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Old 10-10-2019, 07:33 AM   #1
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Tail of the Dragon

Has anyone else taken their Scamp down Tail of the Dragon on their eastern trip? Tail of the Dragon with 318 curves in 11 miles is popular with motorcycles and sports cars and is not for an under rated tow vehicle. It was a fun drive with lots of great views. Iíll bet that Iím not the only one. (US 129 and NC 28)
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:22 AM   #2
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Is that anywhere near the Blue Ridge Parkway?
Sounds like "fun"
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:22 AM   #3
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I live in the area and too many crazy people trying to beat their personal best record on that road. No thanks!

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other curvy roads in the NC MTNs without the crazies.

Last time I was on that road, several motorcyclists crossed into my lane, thinking they owned the entire road. As a former motorcycle safety instructor, I can only say how dangerous this can be! On busy weekends, there are always crashes on that road. People "show off" the damage to their bikes and themselves at the general store......


Best thing about Deals Gap is that it draws all the law enforcement from that area to one spot. Speed limit is 35MPH approaching the area. Lots of people getting tickets! Meanwhile, similar challenging roads are available without the drama.

The BRP has gentle curves. If you want some challenging roads, roads going to or from the Parkway can be very challenging. Highway 151 for example, near Mt Pisgah, is pretty insane.

The thing is if you are towing a trailer up or down one of these roads, you really need to be alert and maintain your lane. Crossing the center line is very dangerous, and with limited sight lines, you could get into lots of trouble.

I have gone to the dragon during the week on the off-season (winter). It was a pleasure then.
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:25 AM   #4
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I took my Boler down it a couple of years ago. What a ride! Do they still take a picture of all the vehicles? I was very glad to have a standard transmission as my Boler has no brakes.
It was great fun and Iíd do it again!
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:54 AM   #5
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Location of the Dragon



35.473940 -83.920764 is the state line (TN / NC) on tail of the dragon. I found three sites selling pictures on line but only one was good. The only trouble I had was with a SUV that was way over the center line.


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Old 10-10-2019, 12:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
Has anyone else taken their Scamp down Tail of the Dragon on their eastern trip? Tail of the Dragon with 318 curves in 11 miles is popular with motorcycles and sports cars and is not for an under rated tow vehicle. It was a fun drive with lots of great views. Iíll bet that Iím not the only one. (US 129 and NC 28)
I believe that is the road we took a few years ago with our motorhome. It is only 23 ft bumper to bumper but is a wide body. The lanes are very narrow but we could stay in our lane as long as we drove very slow. Lots of motorcycles on our side at times. It was a beautiful drive but a knuckle biter. When we got to our campground in TN the lady couldn't believe we drove that road. We did pull over as far as possible to let motorcycles pass when we could. We had no idea about the road when we started over it but going around would have been over 100 extra miles.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:26 PM   #7
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We took it last month in our pickup. I would not pull a camper. You just hold up traffic. Yes they do take pictures still on the curves.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:39 PM   #8
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Pulled our 16' Scamp on it once.......by accident. I've driven it many times and find it much more fun with the Solstice GXP Turbo 5-spd than the Tacoma auto, unless as Bill noted, the bikers are acting stupid.

Great boondocking along Santeelah Creek off FS81 and Horse Cove is a neat little USFS campground with flush johns if you want a few more amenities. Both of these are a half hour or so from Deals Gap and within a mile of Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

Site in the upper section
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Old 10-10-2019, 07:48 PM   #9
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Have driven it a number of times, once with a 17í Casita. Go slow. No problem.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:44 PM   #10
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Don’t do it this time of year. Too many bikers laying their bikes to take the curves, many of them inexperienced with mountain roads so they end up over the line in blind curves. Saw 4 bike accidents on that tail one mid-October weekend.
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:05 PM   #11
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Wink dragon's tail?

Didn't go on it..way too many fast cars and bikers, but there is a great campground at Indian Boundary a few beautiful miles eastwards of Tellico Plains TN. WE stayed there last July and will go back as soon as we get our new Escape 21
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Old 10-10-2019, 11:06 PM   #12
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Wink dragon's tail?

Didn't go on it..way too many fast cars and bikers, but there is a great campground nearby, at Indian Boundary a few beautiful miles eastwards of Tellico Plains TN. WE stayed there last July and will go back as soon as we get our new Escape 21
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:54 AM   #13
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it was a ton 'o fun back in the day with my original mini cooper (the small one). and yes, i did exceed the posted limits...young & dumb and glad to be still alive. today i'd just as soon avoid it with a trailer in tow.

p@
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:36 PM   #14
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I'm reminded of the scene in the Book, "The Long, Long Traler" by Twiss, I believe, where someone says to him, "You went down White Bird with THAT?" And then I feel a little height-sick.

More power to you all who have been on that road and survived. May you all continue unscathed!

BEST
"K"



PS: don't quote me on that quote--it's from memory. And the book, not the movie.
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:22 PM   #15
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The corners are tight. Fine for the morcycle or Miata, OK for the TV, lousy for anything longer. With the longer stuff, you WILL cross the center line repeatedly making you a hazard to other vehicles. Don’t do it.

It’s a US highway and it seems like about once a year, some semi tries it despite the warning signs. You will see pictures with semis completely stuck, blocking both lanes and with part of their rig off the road and into a ravine.

There is a video out there with a guy on a Honda Goldwing doing the 11 miles in under twelve minutes. Google yellow wolf deals gap.

Note he crashed later on a similar ride and totaled his Goldwing. When you are riding at 95%, sand or gravel will bite you. Race tracks are swept and kept clear of debris. Not so with public roads!
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Old 01-28-2023, 10:16 PM   #16
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Tail of the Dragon video (2019)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
Has anyone else taken their Scamp down Tail of the Dragon on their eastern trip? Tail of the Dragon with 318 curves in 11 miles is popular with motorcycles and sports cars and is not for an under rated tow vehicle. It was a fun drive with lots of great views. I’ll bet that I’m not the only one. (US 129 and NC 28)
You may need to click on the link open in youtube, but it will let you know what you are getting into. Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap with 318 curves in 11 miles: I was driving toward Deals Gap on the Tennessee/North Carolina state line on my way to Florida in October of 2019. Anyone looking for an exciting highway will enjoy this 11-mile stretch of US 129. Yes I was towing the Scamp, but the f150 did fine. (silent because of the radio playing copyrighted music and I sometimes yell at other drivers)

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Old 01-29-2023, 07:24 AM   #17
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Yes, several times with a Casita. A friend takes his boat across at night. Slow go. Occasionally a semi will try it. Was behind one one time. GPSmaps show it being the shortest route. For a time A trucking company would allow it. But a sign was posted restricting commercial vehicles.
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Old 01-29-2023, 07:36 AM   #18
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I've driven that road several times, entertaining in an appropriate vehicle. I've also been a passenger, which wasn't as much fun. When pulling the trailer I try to avoid intentionally obstructing traffic.
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Old 01-29-2023, 09:25 AM   #19
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Do not do it.
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Old 01-30-2023, 04:14 PM   #20
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Not for me. I am chicken towing a trailer on winding roads down mountainsides, especially with steep drop-offs and no guard rails. Last May we ended up in the Georgia North Woods on US 19, south of Blairsville, heading for the DeSoto National Forest campsite. I couldn't make the sharp right into the campsite, and by the time I got to the bottom I vowed not to go back up. It took a couple of locals to reassure me.

The bikers love that road; you hear them well into the evening. Nice sites otherwise, though.
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