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· Premium Member
862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
October 29, 2016.

Back of the Dragon is a 32 mile drive from Tazewell VA to Marion VA. 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 a max. 55 MPH speed limit that will cause trouble if you don't pay attention.

{{ Route change for 2016. This entry will be updated soon. See new route here: http://newbeetle.org/forums/1381097-post59.html

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. Planning is underway to expand the route into a circular drive.

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 three 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. However, plans are to arrange to have the breakfast at Shoney’s in Wytheville at 830 then meet for Driver's Meeting at Best Western at 10Am. The new route begins there at approximately 1030.

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 ranges from 40 to 55, drive within your ability and allow a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you.

4- Back of the Dragon 4.0 is hosted by the Mid Atlantic States Beetle Group - a subgroup of newbeetle.org - but we do not require you to drive a Beetle (though it is preferred). BoD is scheduled for the last Saturday in October that is not Halloween.

BoD 4.0 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
2015- cool; some sun, pleasant
(*This is a mid-fall event in the mountains and it does get cool to cold at night.)

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, 5 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

*Best Western Wytheville Inn
355 Nye Rd., Wytheville, VA
(July 4th: Blocked 10 rooms at Best Western Wytheville for the 28 and 29th, rate 68.99$ per night. Mention my name - Donald Eaton - and "Beetle group". Let me know if you book so I can track room block.)

* 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. I am going to try to get a rate from Best Western this year.

1420 N. Main St., Marion, VA

Americas Best Value Inn
1424 N. Main St. , Marion, VA
Comfort Inn
5558 Lee Hwy, Atkins, VA

Back of the Dragon is a bit more casual than Tail of the Dragon in that there are no real set pieces other than the drive itself. However, this is what we did last year. (This year's Schedule in Post #2)

Friday - Travel day and hotel check in. Then a group of us got together at The Best Western then went and had dinner at The Cracker Barrel in Wytheville. (Will do again)


Saturday - Caravan’d to Marion and joined up with others at the Apple Tree for Breakfast. (Considering using Shoney’s in Wytheville this year then group driving to Marion.

- Formed up in Ingles Parking lot (just at the start of the Back of the Dragon, south end). Folks took the opportunity to get snacks, use the bathroom, and take pictures of the cars.


- Ran the Back of the Dragon (there and back again) with one stop on each leg and at the turn around point. (A different set up may be used this year including the possiblity of a circular route.

- Had a late lunch/early dinner in Marion then folks did their own thing after that.

Sunday - Met for Breakfast, some stayed another day, some departed for home.


Additional details will be forthcoming. Please check back often and favorite this page.

· Premium Member
862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Schedule for 2016

Friday (28th):
Travel day and hotel check in.
8pm: (optional) Caravan from Best Western Wytheville to Crackerbarrel for dinner

Saturday (29th):
830 AM (optional) buffet breakfast at Shoney’s - caravan at 815. Best Western also has a Continental breakfast for those staying there.

10AM: Driver's Meeting at Best Western

10:30AM: Road Rally begins from Best Western following new route.
(**NOT** from Apple Tree or Ingles in Marion)

1:45PM +/-: Rally Ends at Hungry Mother State Park then

Lunch in Marion (optional)
Adhoc activities
Hwy 52 run
421 The Snake run ( Sunday?)

Best Western Continental Breakfast in "playpen" (optional)

Departure for some, adhoc events for others

· Everett Street in May
'03 Platinum Grey Turbo S, Skyfall
3,250 Posts
Thanks for posting Don, needed this info now for work planning.

· ToD Maiden Voyager
3,450 Posts
Copilot and I will be there with bells on, suspect we'll stay at the General Francis Marion again. :)

· Everett Street in May
'03 Platinum Grey Turbo S, Skyfall
3,250 Posts
We plan on making it this year, I will squirrel away some vacation time for Rocktober!
I will also start work on getting some of the driving enthusiast members of VW Club of Florida to come up as well.
You will "NOT" be disappointed!! The more the merrier, so bring as many enthusiast's as you can. :wave3:

· 5/23/10 <3
11,800 Posts
We're a maybe. Gotta see what the plan is for my sister's birthday and Halloween. But I really really want to come to this!

· This chick drives a stick
4,857 Posts
Considering. Time off is hard to come by and after all the PTO I'm taking for my honeymoon...dunno what I will have left. Doesn't mean I can't come Saturday....oh the possibilities!

· Everett Street in May
'03 Platinum Grey Turbo S, Skyfall
3,250 Posts
Hmmmm how far is this from Florida?? lol This would be AWESOME to partake in!
Just Google map Marion VA. It is about 70 miles north of the Tennessee/Virginia state line, directly off I-81.
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