So, it turned out on Saturday that the Dragon was even more crowded than it had been on Friday (surprise!). My experience, and that of others, is that if you want unobstructed passes, it's best to be at Deal's Gap in the middle of the week. But on this trip I wanted to meet Darryl "Killboy" Cannon, who, at present, shoots on the Dragon only on Fridays. And I wanted to watch the "fiddy races" at the DGMR on Saturday night.
To make a long story shorter, I bagged the Dragon after lunch on Saturday for a 45 m.p.h. run on the Cherohala Skyway over to Bald River Falls and back. After the intensity of the Dragon, it was relaxing. I used pulloffs to get out of the way of bikers on cruisers! I'd had a chance to chat with Darryl on Friday, but ran into him again on Saturday.
To repeat myself, I admire Darryl not only for his photography, which captures the feel of his subjects so well, but also for his affection for the Dragon itself. He came (from Middle Tennessee), fell in love with the road, and stayed. He wants others to enjoy it too. This is clear from the Tips For Riders And Drivers and his Twelve Minutes videos on his website.
I discovered the Dragon during a family reunion in Gatlinburg in 2011. I've been back four times since then, and hope to go again as often. Thanks, Darryl, for making a great driving experience even better.
|I miss the mountains too. But I'll be back.|