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My wife was there last week and told me the Dragon is not yet accessible from the TN side. If this is indeed still the case, you may have to ride the foothills to the NP and cut through to get to the Dragon from the NC side. Still a good ride though.
True; estimated re-opening date is still the end of July. But what's a few extra miles (other than more fun)?
 

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Hey Yamadog, just rode thru Tellico last week on my way from Michigan to Florida. Won't be back that way but will be riding back north on July 6th and making a stop at the Barber Museum near Birmingham on the 7th so will be in your neck of the woods. Heading on north after that.
 

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Rode the Dragon and Cherohala in late June while bringing my new (to me) V from Atlanta. Both were magnificent: well worth the effort. The Dragon, by not being a thru-road anymore, is only ridden by people who WANT to be there. No semis, Winnebagos, or blue-haired tourists going 5 mph. Though it was full of police it was nearly deserted and great fun even at 35. A pity it can't stay that way from my perspective, but a gas station gent in Tellico said it was a real inconvenience for local residents.

and BTW... there were 3 cops on the 'Drag and nobody "off the island". There were none on Cherohala, and 3 riders off the road........
(no injuries)
 
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