The Dragon

Early morning of July 27th 2016 myself and six of the bike crew took to the long highway ride from Massachusetts to Robbinsville North Carolina to tackle the road known as The Tail Of The Dragon. A five day journey that would test our skills and patients as riders. We were to spend two days traveling, one day around Robbinsville and two days back. And let me tell you, what a journey it was.

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The ride down to NC was sweaty and hot. With the temperature above 80 degrees and full motorcycle gear on we had no
 problem draining some of our carried water on our shirts and heads. Those of us that brought bandannas found use in
 drenching them and leaving them in our helmets eventually drying off from the wind.

We took a pit stop in Gettysburg finding the fields and monuments to be quite a site. I recommend taking a ride or drive through those parts for anyone passing by.

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Early in the morning while the sun was rising, we set off on a road called Skyline Drive which climbed above the town below. We managed to see the sun rise while traveling further and further up the road. This road proved to be a little scary due to a few animals, including a cat, a few deer, and a bear crossing the road while the sun had yet risen. Word of caution to those riding this road at night. Luckily no one was hurt.

Once we crossed into Robbinsville we hit some serious rain and slight hail but powered through to our Airbnb where there was a garage large enough to accommodate all of the bike. The hill to the Airbnb was a treacherous one mostly gravel and very steep incline, water from the rain rushing down in small streams making for a crazy climb.

We prepped for the Dragon with a southern breakfast then geared up to hit the dragon. We took a great starting road to Deals Gap called Hellbender with our first great view and some seriously fast steep curves.

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Finally reaching the road we all came to test our skills on, we fueled up at Deal’s Gap, the entrance to the tail. We took a moment to pay our respects to the Tree of Shame.

The Dragon was like no road I had ever seen before. The hairpin turns and the amount of them are enough to keep your adrenaline going for the whole eleven miles. This road is by far one of the greatest I have ever conquered and one I will undoubtedly return to.

Feeling accomplished and better riders all together, we continued toward Cherohala Skyway 5400 feet above sea level up into the rain clouds and even over them! It was an odd sensation to climb so high on the motorcycle literally passing through the clouds with the rain below us. Beautiful road, however with the rain and clouds we missed what I am sure was an amazing view.

The next day, after getting a taste of the area, two of us including myself decided to take another day to tackle the Dragon a second time and up through the Green loop traveling off road up a windy mountain with an incredible view.

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We started the long journey back home, riding all 469 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway. This road climbed through the Smokies, Shenandoah National Park, and Nantahala National Forest topping off at 6,0533 feet above sea level. This was the most soothing road to cruise through watching the sunset from atop the mountains.

Our final day July 31st through August 1st we rode a wopping, butt hurting, 1000 miles in 24 hours to reach our final destination back in Massachusetts knowing that one day we would be back for another go at the endless roads surrounding the Dragon and of course for the Tail of The Dragon itself.


Originally published at The Silent Cylon.

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