DBRXI Reminiscences – A State of Zen
The 11th Annual DragonBall Run was held recently among the hills and dales of the Great Smoky Mountains where years ago highway engineers laid asphalt little realizing the joy they’d bring to legions of motorists. As always, the event was a big success and enjoyed by all its participants. Three of them, Airgate, the Master of Ceremonies, avid dragon event nut Lovetodrive2000 and our Home Page Editor funat9000rpm, took the time to share their thoughts about the event and the mystique surrounding the region that keeps them going back for more. Click through to read on.
Airgate – the Master of Ceremonies:
DragonBall Run (DBR) recently celebrated its 11th annual event with over 40 S2000s. DBRXI marked its 11th celebration with S2000 owners making their way to the famous Tail of the Dragon which boasts 318 curves in 11 miles. But the Dragon isn’t the only attraction; the area is also full of other great roads. The event isn’t all about driving either and is a great way for new owners to meet others and check out each other’s cars. Several lasting friendships have been forged here on these roads by many of us. My friend, Lovetodrive2000, has attended EVERY DragonBall Run event since 2001 and he’s already making plans to attend the next one. Such is the lure of the Dragon. As much as these events are about the cars, they’re also about the people and this great community that we belong to. The next event is in spring of 2012 and marks the 10th anniversary of Wake the Dragon (WTD). It will be held April 11th-15th, 2012 and I look forward to seeing my old friends and meeting new friends as well.
Lovetodrive2000 – avid DragonBaller:
Let’s see, where do I start?
Seeing lots of friends again, driving some of the best roads in the U.S., picking on Airgate at every chance, it’s all a part of this wonderful weekend.
This DBR (DBRXI) was different from many of the past DBRs. Some of the regulars, Hiro, Looter and Scooter and their +1s to name a few, sadly were not able to make it this time. There were still plenty of familiar faces and it was good to get together with them and catch up. Plus we made a lot of new friends; a large number of first-timers attended the event. It’s always great to see the look on their faces and hear them talk about their first time through the Dragon.
There was a lot of drama leading up to the event due to lodging issues, but the organizers pulled off a miracle and got everyone settled down at Fontana. Lodging and atmosphere were great, as normal. The fire pit Friday night was an excellent choice as it got most people together inside of a fairly small area (still had plenty of room to move around), where you could join in the beer and bourbon tastings, try out a few new flavors of marshmallows and, in general, just have a great time meeting new people and talking about the day’s drives.
Saturday’s Cherohala Skyway drive went well, Route 360 turned into a nice drive, lunch at Nut N Fancy and then a leisurely drive back on the Skyway allowed some of our significant others to drive back, and not feel pressured to keep up with the group.
Sunday always brings sadness, as people are packing up to head home, knowing they will not be back until April. Hopefully, the first-timers will all come back for WTDX and enjoy the Dragon with 150+ other S2000s!
funat9000rpm – News Editor and Resident GoPro Expert:
It’s the most serene of moments, almost a peaceful trance, a transcendental state of enlightenment occurring only within a fraction of a second during this special moment in time. No worries exist during such moments, only that which lies ahead. As S2000 owners, we are fortunate to be able to share this moment together with like minds when we congregate biannually upon the rolling hills of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park; to be more precise, when we find ourselves lusting for the mountain roads that comprise the “Dragon’s Tail” on US-129 north.
This fall, Dragonball Run was another all-out success. The fun started when we thrust our cars into the first corner, one down, 317 left. The Zen Moment comes into play at exactly that point in time. Nothing else takes precedence over the current emotion engulfing the driver and connecting man and machine in a perfect unity of harmony and balance. The event draws people from all walks of life together in the spirit of celebrating the special bond between man (and woman) and machine. Never before has such an eclectic group of individuals had such a common pulse. The camaraderie is amazing to say the least, whether meeting up with old friends or making new ones at dinner or the beer swap. We felt connected not only to each other, but also experienced a sense of community not often experienced anywhere else. I for one am proud to belong to this tight knit group of S2000 owners.
The mood is always a bit somber when we disembark on Sunday morning, dispersing into every direction conceivable. The memories created will never leave us as we look back fondly over the state of Zen we were a part of on that weekend.
DragonBall Run videos courtesy of Airgate. Images courtesy of Airgate and s2kmiami69
S2KI – DBRXI Pictures and Video thread
S2KI – Dragon Events