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Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX

Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I expect some jokes at my expense (I can handle it), but here goes. I have always flown into Norfolk and driven down to Hatteras; however, if I land this job on the island for which I had an excellent interview by phone today, I will have to drive there from Evansville, IN when relocating. There's just one problem; I have this crippling, stupid, irrational phobia of driving at high elevations. Specifically, the Blue Ridge Parkway and those intimidating looking viaducts, scaling the edge of mountains. Good Lord, I really don't want to drive around the edge of a mountain. Over a mountain is one thing, but the ridge? Puke.

Growing up, I often made trips to East Tennessee with the family to visit my grandparents, but my parents were the ones driving, and I was either asleep or probably fighting with my brother, because I don't recall being too terribly scared back then. However, I have since heard the horror stories of the winding roads of the Blue Ridge Pkwy., and how terrified adult friends were. I assume it was the Deals Gap area, which I don't think I'll be having to drive on, but I just want to know if any of you can recommend a way that might not be quite as bad. I have googled and searched here, but haven't been able to find an answer. Google Maps gives me these three routes, which I would only consider the bottom two. Can anyone tell me which is the better route? I'm thinking the very bottom one looks maybe less like an impending stroke. Or is there a better option not shown here? Google Maps doesn't always show the best routes. I once turned into a cemetery because Google Maps told me to. Yep, I was that person I make fun of. I was up until 1am, stressing over this crap last night, googling and mapping it out. I can't really tell by zooming in what it really looks like. Any helpful advice would be appreciated.




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RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




That way is the best ! I40 all the way to Raleigh to 64 I would not go to Charlotte ! Charlotte can be a nightmare at certain times of


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Jessica, what you're asking for is for someone to explain the mountainous driving sections on these routes?


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Jessica, what you're asking for is for someone to explain the mountainous driving sections on these routes?

obxmini


Yes, the least treacherous route, whether it's one of the routes shown on the photo or another one someone may know about.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




That way is the best ! I40 all the way to Raleigh to 64 I would not go to Charlotte ! Charlotte can be a nightmare at certain times of

snapper


Thank you! Yes, I was definitely planning on avoiding Charlotte traffic.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Just stick with the Interstates driving through the mountains. Do it at night...you can't be scared of what you can't see.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Just stick with the Interstates driving through the mountains. Do it at night...you can't be scared of what you can't see.

Brad Z


Ha! Good logic, but I have a very difficult time seeing when I drive at night, so I'm planning to only drive during the day.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Just stick with the Interstates driving through the mountains. Do it at night...you can't be scared of what you can't see.

Brad Z


Ha! Good logic, but I have a very difficult time seeing when I drive at night, so I'm planning to only drive during the day.

jessicaboyd


Still, stick with the interstates. The Parkways are designed to maximize views and thus have lots of overlooks. The interstates are designed to get fully loaded trucks through as safe as possible.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Just stick with the Interstates driving through the mountains. Do it at night...you can't be scared of what you can't see.

Brad Z


Ha! Good logic, but I have a very difficult time seeing when I drive at night, so I'm planning to only drive during the day.

jessicaboyd


Still, stick with the interstates. The Parkways are designed to maximize views and thus have lots of overlooks. The interstates are designed to get fully loaded trucks through as safe as possible.

Brad Z


Ahh makes sense. Thank you!!


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I went your way back in November to buy my new Bass boat. I ran interstates most of the way west before turning North. I had forgotten Wild and Wonderful WV and the mountains from Beckley to Charleston which were a little nerve racking pulling my new toy home. So in short, as previously stated, run the Interstates you will be fine. Oh, I’ve fished Kentucky Lake and that was 12 hours from me pulling a boat and I’m 4 hours to Buxton. Good luck


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I like you hate driving through the mountains. I also hate tunnels and bridges! If it were me, I would get on I-64 E to I-77 S then I-40 to US-64 E onto the OBX. We come down from Ohio through West Virginia getting on I-77 and going the other routes I said. It is not bad at all, a very peaceful, easy drive. We usually stop over in Cary, NC which is a very nice, safe area.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I like you hate driving through the mountains. I also hate tunnels and bridges! If it were me, I would get on I-64 E to I-77 S then I-40 to US-64 E onto the OBX. We come down from Ohio through West Virginia getting on I-77 and going the other routes I said. It is not bad at all, a very peaceful, easy drive. We usually stop over in Cary, NC which is a very nice, safe area.

Sorcha


Thanks! Yes, I hate tunnels and bridges, as well.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I went your way back in November to buy my new Bass boat. I ran interstates most of the way west before turning North. I had forgotten Wild and Wonderful WV and the mountains from Beckley to Charleston which were a little nerve racking pulling my new toy home. So in short, as previously stated, run the Interstates you will be fine. Oh, I’ve fished Kentucky Lake and that was 12 hours from me pulling a boat and I’m 4 hours to Buxton. Good luck

Basskat


That's quite a haul! Few years ago, I went with a couple friends to bring their boat from Kentucky Lake back up to the marina here in Evansville. It's a houseboat and we took it back via river at sunrise instead of hauling it. Took forever, the generator died and we got stuck in a bad storm late at night. Boat started spinning and almost hit a barge, so we had to drop anchor for the night and continue on the next morning. I believe that was my only experience with KY Lake.




RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Jessica try going to Knoxville, on I40 take I81 then I 26 to Asheville then back onto I40. It takes about a hour longer but you miss the Great Smoky Mountains and those scary heights.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




The route you highlighted in post #1 is the best for you, Jessica. it has the least amount of elevated exposures by the highways, which seems to be what you want to avoid. Nothing is like the Blue Ridge Parkway on that route..

Funny, my son was born in IN, and did not like the Blue Ridge parkway at first either at age 5. But he grew up from age 5 along the Parkway and is fine with it all now.

Good luck with your move!


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Thanks, everyone! I’m mostly trying to avoid viaducts on the side of mountains. I do love the mountains; just really scared of driving with nothing but a guardrail between me and the edge of a mountain.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




We used to drive from Nashville to OBX and we would take I-40 all the way to 64. I do recall being a little leery in the mountains but it wasn't so much the height but how curvy it was. There are a lot of runaway truck ramps on the steeper grades. It's also not a very LONG time in the mountains. I think you could probably do it, just try not to do it when it's super foggy out and pouring like we did more than once Laughing smiley


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




We used to drive from Nashville to OBX and we would take I-40 all the way to 64. I do recall being a little leery in the mountains but it wasn't so much the height but how curvy it was. There are a lot of runaway truck ramps on the steeper grades. It's also not a very LONG time in the mountains. I think you could probably do it, just try not to do it when it's super foggy out and pouring like we did more than once Laughing smiley

junepath


Thanks! I’m nervous about the curvy roads and steep grades, as well. I’d definitely freak if it were raining or foggy!!


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Stick to the main roads and hopefully you only have to do this drive one time. You can do it!

I hope you get the job. I'll miss the trip reports, but knowing you're happy will more than make up for it! Don't forget us OBC forum readers...

John


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Stick to the main roads and hopefully you only have to do this drive one time. You can do it!

I hope you get the job. I'll miss the trip reports, but knowing you're happy will more than make up for it! Don't forget us OBC forum readers...

John

J4yDubs


Thank you! If I get the job, I’ll just be able to take more pictures to post on here! smiley Definitely only planning on driving that trek once. I’ll fly back home for visits. Getting ahead of myself anyway. Have to get the job first! Just constantly thinking of every possible obstacle of getting there AND living there.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Fingers crossed & singing "She'll be coming around the mountain" for ya Jessica Lucky


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Fingers crossed & singing "She'll be coming around the mountain" for ya Jessica Lucky

tilly


Thanks, tilly! smiley


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Jessica, I'll throw this out for discussion:

If this is a one-time drive, and if time is not a factor, would you consider taking a northern route and then dropping down in the DC area? Maybe a southern route toward the Mississippi River, over, and and then up the coast? This is one way to truly avoid a long mountain venue.

Also, if mountains bother you only when driving, is there a way you could do a mountain venue if you hired a driver?

Sorry; just trying to think this through...




RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Jessica, I'll throw this out for discussion:

If this is a one-time drive, and if time is not a factor, would you consider taking a northern route and then dropping down in the DC area? Maybe a southern route toward the Mississippi River, over, and and then up the coast? This is one way to truly avoid a long mountain venue.

Also, if mountains bother you only when driving, is there a way you could do a mountain venue if you hired a driver?

Sorry; just trying to think this through...

Dhart


I appreciate your input. Can’t hire a driver, and I’ve looked at routes bypassing the mountains, but then I just felt ridiculous for considering adding so much more time on an already long trip. Just going to have to suck it up when the time comes and probably anger a lot of drivers behind me when I’m driving like an old lady around any curves. smiley Going to study on the routes everyone suggested today and see which one looks easiest. Definitely want to stay on interstates, but Google Maps doesn’t provide all routes; just the fastest ones.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Jessica try going to Knoxville, on I40 take I81 then I 26 to Asheville then back onto I40. It takes about a hour longer but you miss the Great Smoky Mountains and those scary heights.

Hatteraslady


More than likely the best route to avoid most of the mountains. I live just outside Roanoke Va. and have driven all of the routes shown with exception of the I26 section. The middle route sounds like it's not for you. The top route is not quite as bad but there are some tall mountains with very large views and Afton mountain if there is fog it would more than likely not be to your liking at all. The middle route takes you thru the West Virginia turnpike and it has lots of steep grades and twisting turns even by interstate standards. The I 40 to route if you choose to stay on it to Asheville has some steep stuff but not too bad but it's also the least traveled by myself so I can't say for sure how bad it is but the other parts of the Smokey Mountains can be interesting. I 81 from 40 to the I 26 can be crowded but it's not too bad, things get a little more interesting after you get to Bristol and go thru to the I64 section ing towards Richmond when I say interesting it's congested and sort of confined in places.

Not trying to scare you at all but if your that terrified of the mountains the I26 route may be just the route your looking for.


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