The Smoky Mountain Tour - It gets more fun every day

Page 2 of 5         July, 2004

Phil on his Electra Glide on route to the Tail of the Dragon Parkway.  Watch out - they say it bites with it's 318 curves in 11 miles.  In Florida, you are lucky if you get 11 curves in 318 miles. 
Candice posing on the machine.
The rain is just starting to come down and Phil takes a break.
View of Tapoco Dam from Tail of the Dragon. 

The lake behind Tapoco Dam looking down from Tail of the Dragon.  There aren't many places to stop, but the few that are there offer amazing views.


After riding the Tail of the Dragon in a complete and utter downpour, Candice and I stop off at Deal's Gap Motorcycle Resort, cafe, parts store and hangout. We got there as the rain was just ending. 

We have just driven the Dragon which is world famous for it's 318 curve in 11 miles.  We stop to dry off.  This is a well known stopping place for motorcyclists.



At Deal's Gap, there is almost always more visitors to the town that locals,i.e. population = 6 !!
Candice and Phil doing the tourist thing.
Another motorcycle group rides in to get dry.
And to fuel up, and to watch others fuel up..  It's a guy thing...



They say the Dragon and bite.  As this guy rolls in, I ask him to take our picture.  He looks at me like I was crazy and say, "Dude - I just crashed my bike and you want me to take your picture !!!".  I then looked at his bike and noticed the right side was pretty banged up.  He was OK, but the bike will need some TLC.

Candice (in rear) has that nervous look on her face, but she's a trooper and enjoys the ride.


We take off and not too much further down the road from Deal's Gap we stumble across a familiar site - the Cheoah Dam.

If this dam looks familar and you are a movie buff, then you are correct. The Cheoah Dam was the backdrop for the 1993 movie - The Fugitive with Harrison Ford. If you recalled, he jumped from an access door on the front fact to escape from Marshal Sam Gerard played by Tommy Lee Jones


The Cheoah Dam, pronounced CHEE-uh-wuh) was the first of 11 dams and 15 plants designed and built by ALCOA on the Little Tennessee watershed. The 225-foot high, 750-foot long dam was completed in 1919, three years after ALCOA had completed its smelting plant in Blount County. For the first three years ALCOA purchased private power from the dams on the Ocoee River to operate its smelter.

The decision to proceed with Cheoah Dam was the result of the increasing demand for aluminum during World War I. When completed in early 1919 it was the world's highest overflow dam with the largest hydroelectric generating units.


The Power Plant is shown above for the Cheoah Dam.

It transmitted the power 28 miles to present-day Alcoa over rugged terrain. At one point the transmission lines crossed the Little Tennessee River in a single 5,010-foot span, the world's longest. That break through pioneered the way for the longer spans that have since been built. These lines pass over theTail of the Dragon.


Here, we stop for a road break and to stretch our legs.  Yes - it's another gorgeous road ahead.