I Took the Long Way Home - Maggie Valley, NC to Atlanta, GA
I was up in Maggie Valley staying with a couple friends this weekend and thought it would be a great trip for the Elise. The drive up was late after work on Friday and not too noteworthy (although the new HID headlights were a lifesaver), but the ride home on Sunday was awesome and included:
Hwy 28, then a few runs on the Tail of the Dragon (only saw 1 TN Trooper, seems low by recent accounts)
The entire length of the Cherohala Skyway (amazing road)
Hwy 68 back into into GA
Hwy 60 into Dahlonega (my favorite road in GA)
I left about 10AM and didn't roll into Atlanta until after 7PM. A lot of people were interested in the car at the various scenic overlooks I stopped at. I met a guy with a heavily modded Mustang GT who said I was "the first car or motorcycle that kept up with him"; I Didn't have the heart to tell him I wasn't pushing it (stupid to go all out on public roads, I'm fine with spirited driving, but their is a limit).
This was my first time on the Dragon or Skyway on four wheels (been on both with my Suzuki 600 before I sold it). It was a little sad not being able to pull into the "Motorcycles Only" parking area and get a photo of the Lotus in front of the tree of shame... I'll have to head back up on a weekday for that.
All in all, it was a great trip. The leaves were changing, weather was perfect. 306 miles and averaged 28 MPG! A few observations:
1. Wear earplugs (supercharger, stage II exhaust, stereo with foot-well sub and topless make for a deafening roar)
2. Make sure everything is secured in the car (side windows were thankfully up when my GPS decided to stop sticking to the windshield)
3. Harley riders are extremely inconsiderate if they are in a group and will not pull off to let anyone pass even though they are going 25 under the speed limit b/c they don't want to scrape any chrome off of their bikes. Single riders will usually move over.
4. Probax seats are surprisingly comfortable on a long trip.
5. I still miss my old S2000's shifter, but other than that the Lotus wins.
6. There is no better way to spend a Sunday then driving a Lotus on some amazing roads (maybe a track day, but I haven't gone yet).