Deals Gap is one of the most famous motorcycle rides in the United States, right up there with Route 66 and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It's called the Dragon because, like a dragon's tail, its a collection of dangerous curves. In this case, 318 curves in only 11 miles! So it's not surprising that motorcycle riders from around the world drive deep into the hills of North Carolina and Tennessee to drive this road.
Of course, some enterprising person built the "Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort" right at the beginning of the Dragon, which makes it the official start of the run.
Unlike most other roads we've driven, I wasn't able to take too many pictures of the Dragon. The road is simply too curvy to use the camera, and there aren't many turnouts to pull over. Still, there were a few people in VERY slow cars who occassionally blocked traffic, which allowed me to take a picture or two.
As you can tell from the crowd, Paul and I weren't the only ones riding this day.
Fortunately for me, Paul is a faster rider than I, so he was able to race ahead and get some pictures of me finishing the course...
Unfortunately, a road this wicked takes its toll on the reckless, the careless, and the just plain dumb. So here at the end is the "Tree of Shame", covered completely in the pieces left behind from people who've crashed on this road.
Since Paul and I are incredibly talented riders (and the traffic kept us from driving too fast!), we didn't make any donations to the Tree of Shame.
The Dragon was certainly an enjoyable road, and I don't regret riding it the two times we drove its length. Still, the road to and from the Dragon, although far less curvy, is just as beautiful, but not as crowded. All our drives through North Carolina have been pretty amazing!
The Dragon does have t-shirts though... I guess that makes it a step above... ;)