I'll be leaving the Mount Mitchell campground early Thursday morning and hopefully meeting up with @Wellspring, we can probably all head up together. I'll be looking to camp in the Overland Bound area that @Ohio Valley Overland is working to setup for us.My wife and I are also headed up Thursday morning the 7th from just North of Asheville (Big Ivy Area off 197) It looks like a 4-5 hour drive on the highways or 6-7 hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway most of the way. Not sure it would be worth it for the extra 2 hours, but what a difference in scenery.
We have done expo 2 times. Overland Expo at the Biltmore in 2015 was a really nice location. Reeb Ranch in 2018 started out great but quickly descended into a complete mudfest with all the rain. The driving challenges were indeed very challenging with all the slick red clay. Just navigating in and around the camping area was challenging for most of the rigs. We have always done the overland experience package and you will get to camp in a separate area from the weekend pass holders. At the Biltmore it was better to have camped with the overland experience area because you were much much closer to the daily activities and it was set up next to all the show-and-tell rigs. It was easy to slide by your camp in between classes to grab food drinks etc. Where as the weekend campers had a pretty long walk from their camps to get to anything. At the Reeb Ranch location the overland experience campers were much further away than the weekend campers were from all the vendors and driving activities. *I would say the weekend camping pass at both locations seemed like a little bit more of the younger party crowd and the overland experience campers were a little older and more quiet but still a friendly bunch. There are probably 3-4 times as many people in the weekend camping pass area as opposed to the overland experience section.
If anyone else coming from the 828 wants to caravan we are in!
Here is what Ohio Overland said in response to a PM I sent him: "I will be getting there on Wednesday to get our spot…I’m not sure where that will be but Zach at OE has confirmed we will be able to camp as a group…I will post the exact location once I get set up…look for the OB banners and I will leave instructions with the volunteers at the gate where we will be setting up… "
Looking forward to meeting a bunch of you I've met here, hopefully the weather will be nice and we can all have a good time!