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The Drive...

 

Southeast Audi TT Rally
as hosted by:

Audi TT Club of America

April 12-14, 2000

Highlands, North Carolina

The entire weekend was centered around a beautiful lodge setting.  The place where everyone stayed is called The Kelsey & Hutchinson Lodge.

It turned out I drove the furthest than anyone else to get there.  I came from Long Island, NY.  It was an 859 mile drive that I did over a two day period.  I left Thursday at 7:40pm.  I stopped in Virginia for 4 hours to get some sleep.  I drove around 9 hours that first night.

My TTQ drove beautifully through all of the various weather conditions that were thrown at me/us.  It rained a good chunk of the drive that first night.  I wanted to get as many miles driven on the first day as possible to make the second day more relaxing.  For most of the trip i set the cruise on 80mph to give my leg a rest and maintain a nice easy pace.  The fuel economy was actually very good!  i was averaging close to 30mpg for the entire trip.  I was quite pleased with that.  I had a few bursts of speed over 100mph and quite a bit of sub 60mph.  I had traffic leaving NY and then some more down in the Delaware area.  The north east seems to be a 24 hour traffic jam.  I could hardly wait to get past all of these traffic jams and toll booths and into the quiet of the south.

The second part of my drive began Friday morning.  It was raining out . . .again!  I knew I had about 6 hours or so ahead of me and wanted to get an early start.  Since I went to sleep after 4:30am, I left the hotel at 9:16am.  The roads were not too crowded, but people were not driving fast enough, nor were they courteous enough for me.  The speed limit was 70mph and people were doing 65 in the LEFT LANE!  aaahh!

I eventually made my way around all of those annoying drivers and got into North Carolina.  The drive became faster at this point.  The road also seemed to open up a little.  The road also became more hilly and twisty!  i could tell this was going to be the best part of the entire trip to this point.  Once I left the interstate the roads got even more challenging.  At one point I was on a very nice fast 3 lane road in each direction and was doing 85+mph uphill through beautiful sweepers and cut backs.  This was like a hill climb type of road, and I was going uphill!  Once at the top, I had a similar road going back downhill!  Same speeds, but obviously more braking.  The car just ate this up and so did I.  I wish the TTQ had three things at this point; better brakes, better tires and my 6pt harness!

I had a blast driving these hills.  This is something that Long Island is surely lacking! lol

The final 45 minutes was spent on beautiful scenic mountain roads.  These roads twisted and turned and cut back into themselves.  It is a 2 lane road running along a river and the mountains.  The speed limit ranged from 15mph to 45mph.  I had bursts of 85+mph along these roads.  I tried to take these turns as fast as I could and the car handled them very well.  The seats are another story.  The left bolster was able to keep me planted fairly well, the right back bolster I kept "popping" out of.  I am not exactly a very wide person, but I fit in the seat pretty well.  I was surprised how poor the lateral support is for the torso.  I was very disappointed in it.  I know for the next time I will make sure I bring my harness bar!

I passed a beautiful site on my left almost at the end of the drive.  It was a waterfall with a motorcycle BEHIND it!  The waterfall passed in front of the bike and the driver was in his wet gear taking pictures!  I could not believe how beautiful it looked, I then promised myself that I would stop and take the same pictures on my way home, which I did.  Go to the Pictures area to see them.

I pulled into The Kelsey & Hutchinson Lodge  at 3:35pm.  I checked in and then the first people I saw were Brett, Cliff and Jurgen.  We are talking Georgia, Maryland and Alabama!  We hung out and talked and waited for everyone else to arrive.  It was really nice to finally put a face to the name and voice.

Once everyone arrived, we all gathered in the lower floor of the main lodge.  We met everyone and Brett handed out the weekend itinerary.  The two men from Audi of America showed up in time for dinner.  They were from the Southeast Region.  We had a short Q&A with them and decided that everyone was tired and we would continue it tomorrow.

Photos of the trip

The Drive...