We have just returned from our recent road trip to the 6th Annual Zooming the Mountain’s of East Tennessee 2012 Event held by the Tri-Cities Miata Club to have fun and raise funds for the Speedway Childrens Charities. To avoid having to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to be in Emporia, VA by 8:30 a.m. Kay and I decided to drive out to Emporia on Wednesday afternoon and stay the night. Thursday morning we awoke from a good nights sleep and meet up with our local Miata club the Miata Nuts as Shoney’s in Emporia so we could grab a quick breakfast and then caravan out to Johnson City, TN via Route 58.
Day One – Cootie Brown’s
For the most part the drive on Route 58 was uneventful other than a couple of stops for food and to stretch our legs. In order to arrive at a decent time the group decided to skip the last part of Route 58 and catch I-77 west to I-81 south to Bristol, TN and finally highway 19 into Johnson City, TN. Here on the right is a nice group photo taken in the Shoney’s parking lot. From left to right we have Ed, Ed and Patty, Rose and Tom, Jane (taking picture) and Herb, Daryle, and Mark and Kay. Joe and Vanessa were not in the picture but were on location in their motor home. After arriving at the Holiday Inn in Johnson City, TN around 5 p.m. we decided to break for check-in and meet up in the lobby around 6:30 p.m. for supper.
The group decided to have supper at Cootie Brown’swhich is a popular eclectic restaurant in Johnson City. They serve a variety of foods and have over a hundred beers on hand. Kay had the shrimp po boy and I ordered the oyster po boy. While the company was great uunfortunately Kay and I were a bit disappointed with our choices as there were only six shrimp and six oysters on the sandwich which ended up being mostly bread, lettuce, and tomato.
Next time we will most likely order one of the sandwiches, burgers, or salads as they looked decent. After eating we all headed back to the Holiday Inn and relaxed a bit with a couple of drinks in Daryl’s room before retiring for the evening.
Day Two – The Snake
After getting another good nights rest we were ready for the activities and events. While our Miata Nuts group was going to have breakfast at Perkins at 8:30 a.m. Kay and I needed to grab a quick breakfast gas up and get in line at 8 a.m. for The Snake ride and winery tour scheduled to leave at 8:30 a.m. Unfortunately, mother nature decided to send rain our way instead which meant it was going to be a top up ride on infamous “The Snake” which is on highway 421.
The Snake has 489 curves within a 12 mile stretch. After leaving the Holiday Inn parking lot we proceeded onto I-26 East to Highway 321 towards Mountain City. After crossing the Butler Memorial Bridge over Watauga Lake we proceeded along the wet highway in Mountain City where The Snake begins. The group took The Snake slower than normal due to the wet roads and occasional rain. About halfway through the run we stopped for about 30 minutes in Shady Valley which has a small gift shop and restrooms. Kay and I picked up a t-shirt for Daun and I picked up a couple of decals for the side window on the Miata and a pin. After leaving Shady Valley we proceeded to run the second half of The Snake and then continue on for the winery tour. Kay and I were looking forward to the winery tour as it is the first time we have been on one. We were looking forward to learning how they harvest the grapes and where and how they create the wine and a nice lunch. Let’s just say the tour was a disappointment and we will most likely skip the wine tour and run The Snake on our own without the group at next years Zooming the Mountain’s in East Tennessee event. After returning from the drive and winery tour we decided to relax and take a short nap before having supper with our Miata Nuts group.
Day Three – Memory Lane
We woke up well rested and met the Miata Nuts group down in the lobby to grab breakfast at Perkins before lining up for the Memory Lane drive out to Rogersville and back.