Posted by: Jessie | December 29, 2009

The Devil’s Triangle


Devil’s Triangle map art from http://www.tailofthedragon.com

Originally I had planned to come home today.  (Today being 12/29/09.  It might be tomorrow by the time this post goes up.)  I talked to Eric last night and he said that we had too much snow in Cincinnati, that I should stay another day.  So when I was talking to the young man at the front desk, (who happens to ride a sport bike and has much more testosterone then I do) he suggested I ride the Devil’s Triangle.  So we talked about that a bit, and we talked about sport bikes a bit.  Turns out that he has ridden the Dragon so many times he knows all the turns.  He said he and his friends like to go there in the day and hang out until after dark when all the traffic has cleared off, and then they ride it back in the dark.  Much faster that way.  No slow people in the way.  He says he lost a foot peg to the Dragon.  It is hanging on the tree of shame.

I guess steep mountains don’t bother the locals.  They must be used to it.  Maybe they take mountains for granted because they grew up around them.  Kind of like I take for granted that the earth is flat.  Mostly level, even.  Because that is the way it was where I grew up in Michigan.  So I find these gaping maws of cliffs yawing up at me unnerving.  It’s like a Hell’s Mouth just yearning to gobble me up.

So I rode Devil’s Triangle today.  It was a nice ride.  The pavement was mostly in good shape, but not as nice as 129.  I rode through some tiny towns and some lovely scenic roads along the river.  There were some nice sweeping curves.  Then I rode up the mountain.  It was steep.   Very steep.  With lots of cliffs.  And no guard rail.  No berm.  Just me and the side of the mountain.

There were some people living on the mountain, and they had gravel driveways that spilled some gravel on the road.  There was also a gravel quarry and a lot of gravel trucks.  And about 5 steep switchbacks like the one at Fort Ancient.  (You know, the really steep, tight turn with the gouges in the pavement from cars bottoming out?)

Coming down the mountain was easier, the turns weren’t as tight.  The part that went through Frozen Head State park was very pretty and it had some nice sweeping turns.  On the other side of Frozen Head was a little gas station/convenience store that was also the only local fast food joint.  I got there during the lunch rush when people were picking up their pizzas.

I did not get any pictures today, but tailofthedragon.com has some great pictures.  You can kind of get an idea of the switchbacks.  So does devilstriangletn.com

Here is a satellite view of three of the switchbacks. (I got this picture from http://www.devilstriangletn.com )

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