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Summer Road Rally

Ty88

Seasoned Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2023
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Location
Florida, USA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2023 CT5 V Blackwing
I live in flat, boring, straight-road Florida so am thinking of signing up for this "Circle the Smokies" July 24-27 event:


Does anyone have any experience with this organization? Good? Bad? Thank you for any advice.
 
I don't know anything about them, but the Golden State 800 looks interesting.
 
I live in flat, boring, straight-road Florida so am thinking of signing up for this "Circle the Smokies" July 24-27 event:


Does anyone have any experience with this organization? Good? Bad? Thank you for any advice.

No experience with them but.....
Why not just go for a drive in that area on your own?

I took a look at the rough itinerary.

Any rally that goes through Gatlinburg, much less actually stays the night there, is a hard NO from me. Why go on a driving rally that takes you through one of the circles of hell (from a driving perspective), repeatedly? The goal is to stay *away* from rolling chicanes and pylons on the road, not go to their home base. Makes no sense to me.

Just follow some general rules:
Enjoy slow cruising on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and have fun on *many* of the really good roads leading up to it.
Don't take Deal's Gap / Tail of the Dragon unless you hit it early on a weekday morning.
 
For many, the social element of these rally's is the main appeal, not simply trying to knock out miles on good roads. Also, having the logistics sorted is a nice feature. But purely for driving angle, I think we could all create a good roads list for our regions.
 
For many, the social element of these rally's is the main appeal, not simply trying to knock out miles on good roads. Also, having the logistics sorted is a nice feature. But purely for driving angle, I think we could all create a good roads list for our regions.

I don't disagree in general. I guess I don't weigh those factors as heavily. The ride isn't as fun if you add too many people. As for planning, the roads are so good in that part of the country you can just get lost and have a great time on some great roads--probably even *more* fun off the main roads everybody knows about. I'd also not pick that time of year, but I understand why they did that. I'm lucky enough to just head up there when I please after looking at the week ahead forecast.

However, even if I were someone who wanted the social aspect and pre-planned logistics, Gatlinburg would be a deal breaker. Someone would have to pay *me* to go back there, not the other way around. Unless this is really well-planned he could be looking at a lot of "parade" time. Heavy, slow traffic. The worst kind of tourist drivers. Police presence. I've been through there a few times on motorcycles ... never again. Apologies to those who like it (I know a lot who do), but I'd describe it as redneck tourist trap hell.
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A rally like this should get him away from that sort of thing. I'd recommend just getting a place in Bryson City or Franklin or Brevard (NC). Asheville is also fantastic if he wants a bigger city with more restaurants & amenities. Just do loops from those locations. Come back next year and do the same thing from Boone, perhaps. Hard to just list roads here, without some parameters (location, days, miles per day, etc.). When we did motorcycle trips we'd generally decide whether we wanted to change hotels each night or have a home base. Then pick a location or locations to stay. Then come up with some good routes (that was the easy part).
 
Road & Track Magazine advertises these kinds of drives. BUT.....they are ridiculously priced for wealthy people. I was interested in doing a Hudson NY drive and found out it was over $12,000 for 4 days ! Also, I have heard that "Tail of the Dragon is slated to get some major road work started this year (2024) and may not be a good year to do it.
 
Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I get the fact that driving these roads without being in a group may be more fun. However, the social aspect of the activity is also important to me as has been mentioned in previous threads. Thanks again.
 

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