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Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by wellardmac, Jun 19, 2012.

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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    I'm heading up into the mountains on the weekend before July 4th and figured I would take some time to drive the Tail of the Dragon and throw in the Cherohala Skyway for good measure. I've not driven the skyway before, but heard good things, has anyone here driven it? Any comments or guidance?

    Thanks!
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    eblue540 Fourth Gen Bimmers

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    I hear it can be kind of busy during the summer; lot of folks know about it now. I hope to be able to drive it on some cold dry off-season day... (heh, heh...)
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    yeah, the TOTD can be a zoo and to be honest there are better roads that are less well known that are in the area. I'll be driving it early on a Monday, so hopefully I'll get lucky. I drove it a few times late last year and had a good experience. I've not done the Skyway before, but had it recommended to me as a "must-do" road, but for the life of me I don't understand why when I look at the map.
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    mrsbee

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    I suppose it depends on which direction you are coming from, but just about any of the off shoots from the parkway are awesome, and the area around lake toxaway is an absolute hoot. If you are in a position to find yourself in sylva nc, heitzlemaachen brewery is the best place west of asheville to relube...your liver that is. Ask for deider, tell him the little blonde girl sent you, then there is this secret handsshake...wait...
    Back to roads.
    Being an avid Sunday driver (not to and from church) I have found that I never get dissapointed when I find a well driven road and get off of it ASAP. Again, depending on which direction you are coming from there are some roads that you can tear the heck out of, but they are further east.

    I could go on and on and on, but I have a car to wash.
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    I'll be in the Asheville are over a long weekend. I'll drive the Dragon from NC to TN, then loop over to the skyway and drive it back into NC.

    I'm not sure how much patience my family will have for me trying to induce motion sickness in them, but if there are nice roads along the way I'll take the opportunity to play, so suggestions are most welcome. :)
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    MGarrison

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    "And that, dear, was oversteer. How ya doin' back there, kids? Everyone still buckled in? Anyone need the motion-sickness bags yet??" :eek:
    MrsBee likes this.
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    Yup, that will pretty much be it... my kids will love it - my wife less so. :)
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    mrsbee

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    I guess if you've read my "aspiring" thread, you'd know that I'm the least maternal/non a parent person, so when reading that I laughed (which was interesting, because I was brushing my teeth and checking the threads that the same time, I do multi task well).
    I though to myself, gee if my spouse didn't like spirited driving, I'd have to drug him every morning, "here you go dear, don't mind that grainy stuff on your oatmeal, it may TASTE like dramamine but its really...fiber....you NEED fiber"

    As for kids, the threat of being sold to the gypsies always worked for me as a kid. "Hey, Bobby, hold on back there and enjoy your ride OTHERWISE off to the gypsies you go, you don't want to ride on a Camel do you?"
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    My wife gets motion sickness, so despite the fact that she tolerates my love of spirited driving, she's not a big fan of long curvy drives - In the porsche it's not so bad, as you're low to the ground and there's very little body roll - I'm guessing that she will have more problems with the M3. She has already bought Dramamine for the trip.

    As for the kids, they have cars in their blood, as they've been riding in the back of my toys since they were born... in fact, my son's second ride in a car was in the back of my 911 - they LOVE to drive in both my German toys.... my son likes the M3 (as he does't get to ride in it often) and my daughter loves the 911.
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    mrsbee

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    Hey, make sure you take lots of pictures, that is right on my back doorstep and sometimes I forget that its out there at all. My first encounter with it was as a passenger in a Mini, and I have yet to do the Dragon with the wheel in my own hands, but its in my list of things to do.
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    You're lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country and to have those roads on your doorstep is a bonus.

    I've driven the Dragon in my 911, but this will be the first time in the M3. I'm looking to see how they compare. I think that your 1 series would be awesome on those curves.

    I will certainly take lots of photos and if I'm lucky my GoPro will cooperate and I'll get video also.
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    mrsbee

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    Oh, trust me, I am very grateful every day that I wake up and see the mountains begging for me to come visit out my front door.

    I wasn't always so lucky...I spent 20 years in the hell that I call The North Chicago Suburbs/Wisconsin. You want to talk about road that aren't so awesome, there you go.

    Although, I do recall a couple of times in my old beater I used to go chase snow trucks just to drive through the drifts, ah, memories.
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    I find there's good and bad to every place I've lived and visited. You have to just roll with it. Enjoy the good and learn from the bad. :)
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    BMWtyro

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    wellardmac,

    While in WNC, you might also consider the lesser-known Diamondback Highway, AKA Route 226A, AKA Old Route 226 in McDowell County. Located 8+/- miles north of Marion, it runs up the mountain to the scenic village of Little Switzerland and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    The Diamondback is not as long as TOTD and perhaps not quite as dramatic, but it has far less traffic and, unlike The Dragon, there is seldom a LEO patrolling on that road. I just drove my 320i down it again today (after exiting the Parkway) which was fun, but going up is even more fun -- trust me.

    Jeff
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    Thanks! Yeah, I've driven 226A before and actuality think it's better than the dragon.
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    mrsbee

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    Agreed, Agreed! And heck if you go to Little Switzerland, on a Sunday, get the Mimosas on the back patio and listen to a guy do really REALLY bad covers of Van Morrison.

    Funny enough story, I got a random Text from my mom all the way in Wisconsin yesterday asking "Do you know what Tail Of The Dragon is?"

    Immediate smile, I almost played hookie from work to go tear it up today...maybe tomorrow.
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    dmmai

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    Do it !
    As others have mentioned, it can be a bit crowded in summer. We went through the area on a summer Saturday a few years ago, west to east/north, taking the Skyway to the lake and up north to TOTD. Beautiful country! Mid-day the Skyway was crawling with traffic. TOTD was (not quite) a parking lot. Enjoyable but a little sluggish. Later in the week, headed back home, we left Knoxville before first light on a Friday morning. TOTD = empty at dawn. Beautiful!! The Skyway = OMG ! Won't be forgetting that trip any time soon. There were several other area roads on the way back that were also wonderful. Wow!

    For us, it's a long way from home so we have to make due with long weekends in the Ozarks. I'm addicted to the wonderful back roads in northwest Arkansas and southern Missouri.
    We'll make it back to the Dragon, some day...

    I'm so fortunate, my wife isn't bothered by car sickness. We've hammered down more miles than can be counted on back roads, all over the country and she's never yelled "uncle." She just says, "it's my turn." Love it!
    .
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    That's pretty funny! Well, you can join us on Monday morning if you want to play hookie. I don't know the exact departure time yet (as young kids can make like unpredictable), but my goal is to get out on the road early, so that I'm heading up the Dragon by 7:30am (I'm staying at Fontana Dam so that I can have a nice early start) - having a partner come and play will add to the fun. :)
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    Thanks! That's really encouraging. That's the most compelling endorsement of the Skyway I've heard so far - that gives me hope that my wife and kids will tolerate spending most of Monday in the car with me.
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    Zdaneman

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    I've been on it, Oh about dozen times. All the info you've been given from the above replys is spot on...ugly in summer and during weekends! Recommend weekday and early in the day if possible. You may want to check out old 60, Wolf pen gap, Blood mountain and several other roads around Blairsville area in North Georgia. Much better roads with little to no traffic during the week days. I attend the ZRXOA motorcycle RALLY in the spring and fall near Dalongona, GA.

    Have fun!
    Zdanemans send

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