The Authors Collection: Tail of the Dragon
May 1, 2013
TAIL OF THE DRAGON AT DEAL’S GAP, with 318 curves in 11 miles, is America’s number one motorcycle and sports car road.
On Saturday, September 22, 2012, my wife and I rode it in our pickup truck. I was driving. I wasn’t drunk. We did, however, discuss my mother, rain, prison, and sometime during the day, we crossed railroad tracks several times. We missed Larry the Cable Guy by a few days, but otherwise, our experience was close to being like that elusive “perfect country and western song.”
What’s the appeal? My wife asked me, “Why drive for over an hour to get to a place where we’re going to drive some more?” Maybe you have to enjoy driving – and being a passenger. We found a lot of both at the North Carolina end of the Tail of the Dragon.
When we arrived at Deal’s Gap Resort, our first surprise was the size of the crowd. There must have been over two hundred motorcycles in the parking lot. As we navigated the treacherous eleven mile course filled with hairpin turns we saw at least another one hundred bikes. An appealing “scenic overlook” (with a great view of the Calderwood Dam) was host to at least fifty more Harleys, Hondas, and Suzukis.
When writing my first novel, The Tourist Killer, I chose one of the many blind corners near a hairpin curve as the setting for a significant event in the story. About halfway through the book, a convergence of plot lines brings several important characters together. Yesterday, during our ride, we saw several riders converge in accidents. Perhaps some of the parts of their bikes left the scene to join others on the “Tree of Shame.”
The Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort includes a store (with gas pumps and souvenirs), a grill and pub (the barbeque smelled great), a motel, and camping facilities. Visitors are welcomed seven days a week from March 1st until the end of November. Bring your bikes, your appetites, and your thirst and get ready for a great ride, but leave your pets at home.
Article Copyright ©2012 by Chip Etier. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link backs to this story may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Violators will be prosecuted to the extent that the law allows.