Da Trip to Smokey Mountain Raptor Run (aka Million Dollar Run) 21 – 23 Mar 14

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Full Access Member
Jan 5, 2014
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Madison, AL
I've been slacking on getting some input here but I guess now's a good time to catch up.

First and foremost I want to echo the thanks for all the hard work that went into putting this together. Orange, Witchy, Chris and the others who pre-ran the course and then took charge of herding cats on the trails did an awesome job. This was my first Raptor Run of any type and I think it was a great first experience.

The positives:

- Awesome group. Everyone was laid back and easygoing throughout the trip. When things slowed down the group slowed as a whole and when we got a little faster the group kept up.

- Slacker is the man with the comms! My first run-in with anyone in the group was slacker updating me on the change in plans for the dinner when I passed him in traffic. That theme kept up throughout the weekend as he made sure peoples handheld radios were re-programmed and good to go.

- The trails were nice and easy, which allowed everyone to make it through without issues. The guys who wanted to run a little harder were still afforded to lose bumpers, break shock mounts and bury their trucks in the mud. The guys who wanted to go easy got through the same terrain just fine.

- Getting together with other Raptor owners is a positive in and of itself. Being able to check out other trucks and mods in person is awesome. I've personally been trying to figure out the route I want to take for a bed cage and storage. Seeing all of the different types and hearing pro's and con's firsthand is badass. There is nothing like actually climbing around and checking out the space, hardware and attachments in person. Lots of other good discussion was had about every facet to these trucks. (Including how to sink a brand new Terrain Raptor on a boat ramp...) lol

The bad. Actually I can't really say there was anything bad so I'll call this the "improves":

- I made a bad call on lodging because I figured everyone was staying locally and we would be near the cabin. (I didn't get in on the cabin rental) I think for a run in this area again I'd advise people to stay in Knoxville. The variety of accommodations for lodging and food is much greater closer to the city. By staying in Pigeon Forge, we all had to fight the traffic on Friday night to make the meet up for dinner and then we still had an hour and a quarter drive Saturday morning to get to the trails.
If we had stayed in or closer to Knoxville, we could have cut our road time down substantially. Again, this was an entirely personal decision but I throw it out there in case we do another run up there. (Which I'm in favor of by the way!) The brunt of the road pain could have shifted to Sunday when we were planning on being on pavement already anyways.

- Stragglers/ slow start on Saturday morning. We waited a bit for someone to show up on Saturday. This wasn't really an issue because it gave us time to check out the trucks a bit and socialize. I hadn't met half of the group until Saturday morning so it was good to figure out who was who. My improve suggestion would be to incorporate a radio check immediately following the drivers meeting. My radio was working fine but I hadn't used it up until that point yet since it was my first run. I did notice that at the first stop on the trail Slacker was re-programming another radio for someone. If a radio wasn't working, we could have figured it out prior to getting on the trail and fixed it. I don't know if that was a problem but I figured I'd just mention it for future runs.

- The breakfast place on Sunday... Good food and not a bad place but they obviously oversold their capability when you guys made the reservations. I liked being able to just hang out and chat but we'd have been in trouble if everyone would have been able to make it. I know the reservations were done remotely but I'm mentioning it for the next run. We'll need to find somewhere bigger or maybe come in earlier.

- The only bad of the trip is that Ford apparently can't make a decent power steering pump. Chris and I got the short end of the stick on that!

Overall the trip was awesome and I truly appreciate all the hard work you guys put into making it a great experience. Thanks again and I look forward to blasting through some more mud on top of that plateau. I think the speed record on the road was still 90 mph, just saying'...:Big Laugh:


FRF Addict
Feb 23, 2019
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Great story telling. I love the Dragon. Did it in my 17 Raptor. It was however more enjoyable I’m my Macan.