Hotshoe and I decided to do the "loop" at the south end of the Dragon: the Cherohala Skyway to TN 360 to US 411 to US 129 back through the Dragon. I'd heard that TN 360 was a drive worth taking. A better option would have been to take TN 72 off US 411 to get to US 129. But I wouldn't do it again (either way). Retracing your steps on the Skyway is more fun, and it puts you right back in Robbinsville--the hub from which all the fine hilly/mountainous spokes radiate.
A good lunch stop is Tellico Kat's, on the Cherohala Skyway before you roll into Tellico Plains. The menu is limited to sandwiches, most of them cold, but you can customize the breads and fillings with a wide range of fresh ingredients. Tellico Kat's is right beside the river. The view and the sound of the rapids is relaxing, and the staff is friendly. They gave us some stale bread to toss to fish in the water. We got three strikes from ten tosses, so the guy in waders in the river knew what he was about.
|Tellico River at Tellico Kat's.|