The Tale of the Dragoon

Running between Tennessee and North Carolina is a highway favoured by  motorcyclists and car enthusiasts.   Since I was going to be so close to it, and wondering if my riding skills would be up to it, I decided that it was going to be a must see on the way to Chattanooga, along with visiting the Smoky Mountains so Dolly could show her children their “heritage”.

 On the way we passed through some beautiful areas. Unfortunately to drive and shoot pictures wasnt possible so the only really nice picture I was able to get with this panoramic view from a lookout.

Panoramic view

In the center of this map is an 11 mile section of road which is the actual “Tail of the Dragon”

Tail of the Dragon mapWithin that small little radius is this road:

map of the tail

This is a video about the route:

Thankfully tractor trailers have now been banned from the road!  It was challenging enough without that worry!

We came into the tail at the bottom – and decided to drive UP instead of downhill.  Thankfully we did!!

"Casper" and the U-Haul on the way up the tail!

“Casper” and the U-Haul on the way up the tail!

Never before have I driven a road where I needed to ride the brakes going UPHILL!!  It was a fantastic drive though and amazing to watch the bikers on their way down the tail.

When we got to the top Casper needed to have a rest as the stench of the brakes was horrible, and the dogs all needed a break also.

Killboy store

Killboy store

Although we arrived just as the store was closing Nancy Johnson was gracious enough to invite us in to look around and get some souvenirs.  She also met all of the canine crew and was totally charmed by Dragoon :)  She agrees it should be renamed “Tail of the Dragoon” :lol:

 Below are some of the pictures that we took

Pop machine First is the pop machine at the store – showing the curvaceous route that we had driven.

Parking lot tail Sculptures at the store and the hotel are made of motorcycle parts.

Dragoon and the Dragon 2We had to get some pictures of the Dragoon and the Dragon!!

Dragoon and the Dragon

Tree of shame Across the road is the famous “Tree of Shame” where parts from motorcycle wrecks are nailed.

Vertical dragon

And Dragoon needed to make friends with all of the Dragons ;-)

So after taking all of pictures and giving all of the dogs a chance to stretch their legs, we decided NOT to drive back down the Tail, but to go the longer way around and give Casper a break.  Nancy gave us directions on how to get back to I-75 and gave us some memorabilia and sent us on our way!

One of the places she mentioned was Fugitive Dam, where this scene from the movie “Fugitive” was shot.

 When we got to the dam, I went to take a picture of it, and realized I didn’t have my camera!  Since there was no way to turn around we drove a bit further on to Tapoco Lodge, turned around and headed back to the store.    Unfortunately it was closed already.  I was pretty certain I must have left the camera in the store and figured I would call the next day, and check on it.

So we headed back on our way and I grabbed this photo instead with my phone.  It looks a lot more peaceful in this photo.

Fugitive damWell it turns out that I never needed to make that phone call. 

When I got to the motel and checked my email, there was an email from Nancy saying she had found my camera and sent a biker from the motel out in search of us.   I guess he must have gone by when we were turning around at the lodge.

Well Nancy was sweet enough to make sure that my camera was back in my hands before I left Tennessee.  And today I finally got the chance to download it and had a very nice surprise!!

Meet Nancy and her dogs!  Thank you again Nancy for your tremendous effort in returning the camera!  Hopefully next time we meet I will be on the bike!

Nancy

 

CWCCA Plaque for Group 1 placements in 2014

And one final photo! Here is Dragoon’s recognition plaque from the CWCCA for his group 1st placements in 2014. Never even thought about it – that was another pleasant surprise!