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18,725 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I'm sure that by now, most of you that had an interest have seen my other roadtrip thread that I took in the springtime. The one where I went to 25 states and driving 14.5k miles in a matter of 37 days. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the link:
Well I was looking at the route that I took and I can't really say that I went everywhere and experienced everything within the continental United States.

There's a whole bunch of states south of me that I've never set foot in. In fact, I've never even been south of Maryland. I've always wanted to go to Florida especially, and it seemed as though everyone except me has been there. Well it was time to rectify the situation.
So, I set off again in November 2009. This trip was going to take me from NYC to New Orleans to Key West, and back along the Appalachian mountains. Same car, a 95 Jetta 2.0. The only thing it needed since the last trip was a new driver's axle and a set of control arm bushings (I got the hybrid set from GAP). I picked up a set of Borbet Type E's over the summer and as it turns out, two of them have nasty bends in them that make the car shake at 40-50mph. It was pretty annoying but they've always been one of my favorite wheels so I stuck with them. I also had the feeling that the passenger-side axle was going but everything seemed fine from a visual inspection and it lasted for the whole trip. No other maintenance was performed this summer. So basically, nothing really went wrong with the car on yet another cross-country adventure. The car had 178k miles when I left, and when I returned 12 days later, I racked up another 5500 miles totaling 183.5k miles on the car right now. I beat my previous daily average by doing about 460 miles per day this time. Both trips combined have been 20,000 miles this year, traveling the country. An added bonus for this thread is that I'll be including some video footage which I hope everyone appreciates because it takes a while to create and edit the footage. I'll admit that this wasn't as grand of a trip as the previous one, but I can happily say that I've seen just about all the states in the continental US from behind the wheel of my Mk3.
Enough rambling, and onto the pictures...

18,725 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Day 1
Left home at 3am. Got into Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia around 9am.

I forgot to take a picture of just the falls without me in it, so here's one I found on google:

Somewhere in Kentucky:

Made it into Gatlinburg, Tennessee to see the Star Cars Museum
BumbleBee from the Transformers movie

One of the last 17 remaining General Lee's

The Grand National from Fast and Furious 4

The actual Eleanor, not a kit reproduction

I thought this thing blew up?

This was pretty cool. As you walked up the staircase to the second floor, they had a sensor that would trigger the headlights and make revving sounds. One of my favorite car movies

A swimsuit Pam wore on the show

Smokey and the Bandit

Crazy Doc Brown and his time machine

The Beverly Hillbillies jalopy

The GTO from XXX



Hard to believe they ever made such huge cars

Days of Thunder


Bob Hope's 53 Skylark

Then headed into a rest area for the night. It was a long day, almost 1000 miles in a single day.

18,725 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day 2
Alongside The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
(I saved exploring the park in depth for the return trip)

Scenic Foothills Parkway in Tennessee

And the highlight of the day:
The Tail of the Dragon! US129 near Deals Gap, TN and the South Caroline border. For those who don't know about this incredible road, it has 318 turns in a matter of 11 miles and is hailed as one of the best motorcycle and sports car roads in the world.

This was the most fun I've ever had driving my car. Engine revving, tires burning, axles rubbing, fenders rubbing, the car smelling like burnt rubber. It was AMAZING! For anyone who's even remotely near, you have to drive this road. I don't care how far you have to travel. There are even motels nearby in the $20 range so you have no excuse.
Now, a picture won't really do this road justice. So I spent most of the day yesterday creating this video. The camera is old and footage is shaky but nonetheless, I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy it.
So I finished the entire 11 miles, put down the cameras, and breathed a sigh of relief and satisfaction. I had survived! Started heading back and the attention and alertness had faded. Well wouldn't you know it, I took a corner too fast and went off the road. It's hard to describe my feelings at that moment, running your pride and joy off a back Tennessee country road. I thought the car was going to be wrecked so far from home but kept myself from panicking and got all 4 wheels back onto pavement. Luckily there was a pullout right away.
This is the one that did me in:

Tire mark

Digging into the gravel
Apparantly I'm not the only one since there were lots of scrapemarks on the pavement from others too

The pavement height was higher than it looks in the pic

The car left it's mark on the pavement

Pavement in the engine bay

The pans had fresh paint on them before I left so all these marks are from that corner
New battle scars

But nothing broken! Nothing leaking, nothing bent, nothing I had to fix or get towed for so I was lucky. The car took it like a champ and continued on like nothing happened. And now I have an interesting story to tell.

Soldiering on
(I just taught myself how to make a gif!)

Rest Area for the night in Alabama

Modified by LG6R at 2:11 PM 11-17-2009

18,725 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: (Gotsol)

Quote, originally posted by MKIII’s KING »
what's next mexico?

Nah, I was right there at the border in El Taso, Yuma, and Tijuana and didn't go over; didn't feel it was safe enough. But I still have another roadtrip brewing in the back of my mind that would top these.

Quote, originally posted by Pineapplegti ! »
I just remotely blessed the rivets in your 020.. They will last forever.
Nice thought but nothing lasts forever.

Quote, originally posted by Gotsol »
scary stuff on the Dragon. Great road though. Have a save trip

I drove like a granny after that. Also interesting watching an 18-wheeler negotiate those turns. Now that was dangerous, when a big rig takes up the entire roadway from ditch to ditch and cars/bikes coming around blind corners.

I'm back home already, so everything went smoothly from there on out.

18,725 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: (LG6R)

Day 3
Mercedes-Benz factory tour in Vance, Alabama

No pictures allowed on the tour, but these were in the museum

1886 Daimler Motor Carriage

En route to Louisiana

These were the best of the bunch

I took the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway but don't have any pics of that. It's the longest bridge on the planet at 23 miles long, including 8 miles of not seeing land due to the curvature of the Earth.
New Orleans

The po-po have an SRT8 Challenger!

Took a Jazz cruise on the Natchez, the last remaining steam paddle boat on the Mississippi

The steam room

I think that'll be it for now.

3,973 Posts

awesome meeting you this past weekend, wish i had looked at the car closer. enjoying both your threads http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
edit-i missed the video the first time through, my favorite song of all time. good choice.

Modified by New 2 at 11:57 PM 11-17-2009
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