Major alteration in plans to epic trip…
When I left The Swamp off the Saint Johns River in DeBary, Central Florida, my plan was to travel up to Lake Ontario, and somehow finagle a ride on a boat there. Wouldn’t have to be long. Just get out on the lake and back. Then I intended on roaming over to Minnesota and do the same thing on Lake Superior so I could brag that I’d been boating on all five of the Great Lakes.
But as I related earlier, I broke down on my first day out. Alternator quit. Had it replaced in one day at a place called Lugnutt’s in Walterboro, SC. Cost? More than I’d have liked. Less than it could have been if the mechanic wasn’t honest. The mechanic said that the transmission was on shaky ground. There was no fluid on the dipstick when he pulled it and it has been losing fluid as the trip progresses. I’m now in New Gretna, NJ. The friend I’m staying with said he’d had some transmission work done on one of the three cars he owns and the mechanic at that shop was also good and honest. Going to take it in, probably Tuesday, and have it looked at. If the cure isn’t too expensive I’ll get the work done. If it is out of line with what I want to pay then I’ll just buy a bunch of fluid and replace it as I limp along on back roads until I’m in Florida again.
Another crimp in the plans is the price of gasoline. In DeBary I paid $3 (rounding up to omit the point 9)/gal. In South and North Carolina I paid as low as $2.66 but generally around $2.80. It was back up to $3 in Delaware. Here in NJ it’s up to $3.21+!! On the route I’d been planning on gas prices, according to AAA run between $3.13 to $3.38 in Illinois where I was planning on stopping in and visiting an old college friend. It all seems outrageously expensive. Using the AAA Gas Cost Calculator the trip from Nearby Atlantic City to Orlando, which is close to DeBary, should cost around $157. To do the trip from here as envisioned would cost nearly $400. One third of my monthly SS earnings.
I can meander in a southerly direction and use the money I would have spent on gasoline to stay at some actual campgrounds, instead.
“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy.”
— Robert Burns