Events and
Road Trips

One of the great things about New England, and Boston in particular, is its proximity to so many interesting destinations. A lot of these destinations make great road trips for a day or weekend. There's also a fair amount of motorsport activity in the area as well.

The Dragon (Deal's Gap, TN) - 2003 August 10
Yankee Candle Company and Car Museum - 2000 October 21
New England Dragway - 2000 August 09 (15.2 to 14.4)

The Dragon - Deal's Gap, TN - 2003 August 10

Map, copyright Tail of the Dragon LLC tail of the dragon tail of the dragon tail of the dragon Calderwood Dam

OK, It's not exactly down the street from Boston, but if you're a sports car or motorcycle enthusiast and you don't know about this road already, then you should. This is a pristine stretch of twisties that, given the opportunity, I suggest you indulge in. With 618 turns in 11 miles, The Tail of the Dragon is a section of US Route 129 that starts in North Carolina at the junction of 28 and 129. From there, it soon crosses into Tennessee, twisting and winding its way through Deal's Gap. With no intersections, well graded turns, and smooth pavement, it's a major sport motoring destination.

We drove down to the Dragon while visting my cousin in Boone, NC. (Yes, we took the spyder. Yes, we were gone for a week. Yes, everything fit in our trunkless car.) The dragon was a blast and I recommend a visit if you're ever in the area. Although it's certainly among the best driving roads, there is still some things worth complaining about. The speed limit is too low and the local police abound. Also, it still a state road and although it would be great to simply blast through at maximum speed, there are slower drivers and the unexpected to contend with. Nonetheless, we loved it and enjoyed making ourselves nauseous by whipping through the transitions as quickly as we could safely drive.

We stopped at the Biltmore Estate is Asheville, NC on our way back. If you have the time, it's worth a look. The drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway was very nice as well.

hershey_hotel.jpg hershey_lunch.jpg hershey_shrubbery.jpg Biltmore Estate

P.S.: Lightweight roadster = great gas mileage. After we left southern, NH for Boone, NC, we didn't stop again until Hershey, PA. We got gas and had lunch on the golf course at the Hershey Hotel. It beat Wendy's by a mile (and I like Wendy's) and didn't cost much more. Outdoor dining in a pristine setting. Totally random. Sweet. (No pun intended.) Anyway, another road trip option, but hard to get the wife to leave.

New England Dragway with 99GTP

Drag Racing

1999 Pontiac GTP

New England Dragway offers an easy and inexpensive way to see just how fast a car is before and after any changes. It's the safe, legal, and affordable way to open up your car or race a friend. My 99 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP ran a 15.2 second quarter mile stock. After some minor changes it ran the 1/4 mile in 14.4 seconds. Not bad for a front-wheel drive, automatic, family sedan.

Ford GT40 is 40 inches tall!

Yankee Candle Company Car Museum

Elleing shopping at YCC

There used to be a very nice car museum at the Yankee Candle Company flagship store in South Deerfield, MA, but it closed in November 2001 to create additional retail space.

This is a popular place to meet for car club gatherings in New England. It's a fairly central location for a lot of people, has plenty of parking, and is a more interesting destination than a 7-11. The local roads are very scenic and not over-populated. Elleing likes Yankee Candle Company candles, so we'll even make a road trip out there occasionally to restock. (A tip for candle lovers: the store in Manchester, VT sells seconds.)

It's too bad the car museum is closed. There were some nice automobiles in there. I especially liked the Ford GT40 (so named for its 40" height) that Elleing is towering over in the picture below. Also, how often to you get to sit in a Ferrari 308? The F40 and the Cobra are legendary.

Ferrari F40 Shawn in 1982 Ferrari 308 Cobra Ferrari F40 All Pics . . .

More Road Trip Ideas to Come . . .