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  1. Default Southern OR to Austin and Dallas - Spring (and also issues re: driving anxiety)

    Hello everyone! I am so glad I found this site. I LOVE road trips, having grown up in So. Cal in the 50's and 60's and the family vacation was a staple of my youth.

    However, now I am a 57-year old married female (and live in So. Oregon) and have had some anxiety issues about driving (mainly congested Interstate freeways, long bridges over waterways, etc.) and I also just plain don't like to fly. Needless to say, these two issues have kept me from travelling as I would normally do.

    I would love to go visit two of my three adult children in Texas next Spring. I would also like to take my 88 year old Dad along with me, who needs oxygen. He would pay for the trip, so the money is not a huge issue. But.....I would LOVE to find a leisurely route that doesn't include interstates in or around any major metro areas. I am fine on I-5, for example, when it's between Ashland, OR and Redding, CA. But -- I-5 through Seattle or Portland...forgetaboutit! (and I lived in Seattle for 25 years - that's where I had my first 'panic attack' - on the Evergreen Pt. Bridge).

    Sorry to be long-winded - but I figure if I introduce myself and I am honest about my driving anxiety, then I'll get some practical answers. Driving through LA is out of the question (and I learned how to drive there - and I have driven all over the west coast numerous times in my old VW Bug, and all around Europe twice - when I was 19 years old!) --- But now, I have a real problem with traffic and congestion and 'no escape route'. If anyone else in this forum has suggestions how to get over this, I'd love some advice. Not being able to drive in metro areas has really hindered the quality of my life (not to mention that of my family). Any advice re: interesting routes to TX from So. OR or encouragement about driving anxiety would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I Love a Challenge

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your unique request offers two challenges, one I can address and the other I can't. Since I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, I'll limit myself to finding you a route to Austin/Dallas that does not entail driving on freeways through large metro areas. You do, however, realize that Dallas - Fort Worth is itself a large metro area and you WILL have to deal with it at some level, right? Anyway, the major cities you have to avoid on your trip are San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Phoenix on what would be the normal routing; and Salt Lake City and Denver on a more 'as the crow flies' routing. I think you'd be happier with the 'as the crow flies' route, as the scenery would be better and the sense of adventure and reconnecting with the joys of RoadTripping would be more palpable. You will need good maps of each of the states you'll be driving through, Utah and Colorado in particular, but here's how such a trip would go:

    Take I-5 south out of Ashland to just south of Mount Shasta, CA and then turn east on CA-89. At Old Station, CA, turn left onto CA-44 east and then CA-36 east to Susanville, CA where you will join US-395 south. Continue south on US-395 to Sparks, NV. There you get on I-80 east and head for Salt Lake City. About 20 miles before you get to the city, as you're skirting the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, take exit 84 onto UT-138 south to Grantsville, UT and turn right onto UT-112 down to Tooele, UT. There turn right (south) on UT-36 to US-6 at Eureka, UT. Follow US-6 east, including a short segment on I-15 north, to Green River, UT and I-70. At Grand Junction, CO, you'll leave I-70 and take US-50 east through Black Canyon to Pueblo, CO and I-25 south. Just after crossing into New Mexico, leave I-25 on US-64 east to Clayton, NM and then US-87 south to Amarillo. At Amarillo, a short stretch on I-40east will bring you to US-287 south and east to the Dallas - Fort Worth area. I-35 will take you south from Dallas to Austin. From Austin, you can take US-183 north to Vernon, TX where you'd rejoin US-287 and follow the same route (in reverse) back to Ashland.

    Such a route is not perfect. It adds about 200 miles to the all Interstate routing through Sacramento, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, and El Paso; and the Black Canyon may be a bit 'thrilling' for your tastes. But for the most part, the roads I've suggested can be taken at a very leisurely pace and have lots of differing scenery to enjoy. There is an absolute minimum of large cities, and very few if any large bridges. And who knows, maybe all you need to get over your anxiety is to force yourself to successfully complete such a major undertaking and prove to yourself that you can still do it.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 11-05-2007 at 09:40 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Keithville, LA

    Default Congestion

    I also tend to avoid large cities whenever possible. But don't let that stop you from going. Why don't you try doing some shorter trips in your area before heading off cross country? Go to some places you're familiar with, but are far enough away and cross a few bridges. Because in Texas, you're going to have to cross bridges, etc. There's no way around it. Much of the interstate is raised through this area of the South.

    Birdybird had similar problems this summer. Here is a link to her initial post and another link to her triumphant return from her trip.

    Good Luck!


  4. Default Reno to Vegas and then Phoenix in winter?

    I am trying to plan a drive from So. Oregon to Austin TX in early January. According to the maps on web, it is suggested to go through L.A. and then shoot over through Phoenix. Has anyone ever driven the back way through Nevada from Reno down to Vegas in the winter? What is the road like? What is the weather like? If I map both routes out, the Nevada route takes maybe 5 hours longer (to Austin) and is less than 100 miles more in miles driven. I just think that avoiding L.A. traffic might be worth the extra time and a much more relaxing, scenic drive. Anyone have experience taking the NV highway? I know that I'll probably hit some winter weather and roads between Oregon and Reno - I have driven that many times. I am more interested in Reno to Vegas in the winter (US 95). Thanks, in advance!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Good chance for lots of wind

    I merged your threads together because even though the first part of this thread refers to a trip in the Spring, the post right above this one refers to a trip in January and I could be wrong, but I think it is the same trip???

    I've driven both US-95 and US-93 in all sorts of weather. -- Generally, US-95 will be rain and snow-free -- but there is a good chance for lots of wind.
    I just think that avoiding L.A. traffic might be worth the extra time and a much more relaxing, scenic drive. Anyone have experience taking the NV highway?
    I think you will really enjoy US-95, it is one of my favorite roads in the west, but you don't have to go near Los Angeles even if you use I-5 (and I-5 is much easier and faster to drive than any other route).

    If you elect to use the Interstate highways, when you reach CA-58 (near Bakersfield) on I-5, you would cut east on CA-58 to I-40 and proceed east to US-93 (either by going north to Kingman) or going south on US-95 to I-10 and follow that to Phoenix.

    I don't know exactly where you are starting from (but using Medford) the I-5 route would be 1060 miles and if you used US-95 and down the shortest route would be ~ 1195 -- almost three full days of travel. The I-5 route could be done in two long days....


  6. Default

    Thanks, Mark, for the tip on taking I-5 to Bakersfield and then head east, avoiding L.A.

    My daughter drove from Medford to Austin a few years ago and took the L.A. route (as suggested) and I wondered why anyone would go so far west. However, she also was driving in January and we didn't know if there would be snow and ice if she took the back way via Bakersfield. Are there any really nasty passes on the route you suggested?

    It sounds like the best way would be to head south on I-5 (since we live right near it) and then go east from Bakersfield. I guess what I need to know now is this: any other winter driving concerns AFTER Bakersfield? Thanks so much.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Once in a while there is ice on CA-58

    Every so often the pass over Tehachapi closes due to winter snow -- but it rarely stays closed more than a couple of hours -- and you an always bypass that by staying on I-5 and taking CA-14 (again no reason to go into LA unless you want to).

    After that -- yes. you can hit snow or ice until you reach Phoenix -- but it is RARE and it rarely closes any highway.


  8. #8

    Default Another AZBuck masterpiece


    You have been advised of one absolutely terrific route to traverse NV, UT, CO, NM, and TX. I have personally driven much of it.

    Cities? What cities? This is a genuine American West Road Trip, and the venerable AZBuck is to be commended. Shoot, you're liable to see John Wayne or Gene Autry somewhere in NV or UT, or Jeremiah Johnson in CO.

    I wish I could offer suggestions in re your phobias. While I detest traffic congestion in cities, I'll grin and bear it. Yours seem to, unfortunately, limit your mobility, and I hope that situation will improve for you.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default I concur


    I must have over-looked AZBuck's route -- but you are correct -- that is a masterpiece of routing for this member's concern. It's a route I would like to drive one day.


  10. Default

    To everyone - a big thank you! AZBuck's route sounds just wonderful - but I am guessing that it's not something I would want to attempt in January (or am I wrong about that?)

    All of your suggestions will help me to plan this trip - and just wanted to let everyone know how much I appreciate your help and support.


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