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  1. Default Vancouver > Albuquerque (but afraid of mtns!)

    I usually fly to Albuquerque or Phoenix from Vancouver, as I love the Southwest, and used to live there. I can drive in deserts forever, but I get true panic attacks when I drive on windy mountain roads -- even the I5 over the Siskiyous between CA and OR gets me white-knuckling. It's the edge of freeways where you are barrelling down steep declines, and there's only that metal railing between you and mile-deep chasms, and semis beating down on you from behind , and . . . you get the picture.

    I'm thinking of driving to Albuquerque in July, if I can find a way that skirts the highest Rockies passes as much as possible, aside from just heading down to San Diego and then across. Is there a way through eastern OR or WA that would work? Or am I and my phobia condemned to always flying?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    This is a subject that comes up every so often on this forum.

    I did a bit of mapping and I think this route may serve you well, depending on how much time you have for your trip:

    I-5S to I-90E, US-97S to US-20E, OR-78S to US-95S, I-80E to NV-278S, US-50E, NV-318S to US-93S, I-40E to Albuquerque.

    I'm sure our frequent contributors that have more experience with this part of the country will be along shortly to determine if this route is ideal.

  3. Default Very flexible

    Since I am now retired (58, but wanted time more than money), I can take as long as I like! (Thanks for your help so far -- I haven't yet looked at this route on the map, but will ASAP.)

  4. Default Mountain driving

    You noted that this subject comes up occasionally. What have people said/done about this fear?

    I have a small RV that I would love to drive around the country, but the worry about being that RV driver who holds everyone up as she inches through mountain passes keeps me from going far.

    I sure would appreciate any ideas, as well as any other routes to and from the Southwest. (Mass Tim, your suggestions were much welcomed!! -- I just want to make sure I can devise a circle route for there and back.)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Just Follow the 'Vermont Rule'

    I'm sure that other states have this law as well, but I first learned of it in Vermont, so that's how I refer to it. Most people understand that RVs cannot go zipping through the mountains like little sports cars, and so are willing to cut you some slack. What gets them (OK, what gets ME) upset is when the RV refuses to pull off when the opportunity presents itself to let traffic by. In Vermont, the law is that if you have 3 or more cars backed up behind you, you MUST pull off at the first safe place. This can be a passing lane, pullout, scenic rest area, place of business, whatever. Otherwise, you are liable for a ticket for a moving violation. Look, as long as you're doing your best, and are considerate of the those behind you, you'll be fine.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default or 5 cars?

    I've always heard it being 5 cars. No matter. Just be considerate.

    I just wanted to note that you don't have to do this if there's more than one lane as people can always pass you in the passing lane. And you don't have to stop when you pull over. Most roads that I've travelled on with only one-lane each way that are difficult for RVs and other over-sized rigs have numerous stretches with wide shoulders designed for you to drive on. Just pull over and drive slowly on these allowing as many cars as possible to pass you. It can be so difficult for you to start up again from a complete stop if you're on a steep incline so pulling over and driving slowly makes more sense than coming to a full stop, if possible.

    I also might suggest that you try to find a way to get more used to this type of driving. You may never like it. But it sure limits you from visiting some tremendous parts of this country. Maybe driving on some of these roads with more moderate drop-offs a few times will get you more used to it and let you open your horizons? Maybe not? But maybe worth a try, I think.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default At Somebody's Discretion

    The actual Vermont law (23 Vermont Statutes Annotated § 1039) reads: "A person operating a motor vehicle on a highway so as to impede traffic shall pull off the highway at the first opportunity to let traffic pass before proceeding." So, like most laws, there's some leeway in enforcement.

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