Tail of the Dragon-My first “big girl” ride

Wakin' the Dragon Rally 001

Before I go into the journal part of my trip, I’m going to share a little background.  I got my motorcycle license at the end of the riding season in 2003.  I took my 1998 Superglide, which I had bought from McGyver (it was the bike we fell in love on) out for my first spin and promptly dropped it in a cul de sac.  McGyver was living in Germany at the time, so I decided maybe I better wait until I have someone experienced to ride with.

The following year I did a lot of riding, mostly just putting around the local area and a few adventures (some unintentional).  The bottom line was, I was a inexperienced rider coming into 2005.  Plus I had very little confidence since I seemed to drop my bike a wee bit more than I should have been…grrr those low slow left turns.


McGyver and I planned this trip to go up into the Smokies and ride the infamous Tail of the Dragon.  A hot spot ride for bikers and sports car enthusiasts.  What I didn’t know…let’s just say, what I didn’t know ‘my ignorance’ was probably a good thing, otherwise I would have been scared to death and not excited!

May 22, 2005

First Rally of the year and my first “big” ride.  This past winter we had the SGlide custom painted and chromed out, lowered too.  She looks beautiful!  Anyways, Sturgis is coming up and it’s time to get road ready especially for me.  So, as soon as the weather was decent (and the SGlide too..another story) we jaunted around the local area and the River Road.

We had heard about the “Tail of the Dragon” a road with 318 curves in a mere 11 mile stretch, shortly after hearing about this fantastic road we found out about the “Wakin of the Dragon Rally” and knew we had to go.

It took a lot of planning, i.e. getting child care but after that we were good to go.  We dropped Ryan off at school and then we took off about 9:00 am, it was overcast and cool but just right.  The ride was as well as anyone could want – evidently we were lucky enough to miss the heavy rain.  We’d drive up to areas where the road was soaked with puddles but no rain.

Despite the distance we traveled (550 miles plus in 10 hours with stops), we only got off track only for a short way and ended up taking the scenic route through highway 321 and the Foothill Parkway in the Smokey Mountains.  Once on track we found the Punkin Campground with no problems.

Wakin' the Dragon Rally 006

After we were all set-up we hung out at the lodge, drank beer and enjoyed meeting folks.  Lonnie even scored some local Moonshine from a toothless drunk – let me tell you what – it was good!  That is, until the cops chased him off.

We got off to bed at a reasonable time – about 11:30.  McGyver’s pea sized bladder only woke him up once. Minus a few “girls gone wild” we slept well.

Our Camping Site

Wakin' the Dragon Rally 004

Yes, we both slept in that tiny tent.

Wakin' the Dragon Rally 003

The office and the place to hang out at the end of the day.

Wakin' the Dragon Rally 007

I was a little concerned that the bears might clue in on the slow children….

Wakin' the Dragon Rally 009

That’s the end of day one, so now I’m there, next week will be all about THE RIDE(s) and the rally.

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11 Responses to Tail of the Dragon-My first “big girl” ride

  1. CJ at Food Stories April 30, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    Wow … what a great pic, great adventure and great story!

  2. Tina@flourtrader April 30, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Sometimes these type of trips are a lot more fun than the fancy schmancy ones! However, I think my stomach would have started to get queasy on the 50th curve. Thanks for sharing your adventure on the Tail of the Dragon!

  3. sippitysup April 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Congrats on the “big girl” ride. I am frightened just thinking about it. Does that make me a “little girl”? GREG

    • Giggles April 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

      Greg, I don’t think that it would make you a girl, A wuss maybe??? Kidding!

  4. Eliot April 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I want to hike there. Actually, I would love to ride on the back of a cool guy’s bike. I’m not so brave as to drive my own. You’re my hero.

    • Giggles April 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

      At the time I’m not sure if I was brave…I think just ignorant.

  5. Mcgyver April 30, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Actually, The Witch was prepared for this… She thought. I mean we were living in Illinois, of all places, with 11 curves in 318 miles! Wait ’til next week, great pics!

    Mcgyver, Out

    • Giggles May 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      Haha, I forgot that we used to say that….

  6. Elva@ Gluten free May 2, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Ahhhaaaa! I like your quest, but for me I am a meek person, any such idea make me shudder 🙂 Really I applaud your guts, you rock!!!!!!!!!

    • Giggles May 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      You’re making me blush.

  7. kita May 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    How freaking awesome is this! I am scanning ahead to read the rest of your adventure. I love the Smokey Mountains and have heard (and seen) great things about the Tail of the Dragon for bikes!