We have just returned from a trip back to Greenville from Indianapolis where my husband is working for an indeterminate amount of time. We did run into some light snow about 4 hours into the trip on the other side of Knoxville, TN. The route we took from Greenville was North to Asheville, and from Asheville to Knoxville we traveled over I-40, over the Appalachians through the Great Smoky Mountains. That section of the trip (about 30 to 40 minutes worth of drive) was pretty terrifying for me since I am afraid of heights. It's not that it is so steep (there are no runaway ramps on this route), but the road is very winding (sharp curves), there is a lot of truck traffic, and the visible drop offs provide a reference point of the height that is very unsettling to me. I cannot imagine driving this route under snowy conditions. If you are heading North from the South, you are in a constant descent. From North heading south it is a constant incline of a drive.
After reaching Knoxville the trip is bearable as far as dealing with the heights for me. We headed North to Lexington, KY, on (I-75) then NW to Louisville, KY, on (I-64), then North up to Indianapolis via I-65.
I am looking to plan a trip back from Indianapolis to Greenville, SC, missing the drive over the Appalachian Mountains. I don't care if it takes twice as long. I thought if I drove straight down to Nashville, and then into Alabama (Birmingham), I could make the turn east there and go up to Atlanta via I-20, and then home to Greenville from there. I just don't know if I will get into the Cumberland Mountains doing that? Also I can't go over the mountain from Nashville to Chattanooga. I did that once, and there is a very steep mountain with runaway ramps, etc. driving from the east side of Nashville over to Chattanooga.
Thanks for any help!