June 17 - June 23, 2007

* Daily Updates *

Check here daily during the trip for daily updates, stories from the road, and photos!
--Click below to see details about each day--
(These links will become active as each day is updated)
Night Before/Day One - Day Two - Day Three - Day Four - Day Five - Day Six

* Site News *

May 7th, 2007 - Development has begun on the "ARKiV's Appalachian Adventure" site. This site will be the portal between myself and the rest of the world as I embark on a journey from Columbus Ohio, through the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee, to the east coasts of North Carolina and Virginia, and back to Ohio via Virginia and West Virginia. So far I have begun work on the initial route planning (thanks Google!) as well as listing some of the places I plan on visiting. I will be updating the site nightly throughout my journey with pictures and stories from the road, so when the trip finally arrives be sure to follow along as I carve up the twisties and ride the ridgelines!

May 11th, 2007 - Mapping has been completed for the first four days of the journey. Maps have been updated from previous incarnations to reflect stays at hotels. I have also updated the list of possible places to visit.

May 12th, 2007 - Mapping of days five and six completed, as well as more additions to the list of possible places to visit. The maps are subject to change before departure depending on hotel availability and re-working of plans, but I suspect that the final plan will look quite similar to what I have here.

May 18th, 2007 - Well, it's officially official! I have made my hotel reservations for each night as well as my ferry reservation for the Swan Quarter - Ocracoke ferry. The site is now official as well, no more "index2.html" to type in. I have a few more tasks to accomplish in preparation for the trip, including routine maintenance for the car, transferring map data into Streets and Trips and figuring out a laptop mounting solution for the car. I'M REALLY DOING THIS! (I can't wait...)

May 19th, 2007 - I have purchased the laptop mount for the car on eBay, you can see what it looks like here. Once I recieve it and install it, I will begin testing the GPS software in the car, as well as figure out how the whole setup is going to work.

May 21st, 2007 - Map data has been entered into Streets and Trips, directions have been generated as well as a local test route. The test route will be used to familiarize myself with the software. Also, Day Five routing has been modified to allow for a 40 mile jaunt down Skyline Drive which is the northern section of the Blue Ridge Parkway that travels through Shenandoah National Park. There is a $15 entry fee to drive through the park, so I might as well make it worth the fee!

May 29th, 2007 - I have modified Day Two routing to include a section of road called The Tail Of The Dragon. This is an extremely popular section of road amongst driving enthusaists, with 318 turns in 11 miles! I was so close already, I decided I just had to do it.

May 30th, 2007 - I have recieved the laptop mount and installed it for a test run. Initial installation was a bit shaky but seven dollars worth of spring clamps later, I figured it out. (see photos of the installation here) GPS testing has been proceeding well and all seems to be in order for smooth navigation. The only issue I have encountered is the power inverter occasionally faulting, but it seems to be a rare occurance. Also, I have once again modified routing for Day Two, this time I have included The Cherohala Skyway, yet another enthusaist favorite. After all, what's another hour and 16 minutes when you're only here once?

June 4th, 2007 - Less than two weeks to go! I have once again changed some routing on Day Two to allow for more twisty back country roads, adding another 20 minutes to the drive. Day Five has also changed to include a drive across The James River Bridge (US-17) in Newport News, Virginia. I have updated my routes in Streets and Trips to reflect these changes. Day Two is now only 19 minutes shorter than Day Four, making it the second longest day on the trip according to my mapping software (Google Maps somehow computes it's times differently). I have also begun preparing the site for the trip as well, setting up templates and links for each day at the top. These links are not yet active, but will become so during the trip.

June 12th, 2007 - Only five more days to go! Today I took care of some routine maintenance for the car with an oil change, tire rotation and pressure check. I also did a visual inspection of the brakes as well as under the hood. Everything seems to be squared away and in good shape. All that is left to do now is to pack and go!

June 16th, 2007 - Well, tomorrow's the big day! Today I decided to get a new power inverter, the failures of the old one had me nervous. I'm all packed up and ready to go and I'm pretty sure I have figured out how to fit everything in the car. Don't forget to follow along every day as I post new photos and stories on the daily pages (the links at the top of this page.) HERE WE GO...

June 24th, 2007 - ARKiV's Appalachian Adventure was a resounding success! I had such a great time on the trip and I definitely plan on taking trips in the future to actually stop and enjoy some of the places I visited. The only bad thing during the whole trip was finding the hole in my top. I have uploaded ALL of my pics from the trip and they can be found HERE. I also mashed together a quick panorama of a section from the Cherohala Skyway and put it HERE. Enjoy the pictures! For now it's time to bid farewell, but rest assured I will be back on the road next year. Until then, keep it between the lines and watch out for the other guy!

* Maps *

Here are the tentative routes I have planned for the trip. (Special Thanks to Google Maps and TinyURL.com)

Night Before and Day One
Columbus, Ohio to Prestonsburg, Kentucky (Night Before)
Prestonsburg, Kentucky to Lenoir City, Tennesse (with a stop in Cleveland, Tennessee)
Highlights of this section include a drive through the Cumberland Gap and meeting some online friends in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Day Two
"The Drive"
(Best roads on the trip)
Lenoir City, Tennessee to Claremont, North Carolina
Highlights of this section include drives on The Cherohala Skyway and The Tail Of The Dragon, through Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Day Three
Claremont, North Carolina to Raleigh, North Carolina (with a stop in Goldsboro, North Carolina)
Highlights of this section include a late lunch at Wilber's Barbecue and a Rush concert at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre.

Day Four
"The Longest Day"
(9 hours of drive time)
Raleigh, North Carolina to Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Highlights of this section include the Swan Quarter Ferry to Ocracoke, the Hatteras Ferry back off the island, a fresh seafood lunch and driving along the Outer Banks.

Day Five
Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Harrisonburg, Virginia
Highlights of this section include The James River Bridge and a drive down Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park.

Day Six
Harrisonburg, Virginia to Columbus, Ohio
Highlights of this section include Seneca Rocks, West Virginia and dinner at Casa Nueva in Athens, Ohio.

Day Seven
Rest and recovery, because tomorrow it's back to the real world.

* Places Points and Possibilities *

Some of the places I plan to visit along the way, as well as some other possible distractions.

Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
The original gateway to the west.

The Cherohala Skyway
North Carolina's most expensive highway with long, sweeping corners and scenic views.

The Tail Of The Dragon
318 curves in 11 miles. Need I say more?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
America's most visited national park.

The Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive
America's Favorite Drive.

Wilber's Barbecue - 4172 NC Highway 70 East, Goldsboro, NC 27530
Authentic East North Carolina Barbecue.

Walnut Creek Amphitheatre - 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh, NC 27610
I will be seeing my favorite band Rush here on Day Three.

Swan Quarter - Ocracoke Ferry
A 2.5 hour ride across Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke Island. ($15 fare)

Ocracoke - Hatteras Ferry
45 minutes connects Ocracoke Island to Hatteras, North Carolina. (it's free!)

The Outer Banks Region
A group of barrier islands off the North Carolina Coast.

The James River Bridge (US-17)
A 4.5 mile bridge with a lift span in the center.

Shenandoah National Park
A wilderness oasis in the busy east. ($15 entry fee)

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia
One of the best-known landmarks in West Virginia.

Casa Nueva Restaurant - 4 W. State Street, Athens, OH 45701
A worker-owned cooperative restaurant with excellent salsa.

Have any suggestions of other places for me to see? Send via e-mail to yoarkiv AT gmail DOT com!