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  1. Default HELP! Indy to Charlotte Without Mountains?!


    I need to drive my senior mother and her dogs from Indy to Charlotte, NC. The problem is that she has panic attacks even sitting as a passenger during a mountain drive. Does anyone know of a route that could help me avoid the mountains as much as possible. I am willing to take a few detours of course!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Strictly on that Criterion

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The Appalachian Mountains form a barrier straight across your path, so you do have a problem. Assuming that going all the way around them down through Nashville and Birmingham and then back up through Atlanta is out of the question, and that using I-77 through West Virginia is too mountainous (though very scenic), then the best option Knoxville and then take I-81 north(east) to Wytheville, VA to get on I-77 south to Charlotte. That's as flat a route as there is while adding 'only' a hundred miles to your trip. That hundred miles, however, will take 'this drive out of the realm of what's possible in a day and require that you spend the night somewhere en route.


  3. #3

    Default One woman's mountains.......

    ........are another woman's molehills.

    Hello tinydancer,

    I'm not trying to be glib, but in all honesty, there are surely ranges of emotions which tie back to ranges of hills, foothills, and harder-core mountains.

    AZ Buck's route is nice as far as avoiding some of the more notable "drop-off" type views from the passenger side window, but one must wonder just how difficult the segment right at the VA-NC state line on I-77 might be for Mom. On a clear day, you can see foothill ranges and the Piedmont some 50 miles away from where I-77 drops down the face of the Blue Ridge into the Piedmont. This stretch is around 10 miles long. As you approach that section, there are a few long, steep hills and one high bridge over the New River. North of Knoxville, you cross the Cumberland Plateau/Valley and Ridge boundary at an area with some long views, drop-offs, and notable rock outcrops which look a lot like mountains.

    East of Knoxville, if you were to follow the I-81 to I-26 detour around the section of I-40 which has been closed by a rockslide since October (and is expected to remain closed for around 6 more weeks from the present), you'd climb gently out of the Valley and Ridge into the Blue Ridge at Sam's Gap and would have a fairly gentle drive on down I-26 to Asheville. From Asheville it would be east on I-40 with the only truly mountainous stretch being Old Fort Mountain, where again the views are long and the curves are many, but only for around 5 miles.

    This is a difficult assignment. Only you and your Mom can really tell to what degree she might be uncomfortable on one route or another.


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