Day 4 – Riding the Gap!
We got up early on Friday morning ready to hit the road. We decided we would stick around the Two Wheels Only Campground and have breakfast there. This was our first time staying at the camp and it will not be our last. The owners are hands on, as they take care of the cooking and the up keep of the place. Everything is on the tab system. You set up camp, fill out a piece of paper and leave it in the box. When you eat breakfast or dinner you tell them your name and they just add it to your tab. This was awesome. The camping was cheap and the food was great! Jamie and I had breakfast two mornings and had a huge dinner one evening, add that to the 2 nights of camping and the bill was just over $100. It was wonderful. We will stay there again. The showers and the restrooms were clean which is a big plus. The best thing about the place is the people you get to chat with while there. We spoke with locals, and people up from Florida and even spoke with a couple on a BMW RT from Nova Scotia. The night we at dinner (friday I think) there must have been 15 locals in there eating the food and enjoying the company. It was a great time. Nothing like hanging out with motorcycle people 24/7. It was a great time. Here are some pictures of the camp. They have a huge porch with plenty of seating so everyone can sit around and spin tales of riding great roads and living to talk about it.
After a filling breakfast we headed out to the Gap. All the locals said we had to take 180 up to 129. We were not disappointed. 180 was every bit as tight as we would see on the dragon. It was a great test to start the day. We stopped on the way at this little store to get a drink. I don’t think I have ever seen so many confederate flags in my entire life.
We get up to what many people say is the start of the Dragon, Fugitive Dam. This was a pretty place and is the place that Harrison Ford made that huge jump during the movie the Fugitive. We took a break and shot more pictures. Now as many of you can tell I like to take pictures, I am not great at it, but I snap away. I hope that we are not boring you all with these.
When we took off and started for the Dragon I was filled with excitment. I have rode for many years (27 of my 41 to be exact) and have been on some great roads. I just hoped that this was not a case of to much hype and not enough substance. We road into the Deals Gap Store , there were plenty of people already there just hanging out and watching all of the bikes. We went in and purchased our shirts and did the tourist thing. I actually forgot my Dragon sticker. When I got back I e-mailed the store and after they get my check, they will be sending me my badge of completion. There was a good crowd there. Everything from Cruisers, to sportbikes, to everything else you could imagine.
This was one of the coolest bikes there. I love the look of this thing.
So we loaded up and hit the GAP. We started off slow, just trying to get our PACE. We came around a hard tight right hander and all of a sudden there is a woman in the road telling us to slow down. We rode another 50 yards and saw a guy with both hands resting on his knees, staring at his 2006 Goldwing on its side in the ditch. He seemed to be okay. He had plenty of people there helping him. It was going to be a chore getting that wing upright as it had fallen into the ditch. It just reminded Jamie and I how careful we needed to be. I wanted to come home in the same shape I left. We took off again and it was amazing! The road is good and the curves are just spectacular!. There are tight 10 mile an hour curves, cork screw curves, S curves you name it the Dragon has it. Jamie and I got into a good groove and we were clipping along pretty well. The scary part of the entire trip is how fast some of those guys go on that stretch of road. We saw a few cars over the double yellow line and it would not have taken much to make yourself a hood ornament in a hurry. One guy on a GSXR flew around the corner and he was leaning so far off his bike, that he was in our lane, not his bike. Jamie could have smacked him on the head if she wanted to. We saw a semi coming down the road, that would be very scary in some of those curves. You can read all about the Tail of the Dragon and see tons of pictures here at Killboy. We stopped when we got to the top. Jamie and I had a grin from ear to ear, when Rob pulled in he looked like a kid in a candy store. We had slayed the Dragon and life was good!
As you know. Jamie usually has tons of pictures from the back of the bike while we ride thru the twisties. I would not let her do that during the ride of Dragon. I wanted her, as well as myself thinking of nothing else but those 11 miles and 318 curves. We will have plenty of pictures in this write up. We went to Maryville for lunch before we headed off for more amazing roads. I will be writing more soon.