So, not long after getting my latest ride, a 2014 BMW R1200GS, Kim and Ricky Derby invited me along for a trip to the NC Mountains. The plan was to spend a full day riding the beautiful twisties and mountainsides, including a trip along Highway 129 between North Carolina and Tennessee, home of the famous Tail of the Dragon 318 curves in 11 miles.
We stayed at a nice hotel called Creekside Lodge a few miles away in Maggie Valley, NC. The rooms are comfortable and there are plenty of nice places to eat within walking distance.
Saturday morning, we got up early for breakfast and headed out. It was a crisp 29 degrees when we headed into the mountains. After an hour of riding, we came upon Fontana Dam, made famous by the movie Fugitive starring Harrison Ford.
Our next stop was at the Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort, which marks one end of the Dragon on the NC side.
And of course, the Tree of Shame, ladened with parts that had been strewn along the Dragon.
We stopped at the “end” to find this nice overlook.
There are several companies that sit and take pictures along the Dragon. Later, you can go on their website, find, and download your pictures for a nominal fee.
Toward the end of the day, after 250 miles or so, we stopped along the side of the road for a break.
Here’s a condensed ride along the Dragon.