June 26, 2023
It can be said that East Tennessee has some of the best driving roads in America and it can also be said that I enjoy driving them whenever I can. The problem is ever since Carol, and I moved from Tennessee in 2016 to Florida my opportunities to drive these wonderful roads have all but dried up. That is until I found out that the National Alfa Romeo Owners Club Convention was being held in Concord, NC in June 2023 and that gave Carol and I the perfect opportunity to expand our travel plans to get our fun roads fix in Tennessee. Yes, it is true that I’m not only a Maserati Enthusiast but an Alfa Romeo one too and this Alfa Romeo Convention would allow us the perfect opportunity to drive our new Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce to the convention and then head over to Tennessee to meet up with other Maserati Club members for a fun drive on some very interesting roads. Thus, the Kai and Tom’s Excellent Adventure Drive was born.
Our mission for the drive was simple, to take some of the best roads to and from an interesting lunch stop but where would the lunch stop be? I knew I wanted to drive Hwy 84 out of Sparta, TN and Kai wanted to drive Hwy 85 which also runs North and South towards the Kentucky border, so our lunch stop destination became obvious. It had to be beautiful Dale Hollow Lake. On the morning of the drive our group of eleven TMC members met up at Kai and Susanne Dyhr’s beautiful home in Crossville, TN for coffee and donuts and then we headed out to nearby Sparta to jump on Hwy 84 with my car leading the way. At this point, I would like to remind everyone who participates in drives that include curvy and technical type roads that caution, and safety should always be first and foremost in every driver’s mind. This morning was especially true as heavy rain and wind from a storm the night before left Hwy 84 very slippery due to dampness and leaves spread across the road. As the lead car, I practiced caution but still had some fun on the slippery road due to the fact I had AWD. We all survived the trip to our lunch destination, Mike’s Marina at Dale Hollow Lake, and had a very nice meal there. After lunch we worked our way onto Hwy 85 and soon found out why Kai had recommended this road. The roads became seriously curvy and then when we started to climb in elevation, we came upon six or seven wonderfully wicked switchbacks. The roads were dry by then and we were able to enjoy them with our sports cars the way they were designed to be driven. Once our drive was completed, we ended up at our gracious host Kai and Susanne Dyhr home again were we had time to talk about our fun day and enjoy some wine and food and a much more relaxed ride around the lake on their new pontoon boat.
The Kai and Tom’s Excellent Adventure drive was a success. Spending a day with Maserati friends and experiencing 200 miles of beautiful scenery and fun roads was a perfect way to get our fix. I can’t wait to do it again.