#63 Braking for Florida Stamps

Key West Trip
March 18-25, 2007

Day 6
242 miles

We leave the Best Western Space Shuttle Inn, top off the gas tanks across the street, and start our day's trek. Our day starts in Titusville...right where we ended last night.

Crossing the Indian River from Titusville to Merritt Island.

This was a real nice visitor center where 4 stamps were located.
One NPS and three "blue goose" NWR stamps.
Entering Canaveral National Seashore.

See that Ranger booth with the flag in the background? There's a stamp in that booth.
Be prepared. When you request the stamp, the ranger will stamp your book for you rather than handing over the stamp.
Can you see the launch site at the Kennedy Space Center in the background?Launch site 39 are where the space shuttles are launched.Up and over the dunes and there's the Atlantic Ocean. The road follows along this canal for quite a ways. If you keep an eye out, you just might see an alligator.Sure enough. We saw one. Leaving Canaveral National Seashore, we stopped at the Manatee Observation Platform to check if any manatee were making a showing. There were a couple there, but down from the platform far enough that it was hard to make out enough detail for photos.

Less than 100 miles up the shoreline, we stopped at Fort Matanzas and got another stamp.After leaving Fort Matanzas, we rode about 12 miles to the Oasis, a cool local place to eat for a late lunch. They even had a special place for "motorcycle only" parking right up front.
As we left the Oasis, I heard it again... I think it's my brakes. Doesn't sound just right. I heard it earlier at Fort Matanzas. But thought maybe it was dust and dirt on the brake pads. We had pulled into a dirt parking lot shortly before Fort Matanzas to take another look at the Atlantic Ocean. But now the sound seems worse instead of better. Hmm... I pull down a side street and motion us over to a parking lot. When I tell Sylvia to listen as I circle around and brake. Before I could even get to her, she validated my thought, "not a good sound" to be hearing when over 700 miles from home...and on a Friday afternoon.
First things first. I borrowed a phone book from the office of the motel's parking lot, which we had also just used. The nearest Yamaha dealer was about 5 miles back south on US1. We pulled into U.S. One Powersports' parking lot a few minutes later. They took Fleeter right in...sure enough - brake pads were shot. They replaced them and got us back on the road just after 6pm. Sylvia even took advantage of the down time and got her Honda VTX an oil change.
Now running even more behind our schedule, we missed Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Caroline and Fort Frederica. Those would just have to wait for another trip south.
Instead, we got on IH95 and booked it 100 miles north to Brunswick, GA for the night at the Comfort Inn. This would put us in a good position for visiting Fort Pulaski the next morning.
Night in Brunswick, GA.

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