Baby It’s Cold Outside

This morning the temps were in the low 70’s and it wasn’t supposed to get much warmer, so we opted to drive the Miata to work. It didn’t get any warmer, it actually seemed to get colder as the day wore on and at each walk around the parking lot on our breaks today, if we closed our eyes, we could have believed we were back in the northwest US (and we weren’t complaining at all.)

Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Tran?si?tions since 10/24/08: 1066

Lora’s View

This is the view from the balcony of the cabin rented by Donna’s sister, her husband and his mother. They are staying a little further down the road closer into Gatlinburg in Lora’s Cabin in a different “resort.” The view from where we are staying is not half bad either, as long as you are looking up and can ignore the the row of similar cabins in our little subdivision. Our cabin is a little larger and a lot more modern, but where Sandy, Paul and Dottie are staying there is a much better “cabin in the woods” feel.

Whale vs. Dragon

No trip to Deal’s Gap is complete without a souvenir. At fist your only option was a sticker from the Crossroads of Time a gas station/motorcycle campground where NC28 joined US129, the “official” starting point of the 11 mile trip.

As word of the very curvy stretch with no entries spread, attendance at the Tail of the Dragon grew. Now they have expanded the store to accommodate all manner of stickers, t-shirts, videos, mugs, etc. and to go along with the campground they have added a small motel for motorcyclists. Then a lot of other places jumped on the bandwagon and started selling Dragon merchandise too.

Nowadays there is another option for a memento from your trip through the Gap, just like most thrill rides at amusement parks, you can now purchase a photo of yourself & vehicle “slaying the dragon.” It all started back in 2001 with a fellow called Killboy, when he would go out on weekends and snap photos of the traffic, then he would sell a high resolution copy to you off the internet.

There is obviously money to be made at this endeavor, because where there was once just one, there are now at least three. On our drive through yesterday, which occurred on a random weekday in the middle of September, we passed by 4 tents set up at various pullouts on the road manned by photographers. Two were from the same outfit, US 129 Photos, which is where the above photo was cribbed from. Killboy & 129 Slayer haven’t uploaded their photos yet.

Depending on what the other’s photos look like I may buy an image of the Purple Whale driving the Gap. And I may even buy one of the 300C that was right behind me that was loaded with the Canadian Cousins.


Here is the best of the 4 pictures I took on Sunday evening of the group in the living room of our cabin. Most everyone else was doing the same thing, camera on timer and running to go get in the shot. The auto white balance didn’t do the correct autoing and it left the photo very orangeish, so I had to tweak it the best I could to make it represent the actual colors.

On the couch from left to right: Donna, her sister Sandy, her sister-in-law Linda and Sandy’s mother-in-law Dottie.
The women standing left to right: Donna & Sandy’s cousins Beth and Margret.
The men standing left to right: Sandy’s husband Paul, Margret’s husband John, Beth’s husband Jim, yours truly and Donna & Sandy’s brother Jim.

Click on the photo to get a larger version. Then click Full Size at the bottom of that page to get the ginormous version.