The dragon nods, and banks carefully to the northwest*.
"Hang on tight - I'm not sure I can get us there in time. But we won't find out staying here!"
And, after a moment's pause to give you a chance to follow its instructions, the dragon accelerates, wings beating furiously; the airborne equivalent of taking off at a full-out sprint.
Time passes; the arkwood scrolls by beneath you, and the sun slowly dips down ahead of you. The arkwood finally gives way to fields and rolling hills, and then mountains loom up ahead of you, the last rays of the dying sun shining out through a single narrow pass.
The dragon falters, slows, and then settles into a glide. "Too slow." It shakes its head. "And my magic isn't strong enough to cover the remaining distance."
The two of you drift downwards, and come to a not-quite-crash landing near a small set of standing stones. The dragon simply collapses on the sparse grass, clearly exhausted.
Ahead of you lies that single narrow pass, still illuminated. Behind you are only deepening shadows. And off to your right, the standing stones simply sit there and hum quietly to themselves, calmly indifferent.
* Actually closer to west-north-west; you've got plenty of time to get a fix on the exact direction.