Car woes, motel stay, Lakeland, thieving squirrel
06.04.2016 - 11.04.2016 80 °F
We won't dwell too long on days 28 through 33. Suffice it to say we bought a car, had to return the car, decided to fix our recently thought deceased Pontiac Torrent. There will be life in the old girl. The Torrent is currently getting an entirely new front end suspension at Pep Boys here in Lakeland Florida, where we have been hanging out pretty well since last Wednesday. It is Sunday, April 10 and we hope it will be our last day in travel limbo.
The front end suspension rebuild is costing us about $1700. and we have been introduced to a product called Blue Devil, which you add to your engine coolant and it is supposed to heal blown head gaskets, at least for as long as a year. So, by this time tomorrow we will be resuming our trip, albeit not the original 125 day trip but something closer to 55 days. But I leap forward. Let us look quickly at the recent past.
Last Wednesday we bought a 2012 Honda CRV, which would allow us to tow Bollie home and then become our new forever car. Then we ran into the nightmare that is Florida's Motor Vehicle registration department. In order for us to take the CRV into Canada we needed the 'Certificate of Title" in our possession. We learned this as we were driving north and were almost 100 miles away in Ocala when we found out it could be as long as 30 days before we could get the title document. Apparently the government here moves at a snail's pace and there is no way to speed the process.
We explained our need for the title to the dealership where we made the purchase and they kindly cancelled the deal and gave us our money back, immediately upon our return to Lakeland. Nice guys, and the car would have worked for us long term. Even with US exchange the price would have been comparable to us having bought it back home in Nova Scotia.
Now it is Saturday morning and we have our beloved old Torrent back. We found a 7 day a week auto repair place, Pep Boys, and they got us in for a Sunday morning appointment to do the work. We await the results, although the mechanic doing the work says it looks like there will be no additional problems.
We had camped for 3 nights at Hillsborough River State Park, about 30 miles outside of Lakeland, and the park, for what we saw of it was lovely. But we were preoccupied with the car issues and consequently, only slept there at night...we were in Lakeland all day Wednesday and Thursday. We did have a cheekly little squirrel climb up onto our picnic table and try to make off with a pear. Funny little guy, worked hard for his reward.
Since leaving the campground we have been staying at the Travelodge in Lakeland. The motel is centrally located and has a lovely pool. The weather has been fantastic, sunny and warm, but not oppressively hot. During our time here we spent a bit of time wandering downtown Lakeland, so named because of all the small lakes in the community. This is a real retirement haven, with many Canadians in residence on a semi-permanent basis.
The lake closest to downtown has some interesting birds, like woodstorks, which can be quite intimidating when looking for food.
So, going forward from here! We are going to head back towards Canada and home. The Torrent should last us up to a year, assuming the Blue Devil product takes care of the blown head gasket...we will have to watch things closely. It will also be helpful to our engine to get it into a cooler climate.
Because this our last trip with the boler, we had decided to head up through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia along the Smokey Mountains. We are going to pick up several National Parks along the way as well as some highly recommended State Parks. Once through that stretch, we may make stops in Philadelphia and Boston before making our final run back to Nova Scotia. All of this will be dependent on the performance of our car and we will be taking as good a car of it as we can on the return trip.
The adventure continues. It has been a little more stressful than we would have liked, but we can now see an end to the stress and a return to the enjoyment of traveling with a boler trailer. Throughout all of this our little trailer has been the least of our worries. It continues to perform as it always has...flawlessly.