I am deathly afraid of driving or riding through the mountains.
Specifically, drop offs and steep slopes--especially on narrow, winding roads--are horrifying to me. The sight of a steep grade warning sign makes me literally break out in a cold sweat. Driving next to a drop-off makes me physically sick. I have no interest in "scenic views" or "vistas" seen through a car window while driving.
I'm saying this up-front, because I keep reading well-meaning folks say things like, "Just relax, the view is so beautiful that you won't even notice." In my case, that is not true -- I am nearly in tears as I write this. (I'm not just a weak, crazy person -- there was an incident in the Rockies, and another on the pigtail roads of SD, that have left me this way.) Please don't scoff or tease me. This feels like life and death to me. It's not only me that's going to be in this vehicle, but everyone that I love, and all of our hopes for the future.
On April 1st, 2016, my family and I will start out on a trip to relocate from MN to NC. Our plan is rent a minivan and drive. We have up to a week to travel. We are not towing a trailer, thank goodness. My husband will be doing most of the driving, and I can spell him on the flattest, most boring parts of the route. (I don't have much experience with freeway driving and interchanges in and around cities, but he's very comfortable with all that.) We are willing and able to find hotels along the way so that everyone can rest properly.
We would fly, but we are taking our much beloved dog and cat with us, and I've not heard good things about large dogs (especially) flying. It would also be cheaper to drive than to fly, and with the expected costs of resettlement in our future, I can't ignore the price difference.
Please help me map a route that will minimize the mountain features that will terrify me.
We are willing to go all the way to Georgia and take a left (so to speak) if that will really make a difference.
This could be a fun road trip for our family. (Believe it or not, I love flat-land road trips.)
By the way, once we get to NC, I plan to learn to love the softer, gentler mountains of the east coast, but I'll being doing it gradually and gently via day trips and long weekends out of Raleigh. I don't want to live with this kind of fear for the rest of my life.
Help me get there with minimal trauma so I can start to heal?