Friday, December 3, 2010 (Salt Springs, FL)

We woke to another cold, clear morning. The thermometer said it was 37 degrees out there again this morning. Looks like we are going to have another chilly ride today.

Steve met the owner of the wooden travel trailer (Charlie) on his way to the barn for a coffee. His hobby is wood working and he said if you haven’t been to the barn before they have coffee every morning and they also do wood working. Charlie had noticed that our parking area had a wet spot and asked if we had a leak. Steve told him that we were using our backup hose that has a leaky connection because our good one sprung a few leaks the other day. He said it was probably the squirrels and not a defective hose. Apparently it is quite common here that they will chew on your hose leaving pin holes so they can have a drink. Sorry for the bad rap the other day Camping World.

We left just after 9:30 deciding to stop at the Visitor’s Centre...hopefully it will be open. It was and after being greeted by the fellow manning the place...he was outside having a smoke...we went inside. This older fellow had a rather distinctive that I’ve been seeing more of lately...nothing like a balding man with a long ponytail! We took a look at the big map they have and noticing that the trailhead that we first thought we would go to is actually on a gravel road, quite a distance from the highway; we decided on the Delancy Trailhead which is right off the highway 19 about 6 miles from here. After talking to the fellow about other things to see and do in the area, we were on our way.

This trailhead was similar to the one we were at yesterday...lots of room for many vehicles to come in and off-load their ATV’s. Today we were the only truck in the huge lot. We have our off-loading routine down pat and in no time we were ready to hit the trails. It was 10:40 as we headed onto the “purple” marked trail called the Delancy Loops. Our plan was to connect with the yellow trail and follow it until we could connect with the red trail. We were going to do the red trail and then finish off with the rest of the purple trail on our way back to the truck.

The purple trail is similar to the trails we rode yesterday...narrow, windy but not at all difficult. They are all sand, which is fairly deep in some areas and it’s really quite cool because a lot of the corners are banked. One part of the trail that had a lot of banked corners going from side to side reminded me of a waterslide that has a lot of curves in it and how they bank from side to side as you go down it.

We were sticking to the outside loop when we came across a downed tree that was blocking the was up to high to go over and not high enough to go under, so we had to turn around and take another loop that would also get us to the yellow trail. We stopped for a break once we hit the yellow trail and this is when Steve noticed that my quad was leaking fluid. It wasn’t oil from the engine which was looked like it was coming out of the right front shock. Hmmm...should we continue on? It didn’t look too bad so we decided to just keep an eye on it and carry on.

We found today’s ride to be much warmer than yesterday’s. I had put on an extra “undershirt” and was plenty warm without the rain jacket as a wind break. Steve had pulled out his heavy hunting jacket and was wearing that with his fleece liner wasn’t long before he ditched the fleece liner.

We made it onto the red trail and decided to stop to check my quad and have lunch. I had noticed that we had been going on a bit of an incline as we made our way to the red trail and I guess it was just high enough that my cell actually had a signal. I realized this because as we stopped, I heard my phone (which was in my cargo box) give off the familiar “bleep bleep” notification. When I checked it, I had two text from Chris and one from Rob....both wishing me a Happy Birthday! That’s when I noticed that I actually had cell service so I decided to call them right back. And I thought I was going to have to use the pay phone tonight to call them. I had a great conversation with each of them...although the connection started to weaken towards the end of my chat with Rob. It was so good talking to them! Steve’s brother Dave, son Jonathan and girlfriend Kerry are in Victoria for a visit. Rob said they were coming over for dinner with steaks and Kerry will be making her famous Long Island Ice Tea. Watch out guys...her ice teas sneak up on you!!

After lunch, Steve decided to pull out the manual to see if he could find anything that would shed some light on what the leaking fluid could be. He noticed that the fluid was not coming from the shock but appeared to be coming from a module above. The manual pictured this component but doesn’t say what it is. After removing the access hood Steve thinks it may be an ignition module. There were no warning lights coming on and it seemed just fine while I was riding it. Not being able to figure out exactly what is was, we decided it would probably be a good idea not to push our luck so we headed back.

After one wrong turn on the purple trail which took us onto a really cool windy trail, we turned around, found the right trail, and were soon back at the trailhead. It was going on to 2:00...not as long of a ride as we had had the past couple of days but it had been good....other than getting a sick quad, that is. Steve even saw four deer on the trail.

But before loading the quads back into the truck, Steve had to play on the youth practice circuit that was there...of course, he hadn’t noticed the sign stating you had to be under 15 years old to go on the track. Oh well, there was nobody else around and he had fun on it.

We were back home just after 3:00...plenty of time to “do” my hair, shower and get ready to go out for dinner tonight. There will just be the two of us tonight...usually there are four because I share my birthday with a very good friend, Rob Cawsey, so he and Nancy always join us. But not this Happy Birthday from Florida, Rob!

The restaurant, Bass Champions, was not at all what we were expecting. Since it was only open for dinner, we expected a little more “evening ambiance”. was basically a bright, busy diner. Obviously the emphasize is on good food and not so much on decor. But we both had huge, very good meals. Their specials tonight were 14 oz. prime rib...Steve was in his glory...and “all you can eat ribs and draft”—that’s what I had. Unfortunately, they were beef ribs...I would have preferred pork ribs...but very tasty anyway. We both had our choice of 2 sides...Steve chose salad and fries; I chose baked potato and zucchini...and dinner also included your choice of clam chowder or chilli. Holy Cats...that’s a lot of food! After we had finished our meal, the servers all came by the table, sang and presented me with a special dessert. I can’t recall what she called it, but it was strips of deep fried tortilla drizzled with apple syrup and sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon. That and a cup of coffee finished off dinner. We were both stuffed...I don’t even want to think of the number of calories I consumed at that one meal!

The bill was a very reasonable $36 (which included 3 draft for me and 1 for my driver) and after paying it and leaving a good-sized tip, we headed home to get into our stretchy clothes! I had had a great birthday!

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