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Thread: Dragons Tail via Boone, NC

  1. #1
    criminaldesign
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    Dragons Tail via Boone, NC

    Well, my North East trip got booted as October has been busy with actually being onsite in the office and setting up an art show of my stuff, both in Pittsburgh.

    So to ease the pain I'll be in Boone, NC over the weekend and plan on hitting up the Dragons Tail.

    What's some insight around the area? h

  2. #2
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    We visited Ohio and Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago. On our return route, we rode Highway 20 between Rainelle and Bluefield, WV. We intersected with Highway 16 in Tazewell, VA and road that south where it meets Highway 58. We rode 58 through the Grayson Highlands State Park. We went on to Bristol, but you can pick up 133 around Damascus and ride south to Shady Valley taking 421 to Boone, NC. Some of these roads were suggested by the Virginia Super Twisties thread posted under the rally forum -- that's where I got my route information. It's a great time to be going -- the leaves were just starting to turn when we rode through recently.
    John H | TexanRT | Lafayette | IBA
    BMW K1600 GTL '18 | Honda Goldwing '12

  3. #3
    criminaldesign
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    perfect, looks like the way to go. this time of year should be nice. h

  4. #4
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    I was cautioned about Highway 16 -- there can be some gravel in the corners -- we also encountered some leaves and branches -- that's also true for Highway 58. Otherwise, those are two great roads. Enjoy the Dragon -- the pavement is in great shape and the few times I've been there was very little debris on the road. Have a good ride, Houston.
    John H | TexanRT | Lafayette | IBA
    BMW K1600 GTL '18 | Honda Goldwing '12

  5. #5
    warredon
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    While you're near Deal's Gap (the Dragon's Tail) you should try the Cherohala Skyway, it's a great road that shouldn't be missed.
    Last edited by warredon; 10-09-2009 at 04:04 PM.

  6. #6
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    check out the ride maps that were part of the Johnson City 2009 BMWMOA Rally. They cover the riding area that you're asking about.

  7. #7
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    Stop in NC

    Stop off in Hot Springs, NC on your way back. Stop in at the spa and soak any aches away before moving on. All of the roads in that area were great riding this summer. The Rock Bottom bar also has some great sandwiches. The is also a smaller but nice and secluded waterfall in Elk Park, NC. Enjoy the ride and may there be no Harleys slowing your ride on the tale.
    Doug
    '04 R1150GSA, '96 K1100RS SE, '94 K1100LT, '84 Honda VF700 Interceptor

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
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    The Snake

    Forgte the number of the highway, but on my way to MOA Rally, was in Boone, and rode "The Snake". It is in the area of Shady Valley
    Great road and at the end there is a nice bike hangout

  9. #9
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warredon View Post
    While you're near Deal's Gap (the Dragon's Tail) you should try the Cherohala Skyway, it's a great road that shouldn't be missed.
    +1 don't miss the Cherohala Skyway. if you want to do the Snake, just head north from Boone, N.C. on RT 421 , just after crossing into Tenn. you will be on the Snake. Have fun & be carefull....

  10. #10
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexanRT View Post
    I was cautioned about Highway 16 -- there can be some gravel in the corners -- we also encountered some leaves and branches -- that's also true for Highway 58. Otherwise, those are two great roads. Enjoy the Dragon -- the pavement is in great shape and the few times I've been there was very little debris on the road. Have a good ride, Houston.
    Yep. We've had a summer of hard rains that have washed gravel across the roads and several periods of hard wind that has blown dead limbs from trees. This had been the worst summer to ride and stay dry here in the mountains for several years. I'm about 3 miles fro Rt. 16 and about 30 from 58. Aftere several years, you tend to know where the problems are going to be.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  11. #11
    criminaldesign
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    Wow, what a great weekend of riding. I left Friday late afternoon when there was a pocket of no rain which held up the entire way down beside a bit on 421. Met my Parents and my Sis and her family in Banner Elk. My mom had a class for Brain Gem (teaching method of getting kids to learn while moving instead of being stationary for the entire school day). My aunt has a time share in the area so we took advantage of that and had a nice weekend.

    TexanRT, thanks for the heads up on the route south. Rode the fabulous WV Turnpike (mock) and got off around Princeton and hit 19 to Tazewell, from there took 16 to Damascus and 91 to Mountain City. Totally overshot 421 and ended up in Shady Valley, a trip back over the mountain in the dark around 8:30 or so. Back over the mountain to Mountain City and realize where I missed the left towards Boone. Stayed in Banner Elk maybe 15 miles from Boone down 119 which was a fun mountain road I had all to myself.

    Saturday was a chill day, no riding as the weather was spotty so 5 of us hit up Boone and Asheville for the day and just drove around. I thought WV was filled with mountain rodes but NC, man talk about trying to get your bearings straight.

    Sunday I took off on the bike around 9am from Banner Elk and headed south to Asheville and took 19 to 129 and headed towards Robbinsville. Hit up Deals Gap and there was a good large eclectic mix of bikes, mainly Harleys and crotch rockets, couple of Triumphs and maybe 4 Beemers. Dragons Tail went by faster than expected so I turned around and did it again. I was considering a 3 time but why waste my time in one spot?

    I took Don's suggestion on hitting up the Cherohala Skyway which was a wonderful ride with some elbow room, very light traffic. Hit some very heavy fog on the way down around 5:30 and a guy on a 1200 Kaw zipped right past me as I was kinda creeping not knowing the road and all and what's the rush? I met the guy on the Kaw on a pull off may 5 miles from Tellico and he had 2 other buddy's stop off. We talked for a bit, had a smoke, said he had a bobcat dart in front of him in the fog. I told him that's a good sign, like a shooting star.

    From there I took 68 from Tellico to Madisonville and 411 to I40 thinking I would go to Asheville and Boone from there. A gentleman in Newport TN said theres mad construction around Asheville will 20 miles of backed up traffic. He suggested taking the interstate to back north to Bristol. Whatever, no big deal and again, what's the rush? I did make a b-ine for Bristol though, I fell behind a Benz and made it to Bristol in no time around 10pm.

    Jim/kgadley01, I ended up riding the snake a couple times over the weekend, good ride. On the way back from Bristol, heavy fog set in. I got to say that the Snake is as fun as the Dragons Tail. I ended up getting back to Banner Elk around 12:30. Good full day on the bike 15 or so hours.

    The ride back Monday though was interstate and nothing but a steady rain all the way the Wytheville.

    Overall a great weekend, clear roads and the bike ran great as usual.

    I'll post what pictures I got tomorrow. Later guys, Houston

  12. #12
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by criminaldesign View Post
    Overall a great weekend, clear roads and the bike ran great as usual. I'll post what pictures I got tomorrow. Later guys, Houston
    +1 Great report, Houston. Those are some great roads.
    John H | TexanRT | Lafayette | IBA
    BMW K1600 GTL '18 | Honda Goldwing '12

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