[Editor's Note: Craig is back from his 2007 Summer Adventure and has created a great index you can use for planning your own trip to the south here.]
You can read his field reports, listed in a day-by-day linear fashion here.
Here are the places Craig visited on this trip:
Manchester - Atlanta - Dawsonville
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Bristol Motor Speedway
Corbin - Mammoth Cave National Park
Lynchburg - Chattanooga
Warner Robins - Atlanta
Okay, as some of you may know, I've been taking an increasing interest in Nascar in the past couple of years and, well, I've been unable to control myself a little... I've been and gone and booked a couple of tickets to the Sharpie 500 Nextel Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in August... yeah, I know, naughy Craig!
At the moment I've yet to book any flights or make any definte plans for the rest of the trip but I have some ideas and would welcome any suggestions from you good folks on here. The usual stuff, really, must see/do places, amusing places to visit, photo opportunities, etc. There is some overlap with one of my previous Nascar trips but I think there's enough out there to keep us amused! I'd particularly welcome any suggestions relating to Nashville (is it worth the drive out or should we simply cut that out and chill a bit?) and the JD place (anyone been - is it worth it?)
The dates below (with the obvious exception of the race) are fluid at the moment. But I can only really spare 6 days of my holiday entitlement (ie 5 weekdays and a recovery day when I get back to London) and my thoughts are something along the lines of:
Weds 22nd August fly Gatwick to Atlanta and drive north to North Georgia Premium Outlet Center at Dawsonville GA to stock up on cheap clothes. Stop overnight in motel/hotel.
Thurs 23rd August Drive to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and take tour in car followed by short hike. Set up camp inside the park before heading back out to watch sunset.
Fri 24th August Continue exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, take longer hike, then drive to the Motel 6 in Newport TN.
Sat 25th August drive to the Bristol Motor Speedway for Nextel Cup race. Return to Motel 6 in Newport for the night.
Sun 26th August drive to Nashville TN. Find local campground or motel.
Mon 27th August head onwards to Lynchburg TN and visit the Jack Daniels Distillery. Find local campground or motel.
Tues 28th August Head back to Atlanta GA and take overnight flight back to London.
Has anyone travelled the Cherohala Skyway or the Tail of the Dragons at Deals Gap? They look kinda fun and we could potentially make a detour on the way from Dawsonville to the Smoky Mountains if they're worth the visit??