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  1. Default Southern CA to Greensboro, NC in January - Flattest Route Possible

    This site helped me and my 'pilot' plan a trip from So Cal to Albany, NY over the summer and I'm hoping for some more great advice.

    Due to issues with flying, we'll be driving from So Cal to Greensboro, NC and back (for business in Greensboro) the latter part of January 2016. We are nervous drivers in unfamiliar territory, and downright anxious about heights / winding mountain roads with drop-offs / bridges (the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge in Saint Louis had us white-knuckled, and the Catskills in NY had us in panic-mode).

    Now we know it's a tall order, but what is the best route to take to avoid (as much as humanly possible) high, winding roads with drop-offs as well as bridges like the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge in Saint Louis?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default What a shame.

    My heart goes out to you, if that beautiful bridge was so frightening for you. You are missing out on so much beauty north America has to offer. In the long run it might pay you to see if you can do one of those courses that gets people who are too afraid to fly, over their fear.

    Hope others can come up with a route that suits you, to Greensboro NC.


  3. Default

    Thank you, Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default perhaps the train?

    If the Musial Bridge is too much for you to bare, then I honestly don't know how you plan a cross country trip. I just can't think of any route that wouldn't have you in "panic mode." I'd have to imagine doing this in winter, when snow and ice will also be a factor, would only add to your fears?

    If you're too fearful to fly, and too fearful to drive, then perhaps taking the Train would be an option. You could go from LA to Greensboro, and while it will require transfers in Chicago and DC, at least you wouldn't have to worry about driving in conditions that make you uncomfortable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you have to drive, look at I-10/I-20/I-85. That's as good as it gets but still not "flat".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Tradeoffs

    I will say this, the route that glc suggested I-10 to west Texas, I-20 to Atlanta, and I-85 to Greensboro is as straightforward and as flat a route as you're going to find. It is also an all-Interstate route, making it as safe a route as you're going to find, and it is only about 100 miles longer (on a roughly 2500 mile trip) than the most direct route available. Also on the plus side, the only major river crossing on this route, the Mississippi at Vicksburg, is accomplished via a steel-truss cantilevered bridge. What that means is that, unlike the Musial Bridge in St. Louis which is a cable-suspended bridge and thus beautiful but quite 'open' with just a guard rail between you and the river, the I-20 crossing (don't know that it has a name) will have you driving through a 'box' of steel girders with less of a feeling that you could possibly drive off the edge. While you will still have opposing traffic across a narrow median hopefully that will be a much less terrifying a river crossing for you.

    On the downside, this routing will take you through a number of large cities including Phoenix, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Atlanta; but if you're used to driving in Orange County, none of those should prove particularly bothersome, especially if you use their respective beltways. Actually, Phoenix doesn't have a beltway around its southwest quadrant (the way you want to go) but it does have a 'bypass'. Take Exit 112 off I-10 at Buckeye and go south on AZ-85 (freeway-quality) to Gila Bend and get on I-8 east which rejoins I-10 at Casa Grande. This route is actually signed as an alternate/bypass route. At Dallas, just stay on I-20 which serves as the southern beltway around DFW as I-30 goes through the heart of the cities and a hodgepodge of different freeways circles to the north. At Atlanta leave I-20 to take I-285 north then east around the city to get to I-85 north.

    All-in-all you'll need about four and a half to five days for the drive with overnight stops depending on how many miles you are comfortable covering in a day.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Buck has given you excellent advice regarding the 10/8/10/20/285 route. One thing I will add: if bridges are a bit unnerving for you, try driving in the middle lane or the inside lane.


  8. #8


    There is no flat route. I-10 goes over 5,000 feet, but that's as close as it gets to flat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Thank you.

    Hi K6NCX, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    It is good to see you junp in with your first post, and offer knowledge, no doubt from your own experience. Anytime you are able to offer advice it is always appreciated. If however you would like some help with planning a trip of your own, feel free to start your own thread.


  10. Default

    Thank you everyone for your tips and information. Happy new year to all!

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