We held our second Off-the-Beaten-Path drive and dine on July 19.
Of the 57,000+ Porsches sold in the US, over half (34,237) are SUV’s. Add in over 1.1 million acres of National Forest in the backyard of the Appalachian Region and it is only natural that the region would host an SUV drive so members can experience their SUV’s the way they were intended; in the forests traversing uneven road conditions with beautiful forested mountain scenery.
Rob and Susan Doudrick planned our latest SUV drive that hosted 13 SUV’s with 28 members driving or navigating. The route started by traveling through the Bent Creek Experimental Forest before passing under the Blue Ridge Parkway and then traversing Forest Service Road 479 to Mills River.
As Rob explained at breakfast following the drive, an Experimental Forest is a test bed for the National Forest Service to try different conservation techniques for our forests here in the US. The Bent Creek Experimental Forest is the oldest in the US. Techniques being tested include, prescribed burns, clear cutting, logging techniques, etc. Rob held a Q&A over breakfast so we all gained a little education in addition to a nice drive.
Rob prepared us first with thorough driving instruction for safe traversing of gravel and dirt paths and how to handle different driving situations. We crossed a couple washouts that added to the driving anticipation as Rob announced over the radios, “a washout, stay to the left, or caution, Mountain Bikers or hikers.” All roads are US numbered roads so they are legal roads recognized by insurance companies should anything happen. We are happy to say that it was an incident free driving tour.
After a ten-mile drive through the Pisgah National Forest with the early morning light streaming through the trees glistening on the streams and lighting up the few remaining Rhododendron blooms we reached the pavement of Mills River for a smooth drive to breakfast.
Breakfast was at the Mills River Restaurant where several Breakfast Ramblers joined the group for some southern home cooking before we all headed for home.
Appalachian Events Chair