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Discussion Starter #1
Hey ya'll, I got the call a few days ago that my Elise is at Autostrada in Austin, TX, and I'll be flying out to pick it up soon.

Here's my plan.

Fly out on Sunday the 17th Oct, pick up the car in the morning on the 18th. I'll spend that day and the next tooling around Austin and visiting with my family and friends. Wednesday I will head up to Dallas to visit another friend of mine, and Thursday morning (early) I will be heading towards Memphis, TN via I-40. I'm going to go from there to Lawrenceburg, TN via 72, and then on to Athens, TN on 64. I'll stay overnight near there, and then take the Cherohala Skyway to Robbinsville, NC, and then run the Tail of the Dragon (US129) both ways early Friday. From there, I'm going to drive the entire length of the Blue Ridge Pkway to Washington, DC. I have to be at a friends wedding in Bowie, MD by 4pm the next day(23rd). After that, I'm driving back down to Virginia Beach for work at noon on sunday the 24th.

Here's my issues:

1. Criswell won't have a Lotus Tech that Saturday morning, the 23rd. Should I try to bribe him to be there, or can I get any reputable shop to download my ecu and then send that to Lotus? How do I go about doing that? I don't really want to have to drive back up to DC another weekend unless there's no other choice. Alternately, if I can put enough miles on it before I leave Dallas, I could have the service done in Dallas. What's the minimum number of miles that I have to put on the car before I can get the after sales service performed?

2. Anyone have any suggestions about the route? Know any better roads on the way home?

3. Anyone want to meet up early Friday morning (6am or so) at the Dragon? I'm somewhat flexible on the time, but earlier is better, I have a long drive up to DC...

Anybody have any suggestions? Jenn, didn't you do your service independently of the dealer? What did you have to do, and who did you send your printout to?

Thanks, ya'll...

Cade

PS... Lumn8r's car is at Autostrada right now, too... I'll post pics of both of our cars when I get down there. Neil and Andrew at Autostrada are great, by the way... very helpful, enjoyable to work with.
 

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Cade,
The blue ridge park way is VERY LONG and speed limit is 45 with a moderate amount of enforcement, plus it's federal property so getting ticketed is apparently a real hassle. I takes a long time to cover the distance you want to. I find after about 100 miles at near the speed limit I move off to a bit faster roads. Now, if you ignore the speed limit (no one here would do that of course) it's a great road.


I'd suggest some really sweet roads in Northern N. Carol. on VA border around MT. Airy and Pilot Mountain.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yup, I was concerned about that, I figured it was close enough to the highways that if it got too slow, I could pull off and use the highway. Wasn't sure how heavily patrolled it is, though.

Specifically what roads up near the border of NC and VA? I'd love to take the time to hit a couple more twisties.

Cade
 

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Drive a lot before getting to Dallas or take a detour to Atlanta, GA for the service.

Austin to Dallas is 200 miles
Dallas to Memphis is 250 miles
Memphis to Nashville is 200 miles
Nashvile to Atlanta is 250 miles

Edit: Jenn took her car to the lotus dealer, but the tech wasn't there some other tech did the service but still at the lotus dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How many miles do I have to have before I can bring it in for the service? I've heard 600 somewhere... I can probably hit that, but if it's significantly more... probably not.

Cade
 

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Miguel said:
Drive a lot before getting to Dallas or take a detour to Atlanta, GA for the service.

Austin to Dallas is 200 miles
Dallas to Memphis is 250 miles
Memphis to Nashville is 200 miles
Nashvile to Atlanta is 250 miles

Edit: Jenn took her car to the lotus dealer, but the tech wasn't there some other tech did the service but still at the lotus dealer.
Your timeframe is really tight. I also think you want to see your 1000 mile service before doing the tail of the dragon (IMHO).

Rearrange your schedule to get to Atlanta by Thursday noon, get an appointment there, head into the mountains and stay off the Interstates on Friday, stay somewhere near near Roanoke Friday night, drive to Bowie Saturday morning, drive home Sunday.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Definitely is a tight timeframe... no argument there. The detour to Atlanta is something I'm going to have to consider. Best case scenario is having the service done in Dallas, and continuing on with my timeline from there. I don't have a problem with long days behind the wheel, I've done plenty of those. The thought behind leaving Friday morning from the Dragon was that I could use the morning saturday to finish the drive northward if needed, since Criswell won't do my service with the tech not there. However, now that I know Jenn did it that way, I'm going to call them back and try to be persuasive.

Cade
 

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MotorCade said:
Definitely is a tight timeframe... no argument there. The detour to Atlanta is something I'm going to have to consider. Best case scenario is having the service done in Dallas, and continuing on with my timeline from there. I don't have a problem with long days behind the wheel, I've done plenty of those. The thought behind leaving Friday morning from the Dragon was that I could use the morning saturday to finish the drive northward if needed, since Criswell won't do my service with the tech not there. However, now that I know Jenn did it that way, I'm going to call them back and try to be persuasive.

Cade
Let me know how Criswell treats you, not coming from their dealership and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Criswell seems to have been pretty friendly, but no love on getting service up there that saturday.

It looks like I'm going to be modifying my itinerary. Instead of passing through southern TN, I think I'm going to go straight to Atlanta, GA, leaving wednesday afternoon and stopping when I'm tired. I'll finish the trip to Atlanta in the morning thursday and get service that afternoon. From there to somewhere near Deals Gap that night, and run the Dragon in the morning. From there I have the remainder of that day and the morning on saturday to get to Bowie, MD.

This will give me a little less hectic of a schedule, and allow me to get service before I tackle the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway.

Anybody in the region want to head up to the Dragon together?

Cade
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Shinoo! Just cause you're not buying it a long way from home doesn't mean you can't take a road trip, though! :)

I'm definitely looking forward to it, and will have my camera by my side for the entire trip...will post pics.

Cade
 

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Remember to fluctuate your speed when running in the car. You will damage the engine if you drive on a highway at the same speed for hours. The best way to run in the engine is going up and down thru the rev range fairly frequently.
 

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cade

when running across TN on US 64 you can do the reverse drive of what Randy did. at Winchester TN take the road that heads to Cowan and Sewannee. That takes you up a fairly short but nice twisty road uphill, past sewanne and on to the intersection with Interstate 24 at Monteagle TN. the interstate drive into chattanooga is very scenic and the run back down the mountain is a fabulous winding high speed ride. you'd be well advised to use the interstate through Chattanooga. 24 intersects I 75 at Chattanooga and if you detour to atlanta that is the way to go. if not you can either take I 75 on toward knoxville. the road to the cherohala is TN 68 (i think) and it is marked with a very large brown info sign on the interstate. randy being the magellan of driving found a bit more direct route using dan's gps toy. at any rate, if you take TN 68 the entry to the cherohala is something like 30 miles after taking the right turn onto 68. watch for a brown sign marked cherohala skyway.

if you had a little more time to waste or if there is no need to hit atlanta you could get back onto 64 east of chattanooga around cleveland TN and take 64 along the ocoee river (used for olympic events for ATL olympics). it is a great winding drive. it would eventually put you in the murphy area. there you can take the road toward andrews and hook up with 129 theres a bit south of deals gap.


if you made it through on just the right day i'd be up for a jaunt over there. good chance though that i will be in new orleans when you drive through. when firmed up let us know the exact date.



and oh yeah there should be some wonderful fall color for your drive...things are just starting to change here this week
 

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the VA leg of your trip

Cade- If you were doing this two weeks later, I would join you. I too will be doing the Dragon and the Skyway. Do keep in mind (like Randy said) that the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) is 45mph and takes a LONG time to cover territory. DEER WARNING: at dusk on the BRP I once saw 25 deer in 30 minutes. Traveling through VA, I-81 North in the Shenandoah Valley roughly parallels the BRP and is MUCH faster. There are several places to get on/off the BRP from I-81. I-64 (which intersects with both the BRP and I-81) is one spot to get on/off. The BRP is free. North of I-64 it becomes VA's Skyline Drive ($12 fee and same 45mph speed limit. Lots of tourists this time of year, but spectacular vistas). A great cut-over from I-81 (South of Winchester, VA and I-66) is Rte. 211 East. It goes over two mountains with many twisties. Follow 211 East and then take 15 North into Frederick, MD. Then east on I-270 to Gaithersburg. Or stay on I-81 all the way into MD before heading East. PM me if you want more info.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the info, ya'll! I'm going to sit down again with the map and see which of these ideas I can work in.

Don't worry Tony, I plan to do part of the break-in through the hill country roads around Austin. I just don't know if I can get to 800 miles in only a couple days, since I want to spend some time with my family and friends while I'm home, too.

When I do have to drive highway, I'm going to be using different gears and different speeds frequently.

Currently I have an appointment for service at noon on Thursday at Lotus of Atlanta. Anyone want to stop in and chat?

Cade
 
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