Route Post Number Eight

“It was an Elan. A delightful little thing famously made of Kleenex and unicorn farts.” ~ Sam Smith

DAYS EIGHT and NINEAfter a day of goofing off with Tom and Polly Bungay where we watched the F1 race at Imola and then the Indy race at Barber, along with lots of jabbering and a visit to Tom’s shop to check over the car, it was time to get going again. The weather looked good and the Elan was dry after a bunch of Tom’s towels were sacrificed for the cause but I still had one concern. When we looked the car over at the shop, I wanted to see that the gearbox lube was still full since the transmission has a weep from the rear seal. We got the car jacked up and jack stands set and I crawled underneath with barely enough clearance to keep my shirt clean, and, in fact there wasn’t enough clearance. I got a nice grease streak on my clean shirt. More dismaying was the fact that I couldn’t feel the gear lube through the access hole. So Tom drove me over to a nearby auto parts store to get some 80 weight and a fill tube. What I thought was a long enough tube wasn’t…the hole was too far back for it to reach. Rather than risk a mess and not solve the problem, I suggested we find a quick lube place that could fill it from their pit but when we stopped in at 4:18 we were told they close at 4:15 on Sunday and didn’t have the gear lube anyway. So I said I would find a place in the morning and get it resolved.

We had a lovely dinner and called it a night early which was fine with me. I finally got a blog post done from the day before and hit the pillow. I did note that my whining about the humidity in Florida was verified by no less than AccuWeather who said: “An unusually strong and moist front for April will continue to bring rounds of rain and locally severe thunderstorms over the central and southern parts of the Florida Peninsula through Wednesday. The front has already delivered nearly an entire month’s worth of rain in some areas since arriving this past weekend…” I am not imagining that now, am I?

I think we need to rename him Tom Thumb!

After a nice breakfast, I said my goodbye and what I hope were adequate thanks to the Bungays and headed off to find the quick lube place, all the time worrying about the very long trip ahead with a gearbox that was losing lubricant. My fears were assuaged by a cheerful young man who yelled from the pit “There’s plenty of oil in here; it’s dripping out as soon as I take the plug out!” Then it dawned on me…I had the front of the car on jack stands so all the lubricant went to the back of the gearbox away from the fill hole. DOH! Of course the fill level must be measured when the car is level as it was in the lube lane. On the other hand, I was reassured that I was not losing lubricant from the rear seal.

Away I sped and soon found myself in Georgia, though I have no photo of the sign that says “We’re glad you have Georgia on your mind” because there was a huge truck behind me and another next to me and I thought the preservation of me and the car was a higher priority than the photo. The weather was cooler and dryer and, although windy again, made for a very pleasant day. I had lunch in the Veterans Memorial Park in Orangeburg, SC on a very nice concrete bench because the Burger King did not allow indoor dining although there were about a dozen folks sitting in there not dining. All in all it was a very nice day on pretty nice roads.

Impressions from the eighth and ninth day:

• I got some huge gifts from my sisters, the Kennedys and the Bungays. I got to be off duty, to have others concerned with logistics so I could just relax and have a chance to just vegetate and lose the tuning fork vibrations one gets from days on the road.   

• My 8:35 start worked well. After the quick lube I was behind the rush of the school/work traffic getting through Jacksonville so it was easy driving and very pretty once I hit Georgia. Also there is a nice variety of trees and other vegetation.

• Despite the great people I had the chance to visit with all over the state, I am really glad Florida is behind me. The people are the only redeeming thing in that whole, flat, over-signalized state!          

• I almost did it again. I passed a gas station when I had a little under a quarter of a tank and didn’t see another until I was on fumes. I literally sputtered into the first gas station I had seen in nearly 55 miles.

About Me

Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!

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6 thoughts on “Route Post Number Eight

  1. Safe travels through the Carolinas, Ross! Sorry I can’t get out and ride with you as you pass through, but did drive my Elan to the office today in tribute and solidarity!

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      1. Hi Ross
        I hope to meet up with you, Ted, and Glen in Mannheim, PA before driving to RD tomorrow. You are a true inspiration to the Lotus Community. Thanks
        Chris Herr

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  2. Finally catching up with your adventure. Glad things are going so well. A bit jealous that I’m looking out the window at snow on the ground (!) here in Denver dreaming of when I can get out in the M100 while you’re driving your Elan on some great roads.

    Also, loving the non sequitur comments you slip in (bears with fur coats for ex.)

    Looking forward to following along and enjoying the trip vicariously.

    Safe travels!

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  3. I liked the comment about tuning fork vibrations after hours on the road. I’ve described it as full body buzzing, it seems to last at least an hour after you climb out of the car. Plus, your mind seems to be going the speed of the car and not the surroundings. Having that sensation day after day must be weird. I’m sure truckers get it, wonder if it has a name or if any studies have been done. Now you have something else to think about when you have enough fuel and no radio stations.

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