By Alan Kleinschmidt
Wednesday September 14th 2022 was a beautiful day for traveling. The Sun was bright and the temps were in the low 70’s.
We met friends, Greg and Chris Oakes, from Roscoe Illinois, at their Hotel in Bloomington and started our journey to the Southeast British Car Festival, sponsored by the Peachtree MG Registry in Dillard Georgia.
We would be driving “Black Betty’ the 1980 MGB LE and Greg and Chris would be in “Buttermilk” the 1972 MGB. Our goal for the day was to overnight in Sevierville Tennessee which lies 562 miles Southeast of Bloomington.
We got onto Interstate 74 in Bloomington and traveled East through Indianapolis Indiana and on to Cincinnati Ohio where we picked up Interstate 75 and traveled South to Knoxville Tennessee before turning East on Interstate 40 to Sevierville.
Greg and I both prefer secondary roads when traveling in the MG’s, but sometimes you just have to get on the Interstate and go. We both have Overdrive, so cruising at 70 to 75 is not a problem. The cars ran great and about 10 hours later we rolled into the Hotel at Sevierville.
Thursday September 15th was another beautiful day. We headed South through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg TN before heading up the mountain at Smoky Mountain National Park. The road through the park is very twisty and affords some spectacular views. We came down off the mountain and arrived at Cherokee NC just in time for breakfast at Peters Pancakes. There was a 45 minute wait, but it was well worth it.
We arrived in Dillard Georgia, early afternoon and went to Dillard House to check in and get directions to the house we had rented for our stay. We got the cars unloaded and enjoyed a cold adult beverage on the veranda with Nigel & Jane who had come down separately from Bloomington trailering their MGB.
Friday we were up early and on the road. We traveled to Highland NC for breakfast and then Route 64 to Franklin stopping to view the various falls and rapids along the way
The Peachtree Registry put on a “Low Country Boil” Friday evening at the main banquet hall at Dillard House. The menu included Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, and of course the famous Dillard House desserts.
Saturday was Show Day! There were many gorgeous cars in attendance. The show runs from 9 until 1 affording more time for cruising the back roads around the area.
We traveled South this time and made a run around Lake Rabun before heading to Tallulah Gorge and then up Black Rock Mountain. We finished the afternoon at 12 Spies Winery, in Dillard with friends Greg and Chris and Nigel and Jane. The wine was very good and we picked up an extra bottle to bring home.
Another good meal was provided by Dillard House at the Saturday night Banquet and award ceremony. Nigel brought home an award for his modified 1980 MGB.
Sunday found us saying good bye to Georgia and heading home. We traveled to Lawrenceburg Indiana to spend the night. Our Hotel room provided beautiful views of the Ohio River which ran just on the other side of the Levee. There was a floating restaurant a short distance from the Hotel that we walked to for dinner. We were treated to a float equipped plane flying in and tying up for dinner. Pretty cool!
Monday morning found us back on the road, heading for home. The most challenging part of the trip was navigating our LBC’s through traffic in Indianapolis. With I-65, I-70 and I-74 converging there, traffic is always heavy.
We arrived home around noon on Monday. We traveled 1561 miles total for the trip and Betty averaged 31 mpg. Not bad for a 42 year old with 150,000 miles on her odometer.