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Back of the Dragon 3.0 (2015)

13163 Views 162 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  scarabY2k
October 24, 2015

Back of the Dragon is a 64 mile drive from Marion, VA to Tazewell VA and back. A classic twisty road, the two-lane ribbon of asphalt known as VA-16 features blind curves, various switchbacks, and steep elevations changes over 3 mountains in a rural setting with 55 MPH speed limit that will cause trouble if you don't pay attention.

It's not all constant curves and corners though, there's the occasional straight away that allows the driver to relax for a moment or two or to pass any locals who are not running fast enough for you.

Hungry Mother State Park is along the route as well as a couple of other turnouts for photo ops though restroom availability is limited to the park and a gas station on the route.

The previous two years we met at Appletree Restaurant (Hwys 81 & 16) for a breakfast meet, greet, and eat then formed up, paraded through Marion and rolled up 16 to Tazewell and back.

In 2013, we ate lunch upon returning to Marion. In 2014, we ate hot dogs at a turn around point at a gas station/store where we also bought stickers and decals.

Please Note:
1- There is no designated “Leisure Group” for Back of the Dragon. If you prefer a more casual run, please position your car to the rear of the line up. If, during the run, the pace is too fast, feel free to signal the cars behind to pass on the straights or reposition at convenient opportunities -- we'll all catch up to one another at the stops along the way. Along the route, there's only 1 or 2 places to take a wrong turn and those will be pointed out.

2- It is a public highway with local traffic and law enforcement so be forewarned.

3- While the speed limit is 55, drive within your ability and allow a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you.

4- Back of the Dragon 3.0 is hosted by the Mid Atlantic Coastal Beetle Group - a subgroup of newbeetle.org but we do not require you to drive a Beetle, but it is preferred BoD is scheduled for the last Saturday in October that is not Halloween.

ToD 3.0 is evolving as far as planned set pieces. It is a collaborative effort among various people including some who live in the area. Here-to-fore certain aspects of the day/weekend have been made “on the fly,” but as the group is growing, more aspects will be decided in advance.

2013- sweater/coat; some snow on hillsides
2014- short sleeves; sunny and warmish

As far as accommodations, Wytheville (27 minutes up 81 from Marion) is the best choice for variety though Warren stayed in Marion at the Francis Marion Hotel and said it was very nice. Last year, 4 cars stayed at The Best Western in Wytheville.

Accommodations List
This a partial list, book at your own discretion. Google is your friend.

*General Francis Marion Hotel
107 E. Main St., Marion, VA

1420 N. Main St., Marion, VA

Americas Best Value Inn
1424 N. Main St. , Marion, VA
Comfort Inn
5558 Lee Hwy, Atkins, VA
*Best Western Wytheville Inn
355 Nye Rd., Wytheville, VA

* indicates accommodations that have been used by participants previously and are being booked again this year. There are other hotels and motels available to chose from.

Restaurant List

Attraction List


2013 - Original Dragon Masters:
Vincent (+12) with Steven
Buglet (NB) with Lorna
****** (NB) with Don & Kim
Po’ Man (+12) with Ed & Lois

2014 - BoD 2.0
****** (NB) with Chris
Shiva (NB) with Don
Beetle Juice (+12) with Whitney and Jeb
Vincent (+12) with Steven and Cody
My Girl (NB) with Ashley and Mom and Dog
Ikiane (NB) with Warren and Simone
Pepe Jr. (NB) with Robert and Christine

For those interested in expanded or optional runs in the area:

200 mile version:

Other routes:

"Morning of" Details

More details to come
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Information updated in initial post.
Thanks Don.
The plan is to be there :banana:
Nothing on our calendar for that weekend yet. So we might make this one since we missed ToD!
Awesome news Jess! Would love to see you and Bill again. After all, we're part of the elite 5-speed swap club :lol:

Not sure on our route yet. I'm really hoping the wife-unit can make it. If Val's a go, we might do an Atlanta swing, to see one of her sisters, or try and meet up with her Raleigh sister somewhere in between. It would be cool if we could roll up together.

Will keep you posted.
Simone and I will be there, planning on bringing Ikiane...imagine we'll stay at the General Francis Marion Hotel again. :)


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Well guess the cats out of the bag. I'm the proud owner of Chino, a 2013 beetle. Looks like that trip to B.O.D. is prit-tee promising.

Count me in!
Chino at BOD??? Wow, can't wait!
YesZirrrrr. We'll be there. Hoping Val can make the trip as well.
Went to the dealer today and pretty much have decided on the Tiguan. The new Touregs are beyond crazy price wise. The Tiguan is more my speed and price range.

Now I have to see if I can find a Tiguan group to play with!
Bummer about Manfred, but you need a ride conducive to your trip- understandable.
You see,.I thought VW had a TDI Tiguan in the states already- suprised. Shame on VW for not having one. It's a perfect fit and would sell in the US market.
There is a TDI Touareg, but not in the Tiggy. Terrible decision on VWs part. With how well they sell TDIs, I think the Tiguan would do great with that as a powerplant option!
Yep, and we'll said my friend.

Quick tangent...
I've always been amazed on why Jeep has never made their models with a TDI powerplant. I love em, but their gas mileage is horrible.
There was a diesel Liberty for a year or two. KCFoxie had one.
Hmmm, interesting.
Would would think the TDI's low-end torque and relatively economic aspects would be in Jeep's favor to do more R&D.

Ok, :eek:fftopic: sorry.
Back to your regularly scheduled thread :p
SMW- SuperModel Wife has to see if she can make the trip. I sure hope so. Would be a bummer if I have to fly solo.
Question about lodging... will there be host hotel / motel (like the Ridge Top during TOD)?
Ridge Top like lodging works for me :)
My sister's birthday party is a go and will be that Saturday so we're out. Any chance the weekend for BoD may change in the future?
Understandable, Jess. You best not miss your angel of a sister's birthday. I've only seen her in pictures, yet she has a way of making you feel good about life.

Gonna miss you and Bill though.
So is there a quasi-official lodging spot. Val and I want to lock down reservations this week. Want to beat the leaf peepers tourist price increase.
I'll be driving on the cheap. Val and I (yes Val is coming) will bunk at the BW.
The two of us and our DIESEL
have reservations at the Best Western :)

We'll be leaving from just south of Atlanta on Friday morning, so if anyone wants to meet and and caravan together let me know.
Val and I are leaving Friday as well from Jacksonville. Maybe we can roll up with you. We'll tighten up our travel plans and get back with you double quick.

We're bunking at the BW as well.
Don, we'll be leaving Jacksonville at 06:00, which, after potty and fuel stops, should get to Wytheville around 3:00.
Our route will take us north on 95, 77to I-26 north, which will take us through Charlotte, to I-77 north to Wytheville.
Deana's going to try to take a half day, so maybe we'll get there around 7! Yay!

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Woot :banana:
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