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Jerry
Jerry Reader
4/12/13 6:52 a.m.

In about 2-3 hours, when the fiancee is done with her meeting, we leave for TN for the weekend. It's a combo of two events, Boxed in the Smokies, where people with similar box-shaped Scions like mine come from around the country to meet, and a side trip to Tail of the Dragon.

This is my second trip to TotD. First time was October 2011. Once again I'm going with other boxed-shaped vehicles and should have a blast. The rain is done, bring on the sun! (And this time I have the GoPro!)

How many others have been?

Powar
Powar Dork
4/12/13 7:19 a.m.

We usually go twice a year and rent a cabin in Fontana Dam Village. There are some other roads that are a bit less traveled around there that are just as good, if not better. The Dragon is best driven at night. Not only are there fewer people driving/riding, but you can also see multiple corners ahead in most areas thanks to the complete lack of ambient lighting.

Try not to leave parts on that tree.

wbjones
wbjones UberDork
4/12/13 7:26 a.m.

shoot .. I live less than 50mi away and have never done the Dragon .... but I have driven dozens of other roads around here with fewer sport bikes and fewer Po-Po, and nearly as many curves .... just LOTS less traffic

RealMiniDriver
RealMiniDriver SuperDork
4/12/13 7:30 a.m.

I've been there once a year for the past three. Planning on going at the end of next month. I've only done it on my Harleys, once at night.

whenry
whenry HalfDork
4/12/13 7:52 a.m.

Drive and enjoy; just realize that many of the others out there on that road have no idea how to drive it and do not have any lane discipline. Crossing the centerline is what gets most people in trouble on the Dragon;not falling off the side of the mountain. Watch out for the cops; both along the lake and throughout the Dragon. Take a slow cruise thru before you try to set any personal records. Traffic will be heavy with cars and bikes; the cruisers are the worst.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
4/12/13 7:54 a.m.

I've never gone, although hope to some day. There is a big MINI gathering there every spring (next month, IIRC) and my Volvo friends are going there with their C30 group next weekend.

A couple of years ago, one of the local MINI guys lost it during a night run and backed his convertible down the side of the mtn. Amazingly, they dragged it out and he was able to drive it home to PA. He was lucky.

Slippery
Slippery Reader
4/12/13 8:24 a.m.

Been there twice with the S2000, lots of fun. At one point I was contenplating towing my motorcycle with the car ... But it never happened.

J

Jerry
Jerry Reader
4/12/13 8:26 a.m.

The first time we went, we got stuck behind some lady in a Pontiac mini van. Donut spare tire. Half inflated. I think we went 20 MPH that whole pass. My friend was in front of me, behind her, flashing lights and just flipping her off every time she looked back.

We each pulled over in turn to let a bike get around us, knowing he could pass her on a straight with only 50' needed. 1.7 seconds was about all he needed.

Gasoline
Gasoline Dork
4/12/13 8:36 a.m.

This is on my "Bucket List".

z31maniac
z31maniac PowerDork
4/12/13 8:53 a.m.

I missed out getting to go back in college with some motorcycle buddies.

But that last post........I've always wondered why they don't put on a sanctioned event..........like all the berkeleying time!

Xceler8x
Xceler8x UltraDork
4/12/13 8:54 a.m.

I've been about five times on motorcycles. It's fun to do once or twice but I recommend the Cherohala Skyway.

http://www.cherohala.com/

Great road and very near the Dragon without all the hoopla.

whenry
whenry HalfDork
4/12/13 9:34 a.m.

the hillclimb is actually not on the Dragon but just off the Cherohala Skyway instead but the Dragon has the name. No doubt that the Skyway is the greater road unless you only have 2nd gear in your car. Most of that road is above 4000 ft and the highest point is 5400 ft. Very rare height in East Tenn as much as the Eastern US. Much higher speeds and more fun but probably less intense.

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon Dork
4/12/13 9:54 a.m.

It's my favorite place on earth. I usually go with a few friends and camp out on a long weekend there.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/12/13 9:59 a.m.

I've been. It's fun, but not the greatest road on earth. Too well engineered! I prefer the rowdier stuff we have around here.

You can get through it pretty quickly late at night with a bunch of rally lights hung off the front of your Miata though.

yamaha
yamaha UltraDork
4/12/13 10:13 a.m.

Just run em both.....

kazoospec
kazoospec HalfDork
4/12/13 11:04 a.m.

Did it a few years ago in the family truckster (Honda Odyssey). I was having a great time until I realized (much too late) that the kids were watching Tom & Jerry on the DVD player in the back seat. I told them to shut it off, but not long after heard "I don't feel good" from the back seat, followed by my youngest yacking in the GPS case.

I'd really like to go back with the Miata some day.

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
4/12/13 11:27 a.m.

Do be careful, it's fun but you have to remember it's not a race track.

OOPSIE!

A minor off, but the cat caught the grass on fire.

MA$$hole
MA$$hole HalfDork
4/12/13 11:59 a.m.

Twice now. pseudosport and myself drove the 1000plus miles in 2011 in my former 08 Si, as well as last year as part of the BABE Rally in his 280Z.

It's fun, but it's one of those things that I can say "I've done it, done need to again".

ProDarwin
ProDarwin SuperDork
4/12/13 12:01 p.m.

I've been, and wrecked... bad. I left a wheel, with the hub and part of a rotor still bolted to it, on the tree of shame.

I've been back since. I don't drive it fast (I pretty much drive like a grandma on the street now), but I still enjoy the area. Going with some car buddies this year, but I plan on doing some of the great mountain biking that is all over the place.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
4/12/13 12:04 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: I've been. It's fun, but not the greatest road on earth. Too well engineered! I prefer the rowdier stuff we have around here. You can get through it pretty quickly late at night with a bunch of rally lights hung off the front of your Miata though.

The Dragon doesn't have E36 M3 on the road up and down Grand Mesa where you are...

As for the Skyway... i like it, but i find it WAY scarier than the Dragon. The problem with the Skyway is that it's only somewhat fun from a driving perspective at legal speeds.

Then when you're young and stupid, you find yourself pushing the car a little, and it rapidly because scary as E36 M3.

The Dragon doesn't scare me besides worrying about the idiots around me.

I've been 4 times, in a Celica every time. I'm looking forward to running it in different cars.

JoeyM
JoeyM MegaDork
4/12/13 2:04 p.m.
Jerry wrote: How many others have been?

I was there a few years ago, but not with a proper car. (I was vacationing with my parents, and used their lincoln town car.) I had a blast. The road is lots of fun....even in an land yacht.

Here's footage from a canon point-and-shoot and a couple 808 cameras.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqW9Pe9jQnA&list=UUUb_f3wErXYHStC5Xi9qgLQ&index=5
(Please ignore my pretentious musical choice. I know that there's actually nothing dramatic about a towncar wallowing through the bends at deals gap.)

poopshovel
poopshovel UltimaDork
4/12/13 3:41 p.m.

I've done the Dragon a few times, and I don't think it lived up to the hype. Sure, if it was closed for a hillclimb, it'd be scary fun, but even on Mondays, I've never been up there where there wasn't: Traffic (if you're going fast enough, eventually you'll catch up with SOMEBODY,) and at LEAST one close call with some idiot crossing the line on the other side.

Not worth it to me. Like wbjones said, you can pretty much exit off the four-lane anywhere north of jasper and find better roads...with occasional passing zones!!!

Hell, most fun I've had recently was taking back roads from Blue Ridge all the way to Kershaw SC for LeMons. Hwy 515/76 eventually goes down to 2 lanes, and becomes insanely fun for miles and miles, with not a single cop on a Saturday.

Dragon: It's cool to do it to say you've done it. I found it more nerve-racking/frustrating than fun.

Knurled
Knurled UltraDork
4/12/13 4:34 p.m.

Jerry, gonna have to talk to you about some of the more fun roads that are much more closer to you than TN.

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon Dork
4/12/13 7:53 p.m.

I think the road going down to the dam is the best road there. Not as much traffic and much better scenery. Plus that road seems to have a better flow than the constant switchbacks on the dragon.

BoostedBrandon
BoostedBrandon Dork
4/12/13 8:31 p.m.

I went in September 2011 on my one year anniversary. I've been fiending to go back since.

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