We reach the starting point of the Dragon’s Tail only at 2 pm because, when on a motorcycle from A to B detours are a rule. The Blue Ridge Parkway and especially the Skyline Drive are spectacular, we go from an elevation of 1000 ft to 5000 ft more than once, on perfectly maintained roads and relaxing sceneries. Chattanooga, Franklin, Chickamauga, recall some of the American Civil War (1861/1865) battles, bluebellies against graybacks, Lincoln, Lee, Grant. The Rebel flag can still be seen flying in some places. Cherokee, Appalachia, Eagle Rock recall Tex’ comic books (an Italian old-time series). Some of the faces depicted in those pages can still be seen around.
The place is crowded and is typical American: Harley Davidson everywhere, countless trikes, a few motards and a large representation of four-wheelers like Mustang, Corvette, Porsche. From a supercool Mustang a super-blonde smiles asking us “where’s the party?” … then she comes out of the car and she’s a super-dog … the party is over!
There is the famous “Tree of Shame”, where parts of cars and motorcycles bitten by the dragon, hang. The souvenir shop near the rooms that can be rented for one or more nights, is inevitable.
Passing is absolutely forbidden and when a trike moves in front of me just as I’m leaving, oh well … it doesn’t matter, I’ll do it over again for sure even because the trike slows down to wave every time there is a photographer. So, half-way through, I stop to let it go on so as to have some room in front. It is really beautiful, more than 300 twists in about 16 km, but not only curves … there are also exciting gradient changes and it’s like a road made by American racing oval designers. It isn’t possible to gain speed since one is always curving, leaning, a lot or not as much, to the right or to the left. Two kids slammed their grandma’s Ford into a tree and are surrounded by policemen: a part or two will end up hanging from the Tree of Shame and even the grandmother could become dangerous when she learns about it, everybody carries a gun here and the basic idea is to call 911 only after it happened, never while it’s happening.