Lake Apopka North Shore Drive

Margaret drove us today to look for alligators along the Lake Apopka North Shore Drive; the vehicle accessible part is a one way semi dirt road, along the edge of Lake Apopka where farmland has been eliminated to help with recovering the lake to be less polluted – and thus creating a nice wildlife area. Although we were looking for alligators, our first wildlife was a snake on the side of the road!

And then, in the distance, our first alligator spotting (the line in the middle of the lake)!

Our next sighting was much more impressive; an alligator laying out on a log!

A few other alligator sightings, not quite as clear …


It wasn’t all alligators; there were many birds of different sorts, and I took only a few pictures of them:

10,000 black miles

It’s taken a long time, more than 1-1/2 years, to get to 10,000 miles in Black Knight, but it happened today.

Working from home means lots less driving, and being unable to sit in the car for a few months last year (and missing MINI Takes The States) also resulted in lower mileage – but at least I got there before I finish owning this car!

Motoringfile Clubman review

Over the years, I’ve mostly given up reading Motoringfile; it’s gone from an excellent personal MINI blog to an ad-laden website with frequent typos and a lot of simple regurgitation of MINI USA (and even BMW) press releases.

But I’m happy to say that their Clubman article today is a better read, and offers praise that furthers my looking forward to when my next car arrives …


A few quotes from the article:
“… The Clubman is as much a natural in the corners as it is hauling from Ikea. The rear seats are truly worthy of long trips for adults and the front seats are dramatically more comfortable than what MINI offers in the Countryman. And that boot. For a MINI, it’s huge …”
“… the Clubman is rewarding to drive and easy to live with. But the more immediately impressive thing about MINI’s new four door is how it looks and feels the moment you sit in the driver’s seat. MINI has made an effort to describe all of its cars (from the 2001 launch onward) as premium products. However the new Clubman may be the first model to truly live up to that word (or at the very least redefine it) …”
“… The Clubman is a gentleman. But more importantly it’s still a MINI. The Clubman feels carefully crafted with its own character befitting of a new segment and a new set of customer needs …”

2016 Clubman Awaiting Transport

Finally today the MINI USA owners lounge status updated; it’s the longest time I’ve ever seen to get through the production state. I’ve not found shipping tracking information yet but I read that not all the shipping companies provide tracking anyway.

Note that this MINI USA page still doesn’t know the model name of my next MINI!

2016 Clubman scheduled for production

Even though the MINIUSA order tracking doesn’t know what a Clubman is, the car is scheduled for production! In the past I’ve found that it means being built in the next few days and presumably that’s still true – although the 2016 Clubman is new to USA, it’s been being delivered to other countries for a while now …

I’ve also got the VIN number already, though it’s probably too soon to try and find shipping information!