Updated with Facebook and Google+ event links and new route details:
Hey guys. After some collaboration with Daender and another member of the drive, we've revised the route for the Mountain Drive, scheduled for October 23-26. It's scheduled for three days, two nights, with the plan being for us to camp overnight instead of spending money on hotels, so those planning on coming should bring their own camping equipment. Please be aware that you don't have to come for the entire 3 days. If you just want to meet up with us and join in for a single day or stint of the journey, that is more than welcome.
As for the route changes, the original route had a large amount of Interstates and four-lane highways, which seemed kind of antithetical to an event called 'Mountain Run', haha. So we changed it to reduce the number of stints on major interstates and highways and stick more to the twists and curves of the mountains.
We're currently routed to visit the west half of the Blue Ridge Parkway along the way, however we've planned an alternate route in case we discover that the Parkway is clogged with a bunch of leaf-gawking tourists. On the southward leg, we'll be spending about half a day at the Tail of the Dragon for some up and down runs for those who wish to take part. Also....the new route features a motherfucking loop-de-loop!
Another important factor is fewer towns and tourist routes, which should help reduce the amount of traffic and 'traffic officials', excluding Tail of the Dragon, of course, since that's obviously part of the route. I've handpicked a lot of the route to provide the best mix of technical, challenging roads as well as a few parts of more relaxing, scenic bits to let us and our cars recuperate. Also, towns are strategically placed to allow places to stop and refuel, eat, and rest. Here's the new, revised route:
Right now we've got about a dozen cars signed on to go. If you're interested in joining, let me know or visit the event page on Facebook or Google+ and RSVP on there:
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2856121…
Google+ Event Page: https://plus.google.com/events/c6ki4g9…
Please be aware the last time we did this run, myself and a couple others had to stop halfway down some of the downhill portions to let our brakes cool, as brake fade was becoming a problem. Some of us actually had smoke coming off our brakes. Luckily, we've upgraded our brakes since then, but it brings up an important point:
Please make sure your car is capable of completing a 360-mile trip through some of the best mountain roads in the region. You are encouraged to bring a small mechanics toolkit and extra fluids (especially oil, brake fluid, and coolant) in addition to camping supplies. I myself will be bringing a 4-person tent if anyone doesn't have their own tent and needs to crash in mine.
Also, if anyone coming has a vehicle that has plentiful cargo room and would like to volunteer their car as a 'gear vehicle', please let me know. My own car is very limited on both space and power, so the less gear I have to carry in it, the better, lol.
Cell signal will also be spotty for many of us, so we're trying to work out a way to equip everyone with hand-held radios for the journey. I myself can provide 3 or 4, but if anyone else attending can contribute to the radio dispersal, that would be greatly appreciated.
On the topic of navigation, we will be printing out directions for everyone who is RSVP'd as 'Going', along with a few extras, just in case. Be aware that mobile GPS apps will be less effective, as most do not allow custom routes and even fewer, if any, allow custom routes while without a data connection. Each driver is encouraged to bring along a paper map with them. If anyone attending has a GPS that allows custom routes and will work in the mountains, please let me know and we'll try and space drivers with an effective GPS in the front, middle, and rear of the convoy to reduce the chances of people getting lost.
If you have a dash cam, GoPro, Nabi Square HD, ION cam, or any other form of recording equipment, feel free the bring it along. I've been talking with Daender and we're discussing a possible narration theme for the trip for anyone who wants to bring recording gear. It'll be sort of like super-low-budget Top Gear!
The primary theme we're looking at right now is "Which modifications are truly necessary to fully enjoy a car?" We may also add a "-when you're on a budget" to the end of that, too.
So we'll be exploring the pro's and cons of stock and modified vehicles and the individual mods themselves and in the end will try and come up with a verdict on what is the perfect balance of frugality and customization. Obviously the more people who come, the broader range of vehicles we'll have and therefore the more basis for comparison we'll have.
As for what this means for individual persons? Well it means recording gear- primarily microphones and cameras. I think myself and 3 or 4 others all have a GoPro apiece. I know I'll be using mine to film raw car antics from multiple angles, probably switching camera location every time we stop. I'll probably end up using my smartphone to record narration and dialogue. However, if anyone else wants to join in on the hosting fun or contribute equipment (cameras, mics, MicroSD cards) to said hosts during the trip, feel free the speak up.
If anyone hates this idea, or has suggestions on how to improve or adjust it, please comment and let us know! You can also just comment to say how much you like the idea, haha.
And last but not least:
We are going on this run to have a good time with other gearheads and Opponauts. We expect everyone to be respectful of the laws as well as the safety and well-being of themselves and other cars on the road. I'm not going to pretend that speed limits are going to be strictly adhered to, but please be aware of your limits and the limits of your own car and the limits of the other cars and drivers around you. This is not the place to show off and pretend to be a professional drifter. These are public roads with sheer drops down mountainsides in some places, so please use common sense and respect when operating your vehicle.