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With this year's drive to Tampa in the bag my '03 Cavalier has seen its last planned road trip. The nice off-lease car from ten years ago has been beaten on by the Florida sun and begun to develop mechanical problems. My first two cars could get away with that, but I'd like to trade this one in while I still remember it being nice. ;)
Cue my traditional "Yaphank Ceremony," named for the first place I ever drove just because I'd never been there before, a celebration of the freedom car ownership has brought to this lifelong road geek, and a fine way to commission/decommission the cars I own. One place nearby I'd never been to and would probably never see is the short State Road 681, which branches off I-75 at southbound-only exit 200 and has a short, uneventful run to US 41. I've been noticing the odd exit since I was a kid, when we drove past it on the way to church in Sarasota. Turns out it was built during I-75's construction in the early 80s, as a temporary southern end for the interstate! Once I-75 opened through Fort Myers the stretch remained as a shortcut to US 41.
Driving it today (picture below), SR681 felt very much like the stretch of old-style interstate it once was, except for the signalized intersection with Honore Ave that had been added a few years ago. Near the road is Oscar Scherer State Park, which I'd also never been to. It was a nice weekend, fitting for a nice drive.
So what will my fourth car be? I have several weeks left before I plan to sign on the dotted line. I was toying with the idea of buying new, but it'd be too much on my finances, so off-lease is again the plan... it worked well the first time. Ten years out of that Cavalier? I think it proved a good purchase.
New car will be announced in August. :D
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