, the ride report hasn't quite gotten there yet.
After leaving Penascola, the T.T. Wentworth Museum and the 163 year old petrified cat, I'm back on Hwy 98, riding through the panhandle of Florida.
The next stop on my circle of America is in Carrabelle, Florida......a house made of bottles. Every time I get near one of these I have to stop. They pull me in like a magnet. I have no idea how many of them there are but I've seen the ones Rhyolite, Nevada and the one in Canada that's just above the Idaho border. I saw that one a few years ago, on my way to Alaska. It was built back in the 50's by a retired undertaker out of over 500,000 embalming fluid bottles. It's built overlooking a beautiful lake and was intended to be the undertaker's retirement home. Unfortunately, so many people came by to see it that the undertaker had to move away.
I had bit of a problem locating the bottle house, due to Carrabelle using N.E this and S.W. that and me having very little sense of direction. I finally asked directions of two farts, er, elderly gentlemen, who were leaning on the back of a pickup truck just shooting the s_ _ _. It was funny because, when I asked my question about the bottle house, they pointed in opposite directions. I tried going one way but that took me to the N.W. part of town. The other way took me S.E. One of the guys had said, with his direction, that when I get to the fork, bear left. He was the righter of the two guys as I found the place about a 1/2 mile up the road.
Here's the bottle house in Carrabelle, Florida.
A table made from the wine bottle corks. I was just thinking that I hope the guy doesn't drink all this stuff himself. I'm guessing not as there are tubs of bottles all over the yard and you couldn't drink that much and still build the house.
This appears to be a free standing arch that is being built. You can see at the base of the arch that he's started building on both sides.
Way back when, just out of Livingston, Texas, I posted this picture..... looking west......
The picture below is also looking west, taken in the Florida panhandle. Notice any big differences? Yeah, me neither. That's pretty much tells you why I haven't taken too many pictures of the road. Since leaving Livingston, Texas, around what seems like, 12 years ago, the roads I've ridden have looked pretty much like this one.....or the one above. I have tried to take pictures of the somewhat unique stuff that struck my fancy.
Here's one of those unique times/pictures that I was referring to. I just riding down Hwy 98, minding my own business, when out of nowhere, I spot this.....
I'm guessing that Ray was a bit of a Bay's Ball fan....interesting play on words because on the other side of the house was water, water everywhere, as far as the eye could see.
Finally, I managed to get the correct picture of the odometer. No more having to draw the correct numbers on your computer screen because I missed it.
Ok, all my loyal readers.....here's where the ride report takes a turn into the realm of non-existence. The ride continues but I took no pictures and I know that if there are no pictures, the ride didn't happen.
Not long after leaving Carrabelle, I pick up I-10 for the ride to Jacksonville. Then 80/90 miles south on I-95 to Port Orange, Fl. and my sisters house.
I stay at my sister's house through the weekend, changing the oil and hanging out at the local VFW. No, I'm not a member but my brother-in-law Ted is.
Remember that little spot of oil that I took a picture of way back in Mobile? Well, after leaving Port Orange last Sunday (4-21-13), it seemed to turn into a full blown leak. At one of my gas stops, I did some poking around but can't seem to find anything obvious. I'm guessing that in order to find it, it's going to require the removal of all the bodywork on the rear of the scooter. Instead, I decide to just monitor it. I had been stopping every 100 miles for gas but decide to shorten that up to every 50 miles. After a while, I notice that, while the oil is still dripping, it does not appear to be leaking at a rate that I can't live with. I lengthen the stops out to every 75 miles. All appears good, or at least, liveable for now.
First stop on my ride up I-95, Walterboro, S.C. I had hoped to be at South Of The Border but didn't quite make it.
Second stop.....Stafford, Virginia.
Leaving Stafford, I notice that the Helix seems to be a bit louder than usual. In checking, I discover that the upper rear muffler bracket bolt has departed for parts unknown. Luckily, I carry spares. Unfortunately, in the bolt falling out, that has allowed the muffler to drop just a fraction, putting extra strain on the connection of muffler and exhaust manifold. There are two small welds on the exhaust maifolds that have now broken. I can't blame it all on the bolt falling out. Those welds could have been seriously compromised way back in Texas. As the exhaust manifold wasn't replaced, it could have waited 1500 miles to fail. But it's ok as far as my brother-in-law Ted is concerned because now it sounds like the little brother to his Harley.
On Tuesday, the appointed day, I arrive at my daughter-in-law's house in Wilmington, DE. I had told her I would stop and see her on my way up the east coast. It's some R&R for both me and the Helix as it's in need of an oil change.
On Thursday, I depart Wilmington, bound for Harrisburg, PA., to meet up with my friend Alan. Alan is from California and is having his hot rod Italian racing Gilera Scooter shipped from his house in California to Harrisburg. I RODE mine! His Gilera is supposed to arrive on the 26th.
Promptly at 8:45am, the desk clerk rings the phone to tell us it's here. The truck driver sets the crate on the ground and we attack it. I forget who he hired to crate and ship it but it arrives on time and without so much as a sratch. Alan is thrilled. Did I mention that I RODE mine?
Tomorrow, I'm off to the Whiskey Dick Scooter Rally in Stroudsburg, PA.
And so continues the search for America.....by Helix