The Appalachian Region is fortunate to have the best driving roads and scenery in the country and the July 22, 2020 Crack the Whip drive didn’t let us down.
There are so many great roads that we often overlook the Blue Ridge Parkway and the spectacular views from the highest point east of the Mississippi, Mt Mitchell.
Drive leader and planner, John Goetzman put together a good one for us in July. We drove the Parkway on a gorgeous day with a mid-drive walk up to the summit of Mt Mitchell. After the walk to the summit we jumped back on the Parkway to attack Devil’s Whip, NC-80 down into Marion.
The Crack the Whip drive sold out in record time with two drive groups formed to meet COVID guidelines. John Goetzman and Bill Price led group one of 14 Porsches for an early start on the route with lunch at the visitor’s center. Jim Moore and Don Therien led the later group two consisting of 13 cars that enjoyed lunch at Mt Mitchell.
The challenge for both groups while driving the Parkway was to enjoy the scenery and fun driving while being safe with all the bicycles. It was a busy biking day on the Parkway, but the leads safely navigated the lines around the bicyclists.
As new transplant Richard Schley said: “Great drive today. First time I have been on the Parkway, wow!”
Departing Mt Mitchell, Drive Group Two had a clear run down the Parkway where we were safely able to exercise the Porsches in the manner they are meant to be driven. Unfortunately once we hit The Devil’s Whip we were slowed behind SUV’s traversing the curves in vehicles that did not have the handling prowess of Porsches. I understand that Group One me the same fate.
The thrill for Group Two while descending the curves was encountering Nort and Rylie Northam in his Boxster and Tim Gallagher and Bob Seiz in Tim’s 356 having a spirited “off-tour” drive back up Devil’s Whip.
COVID-19 guidelines and precautions have made planning the Region’s Drive and Dines a challenge as we are limited to only 15 people in a group and having our meals so everyone can respect the six-foot social distancing guideline.
We had to space the two drive groups out by an hour with varied lunch stops of the visitor’s center and Mt Mitchell. Everybody went with the flow and enjoyed the drive, picnic dining and socializing.
Due to the overwhelming response the drive is being repeated on Saturday, July 25 with another 15 cars. When the last Porsche reaches home on Saturday, this will be one of the region’s largest drives with 42 Porsches and close to 70 participants.
Nort Nordham summed it up well: “Another great drive!”
- The Next Drives
Tail of the Dragon on August 12 – This drive of the famous Tail of the Dragon is already sold out, but the wait list registration is open.
- SUV Drive to Wayah Bald on August 29 – This drive is for our SUV drivers as it we will use Forest Service gravel roads to approach Wayah Bald. The SUV drives have proven popular to take our Porsches off the paved road to explore the great national forests of our region. Registration is not open yet, President Don Therien will announce registration opening in his August email.
Photo and Video Gallery
Take some time to scroll through the Photo Gallery below. Photos are courtesy of John Goetzman, Bill Price, Jim Moore and Janet Hickey. Janet wins the “prize” for the best view photo taken while at Mt Mitchell. Thank you all.
Jim Moore was also experimenting with a GoPro camera off the back of his car so if you would like to see videos in real time and timelapse of the Group Two drive, here are the links. There is also a short time lapse video of Group 1 leaving.
- Time Lapse Video of Group Two driving the Parkway and Devil’s Whip: https://youtu.be/G3KfYK-JZ1E
- Timelapse Video of Group Two driving the Blue Ridge Parkway: https://youtu.be/Fb5Bd92noq4
- Real Time Video on the Blue Ridge Parkway: https://youtu.be/Q2is51FI5bc
- Group One Departure Video Snippet: https://youtu.be/vXEszxjy8Pw
Place the curson on or below an image to pause the slide show.