Doritos to the Dragon - A 1400 Mile Long Weekend Trip to The Tail of the Dragon

This past Friday, I met up with some friends and set off for a roadtrip to drive the Tail of the Dragon - 600 miles away.

My friends’ cars for the trip were a 2013 Mini Cooper JCW (with GP bits) and a slightly modified 1972 Camaro. I was in my 1985 Mazda RX7. Early Friday morning, we hit the road. With a GPS time of about 9.5 hours, we estimated real-time (gas stops, lunch, bathroom breaks) of about a 12-hour trip.

Lunch, somewhere in Kentucky

About 11 hours later, we discovered that to get to the cabin we had rented for the weekend we would be taking none other than route 129 itself - through the Tail of the Dragon.

We contemplated trying to find dinner somewhere, but with the sun setting and no idea where we were going, we decided to keep moving.


After brief use of one of the the Scenic Overlooks, we continued onward, well out of cell coverage, down a very steep gravel drive to the cabin that would be ours for the weekend.

This was an incredible place to stay

We spent Saturday driving various local roads (including the Dragon multiple times) - they were all very good. I have a bit of gopro video, but it’s not very exciting to watch.


I can, however, say that my car technically can keep up with (and outrun in the turns) a modified Camaro, even on chinese all-seasons. He wins in the straights, though.

A lot of people commented on / liked the Camaro and RX7 - especially the Camaro.

As the sun set, we took a couple pictures at a fork in the road near the road to the cabin, then retired for the night.


Sunday early morning we hit the road again, for the 12 hour drive home. It was much warmer out than Friday, but the A/C in the RX7 didn’t miss a beat and kept me comfortable all day.

In the end, it was a great 3 days, driving nearly 1,400 miles (and averaging 23mpg). No mechanical issues were encountered by anyone, and lots of good driving was done. My car is really dirty now, though.


We all agreed that next time we need to stay for more than one day to see the area (and make the combined 24 hours of to/from commute more tolerable).

Share This Story

Get our newsletter