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Oct. 19-21: Mountain Lakes Drive FALL Event...(moving permanently from spring)


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#1 JessN16

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 01:22 AM

As a result of what turned out to be a unanimous vote of the people who attended the meet in April, the Mountain Lakes Drive will be moving back to its roots as a fall colors drive -- and rather than wait 18 months to have the next one, we're going to run this again in October. Most likely, we'll be returning to the area Oct. 19-21. So if you couldn't come this weekend, you get a second chance to make this before the end of the year.

I'm going to be calling around soon to get hotel rates confirmed and whatnot, but I would expect we'll return to Guntersville to the hotel we used this time, the Wyndham Garden Lake Guntersville. I don't know what kind of rates we'll get, though, and that might push us somewhere else. I did a cursory check of Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge tonight, and room rates were higher than for this past weekend; I looked into the Wyndham's site, and rates were lower than we paid for our group rate, but only 4 rooms remained. If we can't get the Wyndham again, we'll probably go back to Scottsboro.

The schedule would be mostly the same -- rates locked in for Thursday through Sunday, drive on Saturday, group dinner Saturday night. However, we may end up expanding the second half of the drive to encompass Little River Canyon National Preserve over in Fort Payne. We'd likely tack it onto the end of the Lakes Loop, since we had a bunch of spare time this year between that loop and dinner. I'll figure out a way to make it work.

We ended up with 14 people and 6 StarQuests and everyone who came has committed to come back. We hope to add a bunch of new faces, too. This is a rather unique meet for the StarQuest community based on what the event is: a true driving meet, with good roads and great scenery. The coolest thing of all, to me, is going through the Paint Rock River Origin Watershed and seeing a river actually start from nothing and become an actual river over the span of 15 miles.

Even if you live far outside the area, please consider coming down. Southeast Tennessee and northeast Alabama are some of the prettiest lands our country has to offer, and we always find a way to have a good time -- because the people who come make it so.

Lodging and itinerary updates will follow soon.

Jess
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'87 Jaguar XJ6
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'87 Starion (black), '88 Conquest TSi (black), '88 Conquest TSi (Durban), '88 Jaguar XJS V12, '76 Jaguar XJ12L, '88 Jaguar XJ6 VDP, '99 Jaguar XJ8, '98 Jaguar XK8, '03 Jaguar S-Type, '85 Jaguar XJ6 '88 Galant Sigma, '90 Ford Taurus SHO, '75 Bricklin SV-1, '97 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP


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#2 psu_Crash

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Posted 09 April 2018 - 10:58 AM

14+ hours for me to drive down... I'd love to, but not happening this time around
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#3 bthotrod

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 06:04 PM

Just an idea, Pigeon Forge is pretty close to Deal's Gap/ the Tail of the Dragon/ Fontana Dam. Might be cool if a some people decided to make the ride there together?

#4 helrazr70

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 11:00 PM

View Postpsu_Crash, on 09 April 2018 - 10:58 AM, said:

14+ hours for me to drive down... I'd love to, but not happening this time around

I did it. (and will continue to do so, work permitting)
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Working on restoring a black 1988 Conquest automatic with 139k miles, tan interior, and in need of TLC. It will be my "driver".

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#5 JessN16

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Posted 19 June 2018 - 02:41 PM

LODGING UPDATE:



We have secured block reservation at Wyndham Garden Inn Guntersville, the same hotel we used in April. Rates are $98/night, discount code StarQuest Club. Discounts are good Thursday-Friday-Saturday nights, for check-in anytime Thursday, Oct. 18 through checkout Sunday, Oct. 21. The hotel can be reached at 888-882-1160. We have 8 rooms held and I just booked one. All rooms are lakeside.
Current denizens of the garage:
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#6 stvblk1

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Posted 16 September 2018 - 01:03 PM

Any updates on this?

#7 JessN16

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 12:28 AM

View Poststvblk1, on 16 September 2018 - 01:03 PM, said:

Any updates on this?

I always forget you're not on Facebook. :P

Yes, we're still on at that hotel. Melena and I are looking forward to seeing everyone!

Jess
Current denizens of the garage:
'88 Conquest TSi
'10 Jaguar XF Premium Portfolio
'89 Jaguar XJS V12
'87 Jaguar XJ6
---
In the rearview mirror:
'87 Starion (black), '88 Conquest TSi (black), '88 Conquest TSi (Durban), '88 Jaguar XJS V12, '76 Jaguar XJ12L, '88 Jaguar XJ6 VDP, '99 Jaguar XJ8, '98 Jaguar XK8, '03 Jaguar S-Type, '85 Jaguar XJ6 '88 Galant Sigma, '90 Ford Taurus SHO, '75 Bricklin SV-1, '97 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP


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#8 87quest-TSI

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 10:05 PM

This still a go?
I don't do facebook either.
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#9 TSI_SVT

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 09:24 AM

View Post87quest-TSI, on 17 October 2018 - 10:05 PM, said:

This still a go?
I don't do facebook either.
Asking the same? Weather looks like it'll be perfect.
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#10 JessN16

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Posted 18 October 2018 - 02:30 PM

Yes, we're a go. Melena and I are leaving shortly and heading up tonight (Thursday). We'll be in town, off and on, Friday and then the meet is Saturday.

You can reach me at (251) 564-1321 if you get lost or want to meet up somewhere.

We're meeting at the Stevenson City Park in Stevenson at 9 a.m. Saturday. Hang out there for about an hour and start the drive. We may get some rain Saturday morning but it's expected to clear by the time we get to Monteagle. Wheels will roll from Stevenson at about 10:30.

We're staying in Guntersville at the Wyndam Garden Lake Guntersville Hotel. I think they still have some rooms available. Discount code is "StarQuest." We'll do the Mountain 1 and Mountain 2 loops, drive to Guntersville and let folks check in, then do the Lakes loop and go to dinner Saturday night. I'm trying to see if we can get a group in the Rock House Eatery in downtown Guntersville.

Look forward to seeing everyone there!

Jess
Current denizens of the garage:
'88 Conquest TSi
'10 Jaguar XF Premium Portfolio
'89 Jaguar XJS V12
'87 Jaguar XJ6
---
In the rearview mirror:
'87 Starion (black), '88 Conquest TSi (black), '88 Conquest TSi (Durban), '88 Jaguar XJS V12, '76 Jaguar XJ12L, '88 Jaguar XJ6 VDP, '99 Jaguar XJ8, '98 Jaguar XK8, '03 Jaguar S-Type, '85 Jaguar XJ6 '88 Galant Sigma, '90 Ford Taurus SHO, '75 Bricklin SV-1, '97 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP


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#11 JessN16

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Posted 19 October 2018 - 12:17 AM

Final pre-event update...

1. Bring 2-way radios if you have them!

2. Dinner will be either the Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge, or Aqua Restaurant in the hotel. The Lodge is about 15 minutes away, up on top of the mountain. Aqua is a little more expensive, but we'd already be here so if you want to have a drink you don't have to worry about Johnny Law. Also, those who were here in April recall that the hotel bar was being renovated. Renovations are done, and the bar is hosting Oktoberfest beginning Saturday. With the parking lot small as it is, if we left to go up to the Lodge we might not have a parking spot when we got back.

Jess
Current denizens of the garage:
'88 Conquest TSi
'10 Jaguar XF Premium Portfolio
'89 Jaguar XJS V12
'87 Jaguar XJ6
---
In the rearview mirror:
'87 Starion (black), '88 Conquest TSi (black), '88 Conquest TSi (Durban), '88 Jaguar XJS V12, '76 Jaguar XJ12L, '88 Jaguar XJ6 VDP, '99 Jaguar XJ8, '98 Jaguar XK8, '03 Jaguar S-Type, '85 Jaguar XJ6 '88 Galant Sigma, '90 Ford Taurus SHO, '75 Bricklin SV-1, '97 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP


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#12 JessN16

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 12:19 AM

I wanted to thank everyone who came this year and give everyone a 12-month heads-up for this meet in 2019, as we already have our main dates.



First of all, it's great to get together with everyone again. One of my greatest regrets is that we took so long a hiatus before bringing it back again. I spent a lot of time when my car was down and I lacked resources to fix it worrying about how I didn't have the right car in the right condition; what I should have focused on was that I always had the right friends in the right places and they would have been my friends no matter what I drove. Those are a lot of years I can't get back again.



To that same effect, who knows how many years any of us have left or how many times we will have the chance to get together. Which is why it's important we do it as often as we can. We've watched Josh Meeks literally grow up. My relationship with Melena more or less began when my involvement in SQC did, so this meet has sort of been a story of our marriage. Chris Martin and Becky, Ken Blalock and Kathy ... Jimmy Ainsworth and his many contributions to the club and encouraging us to keep this meet going ... and then the sad times, the loss of Jeff Hall and Miata Jim.



In the spirit of packing in as many of these get-togethers as possible before we all shuffle off this mortal coil, we're doing this again in 2019 and we already have the dates for it. We're going to be running the weekend of Nov. 2, and that will probably allow us a better chance at some fall colors, as nothing had turned yet this year.



Nov. 2 is Saturday; we understand several of you plan big for Halloween, so we're going to throw this open for discussion as to whether we have a long weekend leading into Nov. 2, or extend the meet a couple of days in the other direction, through Monday/Tuesday of the following week.



One thing is certain: We are extending the drive to a second day. We've been kicking around the idea of changing the route, but the current route is so popular that we don't really want to cut anything from it. Mostly, there have been some major improvements to the roads through Little River Canyon, a national park in nearby DeKalb County. It's not far from the current MLD route, but it's far enough that it would extend the route too much. We already drive 205 miles across Mountain 1, Mountain 2 and Lakes loops. Putting Little River Canyon on its own day just seems to make sense.



A possible agenda for next year would look like this:



Thursday, Oct. 31: Early arrivals



Friday, Nov. 1: Shopping excursion to Unclaimed Baggage, afternoon/sunset drive to Little River Canyon (https://www.nps.gov/...cenic-drive.htm)



Saturday, Nov. 2: Mountain Lakes Drive, group dinner afterwards



Sunday, Nov. 3: Depart



Or, start with the drive on Saturday, go to Little River on Sunday, depart Monday. We'll see what the feedback is.



Our host hotel will again be the Wyndham Garden Lake Guntersville (in Guntersville, Ala., not Scottsboro) unless we can't get those particular dates. I'd encourage those of you who haven't made a multi-day event out of this in the past to consider doing so. The Unclaimed Baggage trip was something we used to do together, but stopped, and it's worth it to go, so we're going to try to make it a group event again.



Again, thanks to those who came, and to those who couldn't make it, you were definitely missed. Let's all get back together as soon as we can, and as often as we can.

Jess
Current denizens of the garage:
'88 Conquest TSi
'10 Jaguar XF Premium Portfolio
'89 Jaguar XJS V12
'87 Jaguar XJ6
---
In the rearview mirror:
'87 Starion (black), '88 Conquest TSi (black), '88 Conquest TSi (Durban), '88 Jaguar XJS V12, '76 Jaguar XJ12L, '88 Jaguar XJ6 VDP, '99 Jaguar XJ8, '98 Jaguar XK8, '03 Jaguar S-Type, '85 Jaguar XJ6 '88 Galant Sigma, '90 Ford Taurus SHO, '75 Bricklin SV-1, '97 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP


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