As dawn broke everyone was out working and checking on their Jeeps, Windrock had really tested all of the Jeeps but all in all there was no major damage and everyone as ready on time as Mel had requested. We were told to expect a long road day with some incredible experiences but to makes sure the rigs were road worthy. About an hour into the day we were at the North Carolina state line and at the start of the Tail of the Dragon highway. For any automobile enthusiast the Dragon is a must do bucket list item. With 318 curves in 11 miles even in the heavily modified JK’s this was an amazing experience and a site to behold.
From the Dragon we were off to Asheville, North Carolina to take a private tour through the Biltmore Mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt int he late 18o’s, this 8000 acre Estate is still one of the most expensive properties ever built and we were all in awe the entire tour. Just the sheer size of the property and the architecture and the undertaking was amazing. As we finished the tour Mel and Teresa told us we needed the JK’s cleaned and ready for the next day as we had a private photo shoot in front of the mansion before tourist entered in the morning, just another testament to the cool things one gets to experience on the Nitto JK Experience.
The next morning offered perfect skies for the shoot and then we were off to The Flats OHV park to taste a little of the wheeling that North Carolina has to offer. We took it easy in the morning and toured the park and then we broke up after lunch so that everyone could wheel to their skill set or to do trails they wanted to try. Before everyone took off for the afternoon Mel and our own Eric Johnson had spied some barbie jeeps and decided a down hill race was going to have to happen. Mel being the pro he is decided to let Eric do some Pre-running and Eric took advantage of it but during the test run he took out his steering so he was racing Mel Wade with no steering. Now those of you that know Eric know that he may be little but he isn’t scared of much so he manned up and took his chances. They lined up at the top of the hill and were off and to Eric’s credit he gave it his best but Mel had better equipment and he took the race with ease. Eric to this day wants a rematch and some PSC steering for his Jeep.
The Next day we were off through North Carolina to South Carolina for some awesome wheeling at the Gulches OHV park just outside Waterloo, SC. Chris Durham lead the charge on this run and he brought out his new TJ Pickup to get it on. We made a nice lap through the moderate obstacles and then were treated to an awesome Southern BBQ lunch put on by the local club and the Park and then it was back out to see what the harder runs in the park had to offer. Once we had all had some great wheeling we were off toward Savannah, Georgia for our Survivors Dinner and Ghost tour of the great town of Savannah after dark.
The next day had us off to Wormsloe Estate (home to quite a few scenes in Forrest Gump) for a photo op and then the group was to reconvene at Daytona International Speedway in fabled Daytona Beach, Florida to enter all the Jeeps in 2015 Jeep Beach Show and to become part of history with the longest Jeep parade and on the Speedway no less!!
Once again at the end of a great experience with so many good memories and great new friends how do you say goodbye…well you don’t you say see you later on the next trail. Im off to Hammertown USA to meet up with a bunch of that friends that I’ve met through the JK Experience, it truly is about the people.