The story of the Tail of the Dragon is 318 curves in 11 miles. (Be watchful of you definition of a curve.) Over breakfast some discussion turned to Florida and its absolute lack of curves. One gentleman actually recalled a shirt (that I would enjoy getting my hands on) that a highway in Florida is considered the Toes of the Dragon: 11 curves in 318 miles. I can definitely vouch for that.
In anticipation of disappointing you, my reading and riding buddies, there really isn't much of a tale to this. I know I haven't written up, or even shared, my previous Dragon exploits from September. So this is going to be plain boring.
Saturday was supposed to be clear and would probably give us the last, best chance to ride the North Carolina mountains in reasonable weather. Temperatures were supposed to reach low to mid 60's with few clouds. Supposed to. I don't know about those words.
The day was cold. Very cold. Hopping on the bikes at 6:15 AM with the temp gauge reading out 39F. And that cloud cover was encompassing much more of the sky then we had hoped. We met up with everyone at IHOP. A few of us ate. Others didn't. We saddled up and hit the road hard.
|Only one anti-social bike missing from the picture.|
No rest for the weary as we made it up to Hiawassee for our first stop. Then it was a mere 60 miles to Robbinsville, NC where we stopped for more fuel. The next basic stop was Deal's Gap and the beginning of the Dragon.
|I did stop at the dam we have passed numerous times. The boobs I was with|
rode on by. Intent on the destination.
We ate lunch at a mom and pop Hardee's. (Please tell me that you know I am joking!) Along the way of the Dragon we picked up a fellow rider: Joe. One of our group had met Joe earlier in the year at a Goldwing rally.
|This is Joe's mileage for this year. Damn!|
He was a great guy to talk and ride with for a ways.
The difference of Cherohala this time was under cover of dusk. We started late in the day. (The shadows are a bit long in the tooth.) It only had to get darker and colder. Which it did.
|Shadows are growing.|
|Love the clouds here. Mr. Oilburner thought the trees still had |
color. I told him the color was of dead, brown leaves.
|I just love those clouds!|
I missed the moon shot as I was playing catch up on this road. Joe promises to send it to me. Many of my memories of the day are tainted with a headache that turned into a migraine as the sun went down. But everyone basically had a good day. For two of our numbers this was their first Dragon slaying. We all made it home safely, just a little colder for wear. I think the next few rides will be nice and slow, not covering major distances... :)
Since I have stopped including tracks of my rides I sometimes forget that people on the other side of the world really haven't a clue as to places that I reference. Roger, this is for you. Tail of the Dragon (toenails...good grief...but it was funny) is in NC, about 170 miles from Atlanta.
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