The rumor mill is churning and I’m trying to sort through it all, but this much seems official. Tennessee has closed the Tail of the Dragon (US 129 at Deals Gap) from the rock slide are to the state line. Even though North Carolina offered to provide traffic enforcement, Tennessee has declined the offer and closed the most popular motorcycle ride in the region until the situation is resolved.
How long will it remain closed, I’ve seen various estimates. Initially one lane was reopened at the site of the slide, but closed the next day. Then there was talk it would be reopened by today. Now the rumors emerging are indicating it will be two months as blasting and bolting are required to stabilize the site. I’ve not seen an official proclamation yet.
I’d like to again urge you re-evalute your motorcycle vacation planning to explore other areas in the surroundings. With all the road closures currently in effect, the traffic loads are shifting onto what few back roads remain and the quality of motorcycle riding in this area will be seriously diminished.
The good news is there are a wealth of fabulous alternatives, hundreds of miles of great two lane uncongested twisty mountain back roads in the immediate area for your motorcycle touring enjoyment that are too often overlooked due to the Dragon’s notoriety. You can get free advice and recommendations on your motorcycle vacation plans by contacting http://americaridesmaps.com. I will be following up with suggested alternatives.