EIM Big Adventure Part Deux, Sevierville, TN -- 9/25 - 10/4 - North American Motoring

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EIM Big Adventure Part Deux, Sevierville, TN -- 9/25 - 10/4

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EIM Big Adventure Part Deux, Sevierville, TN -- 9/25 - 10/4

  #1  
Old 08-11-2015, 06:12 AM
Gil-galad
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EIM Big Adventure Part Deux, Sevierville, TN -- 9/25 - 10/4

Lots of offline planning for this excursion has already occurred but wanted to establish this thread to allow additional discussion and exchange of ideas.

As of the date of this post, 10 of the 11 available rooms at the Wyndham Smoky Mountains Resort have been reserved by our MINI folk. The remaining available room is a two-double bed, private bath room in one of our two-room condos, available for $80 per night for any desired length of stay during the designated time window (earliest check-in on 9/26; check out NLT 10/3). Email us at [email protected] if interested.

More information later for those who wish to initiate the transit east together on 9/25.

Our 2013 trip was the highlight event in EIM's eight-year history. This year's excursion promises to be its equal...if not better.

========

More about the EIM Big Adventure "Part Deux" to the Great Smoky Mountains...

Sevierville, TN is right next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its wonderful scenery, hiking, rafting, etc. There is a train that does excursions daily, wonderful local art galleries and shopping for antiques, crafts, and other stuff. The Dollywood theme park is just a couple of miles down the road in Pigeon Forge.

Of course from a MINI motoring perspective, the roads in the area are among the best you’ll find anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. It’s likely that everyone will want another shot at driving the "Dragon," which is a 30-45 minute drive from our condos. The Blue Ridge Parkway is an easy day excursion, as well as the attractions around Asheville, NC. There are many hundreds of miles of superb, scenic motoring roads in the area. Feel free to do some web searching on your own and share your ideas. The whole area is naturally beautiful and should just be starting to get some Fall color while we’re there.

If you want a little peek into the motoring fun, check out These Photos from the first EIM Big Adventure back in 2013!

Many of us will likely choose to travel out together (Friday morning departure from Iowa with a Saturday arrival in Sevierville). These transit plans will be socialized later when we’re closer to the event.

Wyndham Smoky Mountains:
Governor's Crossing, 308 Collier Drive, Sevierville, TN 37862
Phone: 865-774-3960

Amenities include: 2 Outdoor Swimming Pools, 2 Outdoor Children’s Pools, 2 Exercise Equipment Areas, Picnic/BBQ Area, 2 Miniature Golf Areas, 2 Indoor Swimming Pools, Organized Activities Program, 2 Outdoor Hot Tubs, 2 Playgrounds, 2 Dry saunas

Driving Directions:

From Knoxville: Travel east on I-40 approximately 20 miles to Gatlinburg/Sevierville/Pigeon Forge exit #407.

From Asheville: Travel west on I-40 approximately 90 miles to Gatlinburg/Sevierville/Pigeon Forge exit #407.

Once you get off exit #407, follow HWY 66/441 S through Sevierville. You will turn left on Collier Drive, which is across the road from the Wal-Mart Super Center. Mr. Gatti's Pizza and TGI Friday's are on the corner of Collier Drive. Once on Collier Drive, you will go approximately 1 mile and you will see the entrance to Wyndham Smoky Mountains on your right.
 

Last edited by Gil-galad; 09-10-2015 at 07:19 AM.
  #2  
Old 08-18-2015, 03:37 PM
Coalvalleyers
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Laura and i are very much looking forward to seeing everyone at the Rock Island meet and eat and we certainly can't wait till our Tenn. trip.
 
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:00 PM
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Just over 5 weeks away. Is it time to start prepping the Mini yet? We got new rubber this week and oil is changed.
 
  #4  
Old 08-19-2015, 06:03 AM
Gil-galad
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Originally Posted by smieska View Post
Just over 5 weeks away. Is it time to start prepping the Mini yet? We got new rubber this week and oil is changed.
Yeah, it'll be here before we know it. Are you folks planing to stay at the Hotel de Bryant on Thursday night?

Looking for feedback on the Friday morning rendezvous spot. Last time we met at the BP station in Le Claire right next to Antique Archaeology, but doing that this time would force Coalvalleyers, Tbribri, KellyB3, and sdbryant all to back-track. A more convenient spot for everyone might be the BP on US-6 in Coal Valley at 105 W. 1st Ave (although I still recommend the Iowans fuel up on less expensive petrol before crossing the river).

Also, Shelbyville, KY seemed to work out well for the Friday night bivouac. Any alternative suggestions?
 

Last edited by Gil-galad; 08-19-2015 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:46 AM
smieska
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i don't know if we have gotten confirmation on Thursday evening reservations at Bryant B&B but that was our hope, The stop outside Louisville worked out good last time we thought. Makes Saturday a short day
 
  #6  
Old 08-19-2015, 11:28 AM
Gil-galad
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Anyone who has ideas for drives please feel free to share them in this thread.

Referencing our '13 trip, the Waterfall Loop seemed to be well received among the group, as did the Monday morning drive to Cades Cove followed by the afternoon excursion to Outmotoring and MINI of Knoxville.

Feedback welcome. There are likely other roads, routes, and restaurants that deserve exploration too.
 
  #7  
Old 08-20-2015, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by smieska View Post
i don't know if we have gotten confirmation on Thursday evening reservations at Bryant B&B but that was our hope, The stop outside Louisville worked out good last time we thought. Makes Saturday a short day
The Bryant B&B is open to anyone interested. Please let Brandon know that he is welcome also.
 
  #8  
Old 08-20-2015, 01:17 PM
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I just made reservations for the night of 9/25 at the HIE & Suites right along I-64 Exit #35 in Shelbyville, KY (110 Club House Drive). There are several alternatives in that general area if you prefer something other than IHG-owned properties.
 
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Old 08-20-2015, 05:04 PM
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The Falls tour was a great day, Who'd a thunk they had so many water falls and rock slides in such a small area. One of our favorite days was the trip south thru Cherokee, Bryson City and up the Fontana Rd into Fontana Dam area, I think thats where we followed the Porsche thru the twisties and he finally got over so we could motor past and get back up to speed. Thats leads us right into Deals Gap and the Dragon. Anyone up for a run at the Dragon again? We are booked at Shelbyville for Friday at Ramada just a couple miles from HIE. Hoping we don't have the rain to deal with again this year.
 
  #10  
Old 08-20-2015, 05:56 PM
Gil-galad
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Originally Posted by smieska View Post
...Anyone up for a run at the Dragon again?
...or runs (i.e., plural).

Going all that way and then bypassing those 11 miles of US-129 would be sacrilege.
 
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Old 08-21-2015, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by smieska View Post
Anyone up for a run at the Dragon again?
I don't know, i hear it is bear infested.

I would like to run on 32 south of Hartford again. very nice.
 
  #12  
Old 08-21-2015, 10:57 AM
Gil-galad
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Originally Posted by miniturns View Post
I don't know, i hear it is bear infested.




Originally Posted by miniturns View Post
I would like to run on 32 south of Hartford again. very nice.
Yeah, it would be a whole new experience without the wet leaves covering the road surface.
 
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:45 AM
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We would like to meet at BP on US-6 in Coal Valley for the trip out. About what time-frame? Also, we reserved at the HIE Shelbyville, KY, on Friday as well. We are looking forward to the trip and motoring.
 
  #14  
Old 08-22-2015, 02:22 PM
Gil-galad
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Two years ago, we departed Le Claire at 8:30 am and that seemed to work out just fine for everyone -- prompt but not ungodly early.

I propose an 8:30 am departure from the Coal Valley BP on US-6 (105 W. 1st Ave). Post up if you have an alternative proposal.
 
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:14 PM
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Hey guys, Laura and i don't mind meeting everyone at the BP station in LeClair, it's only a twenty minute drive. Also staying in Shelbyville on friday night sounds good to us!!
 
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:27 PM
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Hi Peg, did you ever receive my check for the full amount and have you cashed it ?
 
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:30 PM
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Gary, do you have the Phone no for the Shelbyville HIE handy ?
 
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:57 AM
Gil-galad
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Originally Posted by Coalvalleyers View Post
Hey guys, Laura and i don't mind meeting everyone at the BP station in LeClair, it's only a twenty minute drive. Also staying in Shelbyville on friday night sounds good to us!!
The BP stop in Coal Valley is actually more convenient for several folks living on the IL side, so I think we'll stick with that. Keeping things new and interesting!
 
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:02 AM
Gil-galad
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Originally Posted by Coalvalleyers View Post
Gary, do you have the Phone no for the Shelbyville HIE handy ?
110 Club House Drive
Shelbyville, KY 40065
Hotel Reservations: 877-834-3613
Hotel Front Desk: 502-647-0109
 
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Old 08-23-2015, 08:32 AM
smieska
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Peggy said she has received all payments and checks cashed. I vote for 8:30 start with 7 hours drive to Shelbyville that makes a good day, hoping for good weather this time around.
 
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Old 08-23-2015, 10:48 AM
Gil-galad
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Started to put together some drive ideas based on feedback thus far. These are only first-cut suggestions; easily modified to meet folks' wishes or adjust to available time.

1. Clingman's Dome, Hellbender, and Dragon

- I think this faithfully honors the route suggested by smieska. I added in the Clingman's Dome stop just for fun but it could be easily bypassed too. This might also be a good route for including stops at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, Deal's Gap, and the Chilhowee Lake overlook. Total distance - 183 mi.

2. Foothills Parkway, the Dragon, and the Cherohala Skyway

- Could be run in either direction. Total distance - 208 mi.

3. Cades Cove, Outmotoring, and MINI of Knoxville

- Since the Cades Cove loop is short, it might be a good day to take in the desired Knoxville stops (alternatively, TN-32 out and back could be substituted but since it's in the opposite direction, it might be better to combine TN-32 with the Artist's Loop or other roads to the east). Total distance - 136 mi.

4. Waterfall Loop (original)

- Our drive on the final day of the '13 trip...though it might be nicer to do it counterclockwise -- if we drive up through the Cullasaja Canyon (instead of down) the waterfalls will be visible ahead of us rather than having to look back over your shoulder. It would put us near the resort town of Highlands around lunchtime and it's a good bet there are interesting options around there. Also, perhaps the temperature of the water at Bust-your-Butt Falls will be higher in late afternoon (). Total distance - 271 mi.

Hope to add more drive ideas so there's plenty to choose from.
 

Last edited by Gil-galad; 08-24-2015 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:51 PM
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Here's a twist on the "old" Waterfall Loop route, which I'm calling Loop #2:

5. Waterfall Loop #2

- This route is actually 17 mi shorter than the other loop at 254 mi total. It takes advantage of the same awesome climb through the Cullasaja Canyon to the Bridal Veil Falls underpass and the town of Highlands, but then it heads south on NC-28 and crosses over the border into Georgia. It passes over the famous Chattooga River Gorge into South Carolina where significant portions of the movie Deliverance were filmed, with the southern terminus at the Stumphouse Tunnel Park and Issaqueena Falls . It then heads north on SC-107 and NC-281 with a stop at Whitewater Falls. Rather than jumping on US-64 E at Lake Toxaway, the route stays on NC-281/NC-107 for a long stretch of twisties on the return trip to Sylva. Total distance - 254 mi.

Yes, this alternative route bypasses Bust-Your-Butt Falls (meaning we'd all stay dry and uninjured) but makes up for it in a much larger percentage of great driving roads. Plus, it would be new and different.
 

Last edited by Gil-galad; 08-24-2015 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:04 PM
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You've got me drooling now. I sure am glad your such a great route planner Gary. So far everything I see looks like great roads and lots of twisties. Time to start counting the days.
 
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:54 AM
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Another option:

6. TN-32 and the Rattler

This ride includes an "out-n-back" on the stretch of TN-32 hairpin turns mentioned in an earlier post by miniturns, then makes its way northeast to the mountain town of Hot Springs (lunch should be easy here...they claim to have more restaurants per capita than any city in NC). This is the northern end of a segment of North Carolina Highway NC-209 known locally as The Rattler, which appears to enjoy praise from the bikers. The route continues south on NC-209 to Lake Junaluska, then across on US-19 to Cherokee, then back through the GSM National Park. A small section of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Cherokee is an option too. Total distance - 193 mi.
 

Last edited by Gil-galad; 08-24-2015 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:47 PM
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...and here's yet another possibility:

7. Double Dragon, Wayah Road, Mountain Meander, and Hellbender

For those who just can't get enough of those famous 318 curves. The initial outbound Dragon run continues south on US-129 past Robbinsville to tiny Topton. A short stint on US-74 is followed by a right turn on to Wayah Road, a remote mountain road without much traffic; described by MotorcycleRoads.com as having "amazingly technical turns with huge elevation changes." At Franklin (probable lunch stop) the route heads back to the north on a section of NC-28 that is often bypassed by travelers who take the more direct route to GSMNP on US-441. The rest of the return trip offers the Hellbender, a second pass at the Dragon in the opposite direction, and the Foothills Parkway on the way back to Sevierville. Total distance - 246 mi.
 

Last edited by Gil-galad; 08-24-2015 at 01:17 PM.

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