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Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX

RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




FWIW.... You're not going OVER the highest elevations on I-40 between Knoxville and Asheviille; you're going through them.... if that makes any sense. There is one tall grade over a mountain east of Asheville on I-40 and that is it.

I-26 from the Bristol area has some very high exposures near the NC border, so that does not makes any sense to me. I think I-26 south of Asheville has just as many exposures as I-40 east from Asheville and that route adds at least an hour of driving. But it gets to level ground faster if you cut south from Asheville on I-26. If you go that way, then cut east on US74 at the base of the mountains to save some time.


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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.

wills670


Thank you. I appreciate the info, even if it scares me. I'm going to look at the street view on the map at some sections to kind of get a feel for it, as well.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




FWIW.... You're not going OVER the highest elevations on I-40 between Knoxville and Asheviille; you're going through them.... if that makes any sense. There is one tall grade over a mountain east of Asheville on I-40 and that is it.

I-26 from the Bristol area has some very high exposures near the NC border, so that does not makes any sense to me. I think I-26 south of Asheville has just as many exposures as I-40 east from Asheville and that route adds at least an hour of driving. But it gets to level ground faster if you cut south from Asheville on I-26. If you go that way, then cut east on US74 at the base of the mountains to save some time.

Beachmark


Thanks so much! The app just shows a few routes, so it's helpful to know any shortcuts.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Now that you have gotten some honest answers, I have a suggestion that's more fun. Maybe the least terrifying route through the mountains to the OBX for you would be in the back seat with Jose Cuervo and Jimmy Buffet on noise cancelling earbuds while somebody else drives. I'd volunteer to drive you, but I'm more of a Captain Morgan fan myself. Big grin


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I sincerely hope you have to deal with the trip, only because that means you got the new job and the sandbar is your new home. Good luck! Your passion for the Island is quite evident and I am sure many here are sending good vibes your way! Beer Martini Glass


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Now that you have gotten some honest answers, I have a suggestion that's more fun. Maybe the least terrifying route through the mountains to the OBX for you would be in the back seat with Jose Cuervo and Jimmy Buffet on noise cancelling earbuds while somebody else drives. I'd volunteer to drive you, but I'm more of a Captain Morgan fan myself. Big grin

Greg MD


Best suggestion yet! Now, I just have to find someone here willing to drive a drunk, obnoxious girl for 14 1/2 hours! Laughing smiley


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




If you have AAA they still do triptiks. Also put waze on your phone. It will give you alerts of objects, accidents etc.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX





Best suggestion yet! Now, I just have to find someone here willing to drive a drunk, obnoxious girl for 14 1/2 hours! Laughing smiley

jessicaboyd

Do NOT post that on any personals websites! I'm sure you'd get MANY responses. Laughing smiley

John


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Just wanted to throw out another possible option for you and that is car transport. We have friends that have utilized such services and been very pleased. I'm sure it's not an inexpensive thing, but then again you'd save yourself the stress and mileage on your vehicle. Just a thought...

I did want to say how exciting this post has been to read given your recent job prospect. Your optimism and determination are both refreshing and inspiring and I know you'll be needing to get that car here at a time of your choosing! All the best to you! Brian


RE: 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.

jessicaboyd


Can't help you with the directions but best of luck with the job!!!


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Just wanted to throw out another possible option for you and that is car transport. We have friends that have utilized such services and been very pleased. I'm sure it's not an inexpensive thing, but then again you'd save yourself the stress and mileage on your vehicle. Just a thought...

I did want to say how exciting this post has been to read given your recent job prospect. Your optimism and determination are both refreshing and inspiring and I know you'll be needing to get that car here at a time of your choosing! All the best to you! Brian

manteoman


Thanks! Yeah, gotta keep expenses down or that would be ideal; especially for saving wear and tear. Already going to have to spend some $$ on car repairs before this journey as it is.

Trying to stay optimistic, as you said! I've turned down three jobs in the past month and a half, because businesses on the island don't seem to feel the need to attract good employees with a decent wage; however, if this job is offered to me, I plan on accepting it. Still a big pay cut, but a foot on the island, which is everything to me.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Jessica I am SO excited for you. If you get that job, I have a feeling the mountain trip wont matter. It is the LAST hurdle to get you where you long to be. You got this!

Mountain driving use to scare me as well but now its the favorite part of our trip down. Just relax, and try to fall in with a few cars and take up the rear position. That way you are focusing more on the car in front of you as opposed to your surroundings, and there will be no surprises either. Every curve, incline, steep downgrade, you will see the cars in front of you do it first, and it does help. But I think you"ll be pleasantly surprised to find it isn't as treacherous as you think. And the views! Holy cow its beautiful!

Please keep us posted. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I hope you will still post here and share you new island life with us. I know I truly enjoy living on island time through your visits!


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Jessica I am SO excited for you. If you get that job, I have a feeling the mountain trip wont matter. It is the LAST hurdle to get you where you long to be. You got this!

Mountain driving use to scare me as well but now its the favorite part of our trip down. Just relax, and try to fall in with a few cars and take up the rear position. That way you are focusing more on the car in front of you as opposed to your surroundings, and there will be no surprises either. Every curve, incline, steep downgrade, you will see the cars in front of you do it first, and it does help. But I think you"ll be pleasantly surprised to find it isn't as treacherous as you think. And the views! Holy cow its beautiful!

Please keep us posted. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I hope you will still post here and share you new island life with us. I know I truly enjoy living on island time through your visits!

nicki


Thank you so much, niki! Funny, I actually just told my supervisor today that getting past the mountains is my last hurdle. Thanks for the good advice about focusing on other cars, as well. I will remember to do that. I actually had to do that when I was caught in a torrential downpour on the way back from Nashville once. I do love the mountain views but have only been passenger in the past.

Trying not to count my chickens just yet, but still have to prepare for everything in case I do get the job. Fingers crossed!


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




We drive from Michigan to OBX every November and I always drive, my husband dislikes the mountains. Just take your time and you will be fine. We will be moving to OBX as soon as we sell our house here in Michigan. The jobs I am looking to apply for require a valid NC driver's license, which I don't have. May I ask, how did you secure a job prior to being a NC resident? I really want/need a job before I move to OBX but its not working out so well for me. Thanks in advance for any advice you have.
Lori


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




We drive from Michigan to OBX every November and I always drive, my husband dislikes the mountains. Just take your time and you will be fine. We will be moving to OBX as soon as we sell our house here in Michigan. The jobs I am looking to apply for require a valid NC driver's license, which I don't have. May I ask, how did you secure a job prior to being a NC resident? I really want/need a job before I move to OBX but its not working out so well for me. Thanks in advance for any advice you have.
Lori

Love the Beach


I haven't secured a job yet, but since buying my camper which is in Buxton, I've found I receive a lot more offers and calls. I think that most places want you to have a drivers license, but, of course, you won't be able to have an NC license until you move there, so I think if you explain that you're ready to move, people may be understanding. At the top of my resume, I state that I'm relocating to the NC coast. I also explain in my cover letter that I already have residence on the island, and can relocate immediately, and at my own expense. I have also now added my Buxton PO Box address along with my Indiana address at the top of my resume, so I'm guessing that jumps out at potential employers, as well.

While a lot of employers there tend to only hire locals, there are still quite a few that will hire non-locals. It's just finding the right one. I've been trying for two years; there just isn't a lot available other than really horrible paying jobs that offer no insurance, and I just can't do that. Best of luck on your search! I hope everything works out for you soon!!


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I can’t help with driving routes, but you’ve gotten more options here than you’ll probably ever use.
Butte congratulations on the positive sounding spin on the job and relocation. May the childlike glee and delight you always express about the area remain. It’s charming.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I can’t help with driving routes, but you’ve gotten more options here than you’ll probably ever use.
Butte congratulations on the positive sounding spin on the job and relocation. May the childlike glee and delight you always express about the area remain. It’s charming.

judyk


JudyK, thank you so much! That is so sweet of you! I actually have to credit you with some advice you gave me a few years ago on this forum. While planning my second trip to Buxton, I had posted on here, asking if someone knew of a Captain I could charter just to take me for a boat ride, and your response was "Be your own captain." It struck a chord with me, because I have always had to rely on myself and have always told others that I chart my own course. I have even worn a Captain's wheel earring in my upper right ear for years as a symbolic reminder. While you meant it literally, I also thought of it figuratively, and I have used your quote as the bio on my facebook page ever since, so thank you!! I'm not there yet, and this job may not even pan out, but when I do get there, I promise not to ever lose my childlike glee. smiley


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I'm not much help because even though the WV Turnpike is our only route south from where we live, I hate it and refuse to drive itnot because of the mountains, but because of the semis. I can say I've never felt like we were going to fly off the edge of a mountain on our way anywhere (which would be the top route in your picture but starting from near Charleston, WV, but it is definitely twisty and steep in some places.

Are you going to have to make this trip in a car pulling a trailer with your things, will it be in a U-Haul pulling your car, or how will the furniture and stuff get there? You did say the car needs repairs before you make this trip. Can you sell the car and as much of the big stuff as you can, fly down as you normally do, ship your clothes and necessities UPS or FedEx, find another car when you get there and get new furniture and stuff when you find a permanent place? This is a serious although maybe not so practical suggestion from a girl who would not attempt a 14-hour drive by myself in a vehicle and trailer combo whether the roads are twisty or not.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




I'm not much help because even though the WV Turnpike is our only route south from where we live, I hate it and refuse to drive itnot because of the mountains, but because of the semis. I can say I've never felt like we were going to fly off the edge of a mountain on our way anywhere (which would be the top route in your picture but starting from near Charleston, WV, but it is definitely twisty and steep in some places.

Are you going to have to make this trip in a car pulling a trailer with your things, will it be in a U-Haul pulling your car, or how will the furniture and stuff get there? You did say the car needs repairs before you make this trip. Can you sell the car and as much of the big stuff as you can, fly down as you normally do, ship your clothes and necessities UPS or FedEx, find another car when you get there and get new furniture and stuff when you find a permanent place? This is a serious although maybe not so practical suggestion from a girl who would not attempt a 14-hour drive by myself in a vehicle and trailer combo whether the roads are twisty or not.

2boysmom


I'm actually leaving most everything behind. I'm just planning on taking my guitars, clothes and some various personal items, such as sentimental items, pictures, etc. I had thought about just shipping everything and flying out there, buying another car, but the car repairs would be a lot cheaper than buying another car, and since I would be taking a pay cut, I have to be more practical. My guitars and other items would be pretty expensive to ship, as well.

I've been considering the I-64 E around Charleston to I-77 S then I-40 to US-64 E route Sorcha suggested, but I just saw that 77 is the WV Turnpike. Ugh.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




It sounds like you may be starting the adventure of a lifetime, and you'll get to live your dream. Hopefully this job will come through if not this one, an even better one will be waiting for you. As far as avoiding the mountains, if you don't mind driving a few extra hours, consider Evansville to Lexington to Cincinnati to Columbus to Pittsburgh to Breezewood to Washington DC to Richmond to Norfolk to OBX. The hills in central Pennsylvania on the Turnpike, and in Maryland between Breezewood and DC are minor annoyances compared to western North Carolina. However, you would be exchanging the mountain driving with the nightmare of I-95 traffic between DC and Richmond, plus the equally bad I-64 traffic. If you go this route, there are plenty of threads out there about how to avoid the traffic and take back roads like route 460. Good luck.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




It sounds like you may be starting the adventure of a lifetime, and you'll get to live your dream. Hopefully this job will come through if not this one, an even better one will be waiting for you. As far as avoiding the mountains, if you don't mind driving a few extra hours, consider Evansville to Lexington to Cincinnati to Columbus to Pittsburgh to Breezewood to Washington DC to Richmond to Norfolk to OBX. The hills in central Pennsylvania on the Turnpike, and in Maryland between Breezewood and DC are minor annoyances compared to western North Carolina. However, you would be exchanging the mountain driving with the nightmare of I-95 traffic between DC and Richmond, plus the equally bad I-64 traffic. If you go this route, there are plenty of threads out there about how to avoid the traffic and take back roads like route 460. Good luck.

SkipsterPA


Thank you! I don't think I would want to go that far out of my way, though, and heavy traffic in big cities terrify me even more than mountains. I'm just starting to get used to the 10 miles I have to drive through Norfolk from the airport. haha


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Just remember, your "mileage may very" as in one person's idea of "treacherous" is someone else's "not a big deal". I think you will be OK, Jessica. If my friend Juli who got nervous over the old Bonner Bridge doesn't think the WV route is scary, you will be safe. You're not going to be on any edges of mountains looking down or with just a guard rail. You will have beautiful views - and you'll be going to Carolina in your mind as well as your car this time! Musical note Sun Rainbow Thumbs up


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX




Just remember, your "mileage may very" as in one person's idea of "treacherous" is someone else's "not a big deal". I think you will be OK, Jessica. If my friend Juli who got nervous over the old Bonner Bridge doesn't think the WV route is scary, you will be safe. You're not going to be on any edges of mountains looking down or with just a guard rail. You will have beautiful views - and you'll be going to Carolina in your mind as well as your car this time! Musical note Sun Rainbow Thumbs up

obxmini


Yes! Thank you. I actually had considered cancelling my first trip to Buxton when I saw the Bonner Bridge on the map. I'm looking at this new challenge like that one; I can either chicken out and miss out on wonderful opportunities, or fight through it and come out on top. I am considering the route you texted me, because it leads to Mount Airy, where I would love to spend the night before continuing to Buxton. I've always wanted to visit Mt. Airy, so this would be a good opportunity.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX






I'm actually leaving most everything behind. I'm just planning on taking my guitars, clothes and some various personal items, such as sentimental items, pictures, etc. I had thought about just shipping everything and flying out there, buying another car, but the car repairs would be a lot cheaper than buying another car, and since I would be taking a pay cut, I have to be more practical. My guitars and other items would be pretty expensive to ship, as well.

I've been considering the I-64 E around Charleston to I-77 S then I-40 to US-64 E route Sorcha suggested, but I just saw that 77 is the WV Turnpike. Ugh.

jessicaboyd


If it helps any, the turnpike from Charleston to Beckley is only about an hour. I am not a great driver and I despise traffic to the point that I refuse to drive in it. (It helps that I live in the sticks). There are some beautiful views, but it really doesn't feel like you can fall off the side or anything, I promise. It is more through the mountains, not on the edge of them. If it is just a car and not pulling a trailer, it won't be that terrible. The steepest places have a third "slow" lane, mostly the semis use it and they aren't supposed to be in the far left lane while that is available. There are "runaway truck ramps" in some places, but I've never seen a truck in any of them and it would be more for in case they have brake issues or something. If that is the only mountainous area of the trip, it will be maybe 4 hours or so? Not the whole entire drive, although I haven't driven across 40.


RE: Least terrifying route through mountains to OBX






I'm actually leaving most everything behind. I'm just planning on taking my guitars, clothes and some various personal items, such as sentimental items, pictures, etc. I had thought about just shipping everything and flying out there, buying another car, but the car repairs would be a lot cheaper than buying another car, and since I would be taking a pay cut, I have to be more practical. My guitars and other items would be pretty expensive to ship, as well.

I've been considering the I-64 E around Charleston to I-77 S then I-40 to US-64 E route Sorcha suggested, but I just saw that 77 is the WV Turnpike. Ugh.

jessicaboyd


If it helps any, the turnpike from Charleston to Beckley is only about an hour. I am not a great driver and I despise traffic to the point that I refuse to drive in it. (It helps that I live in the sticks). There are some beautiful views, but it really doesn't feel like you can fall off the side or anything, I promise. It is more through the mountains, not on the edge of them. If it is just a car and not pulling a trailer, it won't be that terrible. The steepest places have a third "slow" lane, mostly the semis use it and they aren't supposed to be in the far left lane while that is available. There are "runaway truck ramps" in some places, but I've never seen a truck in any of them and it would be more for in case they have brake issues or something. If that is the only mountainous area of the trip, it will be maybe 4 hours or so? Not the whole entire drive, although I haven't driven across 40.

2boysmom


Thanks! Very helpful to know! I knew some of you would be able to give me more detail on these routes! You have all been so much more helpful than anything I’ve found on the internet! I really appreciate all of your help!


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