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flynfink
10-09-2002, 01:21 PM
I'll have hard copies of this and maps for everyone, so no need to print it but FYI. See ya'll Friday

Jeff 704-651-2509

Route Sheet for the 2nd Annual Snakes vs.The Dragon
(AKA - Fall Leaf Cruise)

Depart Hotel Parking Lot at 8:30 AM. Please make sure your car is gassed and ready. Also, please keep in mind we are traveling on public roads.

Take 321 S to the Foothills Parkway.

Take the Foothills Parkway to 129. Turn Left onto 129. Should be about 45 miles from Pigeon Forge. On 129, be very careful of sport bikes, semi’s (which shouldn’t be on this road, but sometimes are and take the whole road), other cars and the law enforcement.

Follow 129 along the Little Tennessee River and you will enter the Tail of the Dragon where 129 leaves the river. When you go over the Tabcat Bridge you are in the Dragon. Approximately 2.5 miles after the bridge is one of the meeting places on the Dragon, the Calderwood Dam overlook on the right. We’ll stop here for pictures and to regroup. Bikers and car enthusiasts of all types stop here to see what’s happening. Hwy 129 climbs to Deals Gap at the North Carolina/Tennessee Line. Here the Crossroads of Time provides cheap rooms and biker camping. Take a gander at the Tree of Shame. Bike parts are nailed to the tree and litter the ground around it. Some parts are crudely labeled with sayings such as the Dragon bit my ass. These are grim reminders of those who have been slain by the Dragon.
After crossing Deals Gap, NC28 splits to the left, Stay on 129 and the road descends. A short distance later, look for the gravel parking on the left. Stop here to regroup and get a view of the Cheoah Dam at the Fugitive Bridge. Continue south on Hwy 129 taking us into Robbinsville. (Lunch, Gas, potty stop?)
A word of warning, Graham County, North Carolina strictly enforces traffic laws. On major holidays and other times of high volume traffic there is helicopter surveillance of major routes and radar units to check your speed. You can still have a great drive while obeying the traffic laws.



Take 143 West from Robbinsville. The road can have moderate traffic, many road-patches, and hazards such as gravel/tree limbs on the roadway (also law enforcement). This winding two-lane road passes the Blue Boar Inn and Snowbird Mountain Lodge entrances before turning into the Cherohala Skyway at Santeetlah Gap. Hwy 143 improves at the beginning of the Cherohala at Santeetlah Gap. The Cherohala climbs from 2,660 to more than 5,300 feet in the first 11 miles. There are some tight curves, but most can be traveled at the 45 mph speed limit with little difficulty. After passing the Santeelah Overlook at an elevation of 5,390 feet you begin a series of downhill curves before reaching the Tennessee State Line. From here to Tellico Plains the Skyway is designated as Highway 165. The Skyway descends to its lowest elevation of 900 feet along the Tellico River. (Lunch/Gas/Potty break?) Tellico Beach Drive In, also a BBQ place next door
At Tellico Plains, take a right on Hwy 360 just before downtown Tellico. This is a back road with little traffic.
You will come to Hwy 411. Take a right on 411 (a four lane divided hwy).
Just after crossing the Little Tennessee River at Vonore you will take a right on Hwy 72. A couple of miles into this road you will get an awesome view of the mountains. WARNING there is a sharp turn about 2 3/4 miles after getting on 72. There have been some 30 accidents (cars and bikes) this year. You can see it coming if you are heading west, but traveling east it catches you by surprise. SLOW DOWN.
Continue on Hwy 72 to the stop sign (about 6 miles altogether). The wide, straight section invites high speed - watch out because this is a favorite radar trap for the local sheriff and TNHP. Take a right onto 129.

At the Foothills Parkway take a left and head back to Pigeon Forge.