"Dragon Riding" and Our Entrance into the Appalachians
We have successfully conquered the Tail of the Dragon! This mountain pass is said to have 318 curves along its 11-mile length. It's located right at the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee, which means that as a bonus we got another photo with a state line, although in Jon's opinion, the other signs along the way are far cooler and more noteworthy (at least as a motorcycle rider) (JF: that truck advisory is a great sign, WAY better than "Welcome to Wherever!").
Unfortunately, it was a bit of a wet morning when we first woke up. We were staying at a motorcycle mecca, right at the base of the road, so there were lots of riders mingling around. We met some Canadians (JF: so many Canadians...) in the diner and swapped road trip stories while we waited out the worst of the rain, then braved the Dragon!
The road did not disappoint! There was hardly a straight section of road for the entire 11 miles and at the highest point in the middle there was even a scenic look-off over the nearby lake & dam. We did the entire stretch (there and back) twice! If you do the math, that's 1,272 curves in 44 miles!
Fortunately, the rain dried out in time for our second run, so we had dry roads and hardly any traffic. It was a lot of fun, and most importantly we successfully navigated both trips without getting any "dragon bites" (i.e. crash injuries) or donating anybike parts to the Tree of Shame.
After our second run on the Dragon, we set out toward Cherokee, NC to position ourselves at the southern tip of the Blue Ridge Parkway. While the 11-mile section of the "Tail of the Dragon" gets all the hype and attention, the other roads around it certainly don't disappoint either. North Carolina is beautiful right now with lush green forests, rivers & lakes, blooming wildflowers, scenic vistas, and plenty of curvy roads! JF: Western NC has remarkably fun roads.