Neat Cars in the Woods

I met up with Jordan and daender at the Tail of the Dragon on Friday afternoon. Fun was had and I went for a surprisingly car-related hike in the woods before heading home on Saturday.

After meeting up in the afternoon at the North Carolina end of the Tail, Jordan and I spoke at length about his new car. You may have heard a bit about it. Eventually we did a fun drive to the Tennessee end of the Tail, passing daender on the way. He turned around and met us there, and we all spoke for a while there. We then ran it back to North Carolina and went to get dinner. Several fun cars were present at the Tapoco Lodge while we split a pizza.

Tasteful blue Z3 M Coupe that chose to park in the back of the lot with us
GT350 that made good noises
Another Corvette and GTI combination
Jordan saw this and missed his old Fiesta ST a bit . . . only a bit

After dinner it had gotten dark so we headed back through the Tail of the Dragon again. I was in the lead and much more cautious since even with my active headlights I couldn’t look far enough ahead to be comfortable and I don’t quite have it all memorized. This meant that daender was dogging me. It didn’t help that I should have pointed my side mirrors down as his headlights were a distraction as I navigated corners. He also got to see what was coming as the follower.

Jordan took his time following us, which was quite sensible given the unfamiliar car in the dark. I should have been more sensible. At least I kept traction control on, and didn’t have any close calls. The Charger sporting police-issue steelies kept going in the other direction.


The guys left from there, and I took a fairly relaxed drive back to the Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort, and spent a couple of hours talking with my motel neighbors who were from Memphis, and who were riding adventure bikes (a Triumph Tiger 1200 and a Polaris something-something).

Tangent: They were possibly going to do a bit of the Trans-America Trail the next day, which made me start thinking about a 4Runner again, since I’ve been interested the TAT previously, and although getting a dual-sport would be fun, my wife’s stress level wouldn’t stand for it, and I don’t want to do that to her. I worry that newer 4Runners might be too wide for parts of the TAT, though.


Saturday morning I got up relatively early and did a round trip on the Tail of the Dragon at 7 a.m. when there was little activity, my favorite time. Kind of spooked by someone parked roadside in an all black Expedition with a roof rack, but otherwise pleasant. Packed up, went to Fontana Dam.


I put on my hiking gear and proceeded to take the Lakeside Trail in the Smokey Mountain National Forest. This turned out to be a relatively level-ish trail (compared with going up the mountainside on the Appalachian Trail, my other option) with several nice views of Fontana Lake, and also a number of car shells presumably from when the area was logged or when the dam was built.

Carcass #1
Carcass #2
Carcass #3
Carcass #4 - that looks like a “whoops” for sure
The dam operators had the lake level down about 20 feet for some reason
Lots of flowers just starting to bloom including this trillium

After my 3 hour hike, I got in my car and headed home. As usual, I wanted to somehow signal to every oncoming sporty car to let them know that, “I know where you are going, I’m one of your people, and you’ll have fun, too!”

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