Way to go Rob! Great suggestions and an honest analysis of the trip. Living in the east, I find the dry heat puzzleing at times. Since I am not sweating in the humidity, I don't realize I am looseing so much fluid. Of course one hot night in the southern Mississippi lowlands tent camping gives a new meaning to hot and humid.
I am glad you came east and rode the Dragon. That is a sight to behold and one hell of a ride. The Smokey's are beautiful and full of some of the best motorcycle roads in the country. You should think about posting a ride report on your 10 day adventure.