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  1. #1
    Onerlary Guest

    Default North Carolina to Palm Springs - Bridge Phobia

    I am planning on renting a 10' moving van, packing it up and moving to Palm Springs sometime in August. I'm a great driver, but I have a bridge phobia - it kind of goes with my fear of heights. A bridge hanging 15' to 20' over the water is no big deal. It's the high bridges (for example the San Francisco Bay Bridge or the Golden Gate) that twist me up. Actually, they pretty much paralyze me. There is no going forward.

    I've Google mapped the trip and it looks I'll take I-40 the whole way from Asheville, NC to Palm Springs, Ca through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, the top part of Texas (through Amarillo), New Mexico, Arizona and then down into Palm Springs. Does anyone know of any bridges (or terrain for that matter), which I would have a problem with?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2

    Default The Muddy Mississippi at Memphis

    Hello Soon-to-be-Former Neighbor-

    It must be very perplexing for something like this to trouble you, as it's pretty hard to avoid bridges on a cross-country trip.

    There's a pretty wide range between your specification of a 15-20' bridge being kind of OK and the Golden Gate being "no way", too, and that range is really the fly in the ointment.

    Having driven from here in Raleigh to Ventura, CA in late 2007, I took much of the route you're looking at. We side-tripped through the Grand Canyon (don't go there) and went to Hoover Dam (don't go there, either) so missed a couple segments of I-40, but aside from that, my primary recollection of places you might not like are:

    Sections of I-40 between Clyde, NC and Newport, TN. There's around a 15 mile segment which is fairly curvy (for an Interstate) and having a several hundred foot dropoff to the Pigeon River Gorge below (although it would require an extraordinary effort to leave the west bound lanes, cross the east bound lanes, and end up in the Gorge. In fact, I'll suggest it's impossible in a 10' moving van).

    Bridge over TVA lake just east of where I-81 merges into I-40 west of Newport, TN

    Bridge over Kentucky Lake between Nashville and Jackson, TN

    The Mississippi River bridge at Memphis

    Bridge over Arkansas River/reservoir, in OK, west of Fort Smith, AR

    Bridge over Canadian River (?) west of OK City, OK

    Canyon segment east of Albuquerque, NM

    Canyon just west of Albuquerque

    Parts of AZ between Flagstaff and Kingman (mountainous)

    Bridge over Colorado River at AZ-CA line.

    Aside from those key points, all just off the top of my head, there are innumerable spans which may or may not trouble you.

    To be perfectly candid with you, if you can fit your belongings in a 10' van, you should give serious consideration to shipping them and taking a bus or train to CA yourself, as I might presume a commercial flight is out of the question. I just think a trip of +2,500 miles with concerns about bridges where 15-20' is troubling but "not too bad" is more than you really want to tackle. The very real safety concern I'd have for you is not the bridges, but the possibility of you bringing your vehicle to a stop on a heavily-traveled Interstate highway, even on the shoulder, if that's what you mean to "no going forward" in some instances.

    Avoid the tram at Palm Springs, too, by the way. Just kidding you, of course.

    I sincerely hope this helps you decide what to do.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default you've got to cross water

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You're going to have to cross the Mississippi River some place. The I-40 bridge at Memphis is about 100 feet above the water. However, I'm not aware of any crossing of the Mississippi south of Minneapolis that is going to be significantly lower than that.

    There aren't any other bridges that jump out at me, although I may be forgetting some.

  4. #4
    Onerlary Guest


    Thank you for your help.

  5. #5
    Onerlary Guest


    This is pretty much what I figured. When I came across the country from California I took the train and hired a mover to transport my possessions. It was so expensive friends suggested I drive myself. Few of them know of my bridge/height phobia. Thank you so very much for all the time you took to list the bridges and cliffs that my cause me pause (or cause me to pass out!). I will take the train and hire the mover.

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