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Hey guys,

We made it back from Tennessee! Since the mustang wouldn't haul enough lugage for my family for a week, I put it on a flatbed trailer and hauled it behind my Tahoe. I took it off the trailer once we got to Gatlinburg and used it for several days to run around the Smokey Mountain National Park, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge. All in all we had a great vacation.

The most fun I had with the convertible was taking it around the driving tour loop off of Stop 8 in Gatlinburg (the one that has the Rainbow falls trailhead on it if you know the area). It was a five mile loop with an overly optimistic speedlimit of 10MPH. 7 feet of pavement through some of the roughest back country you can imagine. At times we were going over humps steep enough I couldn't see the road over the long hood on the '65. My wife said, "How can you even tell where the road is?" I replied, "Well...there are two gaps in the trees ahead of us. One is the road and the other is the creek. I've guessed right every time so far!" That drive was a lot of fun. We stopped at one of the 1800's era cabins and the kids couldn't believe people actually lived in houses that small. Maybe 300 square feet for a family of eleven! I guess if you wanted privacy, you just went out to the woods.

The other really juvenile thing I kept doing (mostly because it drove my kids crazy) was to slow down approaching a tunnel on the road between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, wait until I was inside the tunnel, and GET ALL OVER IT!!! The 4R70W would snap from 4th to 2nd as soon as the pedel hit the floor and the sound of a 289 at about 5000 RPM (atuned by JBA headers and Flowmasters) would actually drown out all those other idiots honking their horns on their way through the tunnel. I wish I would have gotten a wave file for you guys. It was unbelievable.

Anyway. No problems with the car. No problems with the truck. Not too much rain. The only disapointing thing about the whole vacation in Tennesseee was our trip to Dollywood...which sucked for a vast number of reasons. The highlight of the trip was the waterskiing on Dales Hollow Lake. I hadn't skied in 15 years and I got up on slalom FIRST TRY BABY! I've even got a video to prove it. Really just a great vacation. My wife, and boys (2, 7, & 9) also enjoyed it a lot.

Phil
 

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Phil,

Sounds like a blast, can't believe you had the vert off-roading :: I just want to know, how sore were you after waterskiing?
 
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Phil,
Sounds like you had a great time with the 'Stang and family. That's what it's all about. Glad you had no problems and that you were able to get to drive that beautiful Vert around the countryside with the wind blowing in your hair and listening to the humming if that Mustang engine. :)
 
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Man Dollywood does suck! The best thing in Dollywood is the glassblowing exhibit. One of the greatest things there in Gatlinburg is Davey Crockett's Mini-Golf. Definitly the coolest thing I've seen like that. Oh, did you go up the mountain on the tram thingamajig? There's like an amusement park up there, GREAT FUN! They have this looche(SP) thing up there one of the coolest things ever!
 
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Hoosier, my friend, I live here in the Smokies...and your tale of drowning out those idjit horn-blowing tourons in that tunnel on the Spur with sweet 'stang sound, has moved me deeply :) I'm glad (or hopeful) that you slowed down after getting out of the tunnel, as the Spur is deceptively deadly and we lose a few lives a year there, even though it seems like one could drive hell out of it. The most famous Spur traffic death was a 20-yo girl who rolled off into a creek...and then her heart was transplanted into her father who'd been on the UNOS waiting list for over a year. Touching, but sad.

Next time you're in town, take the vert out to Cades Cove in Townsend. It's an 11-mile loop through some of the finest scenery and wildlife you'll find here, along with a number of old pioneer cabins, churches, etc. An amazing drive, although likely crowded in July.

Sorry that you had a crappy time at Dollywood. For years, I could go 10x a year for free due to an ad tradeout with my company...and I still only went once. Dixie Stampede is great, albeit a bit pricey, and I highly recommend that any area visitor go at least once.
 
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