I Rode the Dragon
Winters are long here in Maine, and while waiting for riding season to arrive I research rides for my husband's and my summer vacations. The first winter of ride planning, I wanted to do something big that my husband would agree with. So in Aug of '08 we took our first bike trip to Sturgis. We had a terrific time and would like to go again some day. The next year we went more local. We attended the UBM (United Bikers of Maine) StateWide ralley. Had a great time with all our friends and a lot of strangers.
Then last winter I needed to find something different. I decided I wanted to ride the twisties on the Dragon. I researched places to stay and decided to stay at Hunt's Motorcycle Lodge in Tellico Plains, TN. I liked the idea of private cabins (with air conditioning) and covered bike ports for each cabin. The owners are awesome bikers themselves and the rates were great. The only problem was when the Dragon was closed due to the rock slide. Hubby didn't want to go if he couldn't ride the Dragon. But the work was completed in time and the trip was on!
We arrived at Hunt's Lodge on a Saturday evening and slept like a baby that evening. Sunday we just checked out Tellico Plains and hung around the logde, as our butts were still a little tender from the ride down. But Monday was to be the big day! We rode the Cherohala Skyway from Tellico Plains to the Dragon, making a stop a Deal's Gap before proceeding. I enjoyed talking to those that had just run the Dragon. There was so much excitement in each tale that was told. Then we checked out the Tree of Shame. It really got me thinking that this could be a bad decision to ride this road. I surely didn't want any part from my bike added to that tree. But I had come all this way, and I WAS going to ride the Tail of the Dragon. It stated out on a little straight way, Wheelie Hell, but quickly turned to twisties. It was so awesome! I was into each of those turns without even thinking about them and was having a ball! It seemed like I was in rhythm with the road, and it felt great.
A couple of days later, we did a reverse ride, taking the Dragon from the northern end. We just had to do it both ways to really experience it. It had rained, and was still raining in some areas, so the ride was a little slower, but still just as much fun as the first time. We then took the Moonshiner for a ways, then cut back to the Cherohala Skyway and to Hunt's Lodge.
We spent a week in the area, traveled many, many roads, met a lot of great people, and made memories that will last a lifetime!