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Thread: Headed for the Dragon in September and could use some advice

  1. #31
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will3hawks View Post
    I will be going to The Dragon the 2nd week in September. I have never headed there before and would like ideas for a route from Scranton, Pa. to Deals Gap. I like to avoid Interstates but am unwilling to spend hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 45mph. I would like to ride some 2 lane blacktop where I can still find a hotel and an eatery (as well as a bar). I plan to take 2 days to ride down, spend a day at the Dragon and take 2 days back. Any suggestions as to a good route as well as lodging and food would be most welcome.

    Regards,

    Will
    Will,
    Re-reading your post, I see you plan a 5 day time frame for this. Having done a quick Goggle Map search for "Scranton, PA > Deal's Gap Motorcycle Resort", using the options of avoiding highways and tolls, it basically routes you down US Route 11 for a total of 752 miles & 16 hours, 35 minutes.

    We planned a trip last summer to Nova Scotia from Harrisburg PA, using Goggle maps as our source for routing the trip. We also avoided highways and, wherever possible, tolls. I can tell you that whatever GM says for time allotments, you definitely need to add ? hours per day. Not sure where they get their numbers from but we found that what they said was going to be 8-9 hours easily became 12, with stops for gas, lunch, and the occasional photo op. Using this model, 16.5 hours easily becomes at least 20. And that's largely on US 11, not so sweet a road. If you don't know it, it basically parallels I-81.

    Not to continue to bust your bubble, but 5 days for this trip might be a WEE bit ambitious. Just some thoughts.

    Cheers.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  2. #32
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    Will,
    Re-reading your post, I see you plan a 5 day time frame for this. Having done a quick Goggle Map search for "Scranton, PA > Deal's Gap Motorcycle Resort", using the options of avoiding highways and tolls, it basically routes you down US Route 11 for a total of 752 miles & 16 hours, 35 minutes.
    .................
    Not to continue to bust your bubble, but 5 days for this trip might be a WEE bit ambitious. Just some thoughts.

    Cheers.
    Call me a trailer queen, but I would much rather throw the bike on the trailer, slab it down, and spend 4 days riding the great roads of the Smokey's. PA and VA have some great roads, but after riding in NC, they pale by comparison, and what once seemed twisty, now seems straight and boring.

    BTW, 11 sucks, small towns every few miles, even if you only rode 45 on the BRP, you can still make better time. If you push the speed up a little when appropriate on the BRP, it is a little less monotonous.
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  3. #33
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    BTW, 11 sucks, small towns every few miles, even if you only rode 45 on the BRP, you can still make better time. If you push the speed up a little when appropriate on the BRP, it is a little less monotonous.
    Agreed. I set the CC at about 4 MPH above posted speed limits on the BRP/Skyline Drive. It was awesome.
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  4. #34
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    Agreed. I set the CC at about 4 MPH above posted speed limits on the BRP/Skyline Drive. It was awesome.
    If you pay attention you can scoot along at 55+ in many areas. Passing is the real issue, but you just need to be patient. My understanding is that there are only a handful of Rangers, to patrol the entire parkway, and with the sequestration starting tomorrow, there may be less. I ride parts of it every spring, and I can't remember the last time I saw a Ranger.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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  5. #35
    Registered User PittsDriver's Avatar
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    Faced with this same conundrum last year (limited time and wanting to max time in the area) we chose to make the run from Annapolis/WashingtonDC area to just shy of Knoxville on the interstate. We got started at about 5am to try to miss the DC traffic and that put us down on 129 at Deal's Gap by mid-afternoon. We spent the next day on an all day ride around North Georgia, Eastern Tenn., Western NC and ended the day just north of Asheville. The 3rd day was spend coming home. So you can do this with as little as 3 days but you have to make the trip down and back by sucking it up and riding the slab. With 5 days, no problem with lots o time in the area.

    On the other hand, there are some roads between you and there that I could spend the rest of my days riding and never get bored. You just have to decide where you want to spend your ride.
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  6. #36
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    Near the dragon

    Wayah Road. From where US129 (through Robbinsville, south of Deal's Gap) intersects US74, go east about three miles but after two started looking for the little green street sign saying Wayah Road. It goes over a mountain range and comes out on US64 a few miles west of Franklin, NC. It is VERY technical, in my opinion topographically more dangerous than the dragon, but has virtually no traffic. Beware 2 bridges near the north end that have turns into them like driveway intersections.

    Deal's Gap: Whatever you do, don't order the sausage paddys for breakfast.

    By far the most puckering road I've ever ridden is US421 southeast from Bristol, TN, which is on I-81 at the VA/TN line. Comes out at a dot on the map called Sugar Mill, NC, five or so miles west of Boone.

  7. #37
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    Just my two pennies...skip the Dragon,it's over-hyped, heavily patrolled, lots'o goofballs & RVs. Go instead to the BRP and enjoy. It seems you are in Pennsylvania? On your way come through Ohio to the Zanesville area. Find SR 555 . It runs N/S from Marietta to just south of Lancaster...much more fun {IMO} than the Dragon. Ride the road, N & S , spend the night in Marietta pretty town on the river,..then head out.

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