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  1. Default Cross country? Anxiety with heights!!!

    Hi All!

    We are looking into a cross country trip with 2 children (7 & 1 1/2). We live in NY. WE may fly out to CA and drive back... possibly rent a car to come home and we could get a train pass if we need to to get home comfortably if the children have had enough (but my son always loved the road trips up and down the east coast which are wonderful).

    Here's the huge question... I really do not enjoy heights. It has rubbed off on my husband, after many years of marriage and he does not love them either! My concern is that we will be stuck somewhere... say maybe in the Rockies or the Grand Canyon area, and have two people (with children in tow) that are petrified and refusing to drive over mountains or "crazy bridges"! Is there a place where I can get more info on what it's like? Are there any "easy passes"? Are most of the larger routes "tame"? We would be interested in seeing the Grand Canyon, but it is extremely intimidating because of the unknown and how to get over the area to get home. I can't wait to drive through the dessert and maybe through some red wood trees.

    Are there any travel topographical maps? Has anyone taken the Train across country? I can just imagine clicking away winding up and around large mountains and wanting it to stop!

    Any thoughts? Are there any places for us to avoid? This trip may not be for us, or it may be fine... how do we find out?


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

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Google maps has a topographic option for you to get an idea of what the surroundings are like where you want to travel. Click on the "Terrain" button.

    Where in California are you planning on starting your trip? The desire to see redwoods implies you will be starting closer to Northern California, which is quite hilly territory.

    Would a place such as the Grand Canyon - which is approximately one mile deep from many view points - bother you or your husband? Or is it just the thought of driving over high places?

    I believe the train routes you would be taking would also be going over (and in some cases through) high mountain passes, whether it be out West or in Pennsylvania on the way back.

    How much time do you have for your trip?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default The Grand canyon

    Hi there.

    All the main roads in the south rim G/C park are paved and fairly flat. You can park in the village and take a shuttle bus to the viewpoints along the rim where you can look out over the canyon. You can decide how close you want to go and feel comfortable. You won't suddenly come across a scary bridge or cliff edge with no going back, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    Interstates are built with gradual curves and climbs and will not be a problem but if you go on back roads through the Rocky's for example you will find twisty mountain roads at high elevation, but again they are paved and travelled by thousands daily. By picking out places of interest along your route and googling them you can get a good idea of the surrounding area. As Tim suggested, google maps is a good tool and you can use the "street view" as well and "travel" the road.

    My wife has a fear of heights and the Grand canyon and much worse didn't pose her any problems, but we are all different.

    I hope you have a great trip!

  4. Default Height Anxiety...

    Dear Mass Tim & Southwest Dave!

    We will most likely fly into Sacramento, possibly see San Francisco & drive up to the Red Woods. Is San Francisco and that area just hilly, or does it get mountainous? Then back through Reno for a seminar ((the reason we will be out there)), a drive through a desert... (Which my husband wondered last night how desolate that would be if we break down… I am not worried about), then down to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon (?), Phoenix, I would like to see an adobe village and some South western sights, then onto a few other sights (unknown at this point) along the way back to NY.

    My husband is a NYC firefighter and nothing really bothers him (repelling off a 5 story building is no problem for example). He thought I was ridiculous for years until one mountainous drive (back road) that we were on in NC when he understood my fears! I think he feels that I would be no help in an uncomfortable situation and the entire family would be counting on him which must be very stressful for him. It only takes one time to want to avoid a situation that makes you feel that uncomfortable.

    We do not have much money, but my husband has put in for vacation and can switch tours to manage 3 weeks for travel. The train ride you describe does not sound "fun", but I may be sleeping through some of it!!!

    The whole "breathtaking" vista view is more breathtaking for others. So yes, it may bother me... If I'm in a "very" secure location I can enjoy the view, but if suddenly on a bridge that has a large cavern... no good! Or if the "approach" is risky I'll worry about getting back off the mountain. I LOVE Niagara Falls so if it is like that, no problem! If it is a plateau with water that carved through the area, I should be fine. If it is jagged terrain and winding roads up, it may not be the right choice for us. I may be more worried about the Red Wood mountains now ; ) !!!

    Let's put it this way... I do not even like being at the top of Yankee Stadium watching the game. The isles go straight up when you get to the upper teir. It really is high and the outside of the building is right there and straight down. So it appears that it is impossible engeneering that the whole thing will not tip outward!!! I know it is secure, but it is just uncomortable for me. Strange.

    I will explore google maps... Any other advice?

    Thanks so much!

  5. Default heights...

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    My wife has a fear of heights and the Grand canyon and much worse didn't pose her any problems, but we are all different.
    Your wife is brave!

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