Western Tour: Lairs of the Dragon

Registration opens at noon, Monday, July 15, 2024

(Register button will appear below at that time)

The Western Tour to the Lairs of the Dragon
 Imagine a generally unknown mountain passage, not far from the lair of the infamous dragon. But in the days when the dragon’s siren song began to resonate far and wide, this well-hidden, serpent-like creature cherished its privacy in the quiet, shadowy hollows. Such is its dark mystery that its very name conjures fear on hearing the quietest whispers of it: “Voldemort”. 
Join us if you dare as we tempt fate by tickling the beast’s spine. Our adventure will require a stout heart; one must approach this sleeping power over a bit of time and distance, to build up the courage to face it. We’ll assemble our forces in Franklin, and face our first challenge on the road known as “Wayah”. Passing through the land of the mid-day sun, those who have survived will regain their strength with a respite in Robbin’s villa. Our journey will continue to the lonely village of Fontana, where signs of the slumbering beast can be followed by the stealthiest of our trained leaders into the very den of our quarry. But beware! The slightest misstep is sure to have dire repercussions. Tales of disaster are spoken still, of unworthy seekers of the glory to be had by conquering this beast. 
Those fortunate enough to emerge unscathed from this Rubicon will certainly require recovery and fortification, which can be found at the magical oasis of Tapoco Lodge. The soothing sound of the adjacent river has powerful healing effects according to those who have experienced it, as our troops will do. The long journey home from what is destined to be remembered as the Western Tour may follow a myriad of paths; one grizzled leader has spoken of conquering the dragon itself after being rejuvenated in Tapoco. Time will tell if this is mere bravado or true heroism. In any event the remnants of our forces will disband in Tapoco, hopefully to reunite some day on another sojourn together. 
The stalwart inhabitants of the beast’s immediate fiefdom will be asked to enlist first for this noble struggle, beginning on the twelfth day of July, when the sun reaches its zenith. Reinforcements from our hamlets further east will be sought three days hence to give our western brethren (with the most to defend) their rightful position at the front line. A fortnight will then be granted to allow for the extraordinary effort of preparing for this adventure. As we assemble in Franklinon the 3rd day of August, let no soul falter in their resolve, regardless of the wretched heat that may fall upon us. Embrace the cool mountain shadows and cast away any doubts as you join us on this epic journey!
Registration opens at noon on Monday, July 15, 2024.

Date:  Saturday, August 3, 2024

Meet-up Location:  Ingles Market, 1257 Georgia Rd, Franklin, NC 28734

Meet-up Time:  8:15 am

Safety Briefing: 8:30 am

Group 1 Departure: 8:45 am

Group 2 Departure: 8:55 am

Comfort Stop: Ingles Market, 2 Sweetwater Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771

Destination: Historic Tapoco Lodge Resort, 14981 Tapoco Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771

Length of Tour: This tour has been designed to introduce the group to as many of the more interesting roads in the area that could be fit in. Total driving time is estimated at around 2 ½ hours, not including an approximately 15-minute comfort stop. We hope to reach the lodge between 11:30 and 11:45, before lunch crowds arrive. There remain several great roads for you to explore after lunch, including the Joyce Kilmer loop, the Tail of the Dragon, and the Hellbender (Rt. 28, which leads back to Sylva).

Lunch Details: The Tavern menu is available for you to check out at: Tavern-Menu-2024.pdf (tapoco.com)

Nearby Attractions:

  • Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, 5410 Joyce Kilmer Road, Robbinsville, NC 28771. Take a short hike to view giant old-growth trees (rising over 100 feet with a circumference of 20 feet or more). You’ll be amazed.
  • The Tail of the Dragon: an opportunity to put a few more miles and about 315 curves each way on your car!
  • Fontana Dam and Village: Begun in 1942 in large part to supply power to nearby Oak Ridge, TN for use in uranium enrichment, this 480 foot high structure is an impressive man-made element dropped into the stunning mountains on the edge of the Smoky Mountains national park.
  • Nantahala whitewater center, Wesser, NC 28713: Watch expert kayakers together with greenhorn rafters practice their skills in Class II and III rapids. This is the playground of local Olympic hopeful Evy Leibfarth, a 19-year old gold medalist at the Pan American games.

Event Properties

Event Date 08-03-2024 9:00 am
Registration Start Date 07-15-2024 12:00 pm
Capacity 20
Registered 9
Available place 11