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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Help for a "White Knuckle" Driver?

    This thread was originally sent as a Personal Memo by new member, zerobeat:

    The reason for joining is; my wife and I will be taking a road trip starting in late August for about 6 weeks. A must stop is Portland, Or for a model train show. Our home is in central Florida.

    Big problem is that I have to do all the driving and I am a "white knuckle" driver. Don't like looking down at the clouds or riding on the edge. I would like to coorespond with a group who can offer me places to avoid or how to get from city A to city B the most pleasant way. I am in the process of planning a route and all the places we would like to visit.

    Is this the place to present my route and ask questions? At this point I have had AAA prepare a Trip Tik, but they have not considered my situation.

    We are both in our late 60's.

    Any help is appreciated.


    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-06-2008 at 11:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default We need more information


    We don't know where you are starting from, how long you would like to travel or even why you are starting this road trip.

    In order to reach the western parts of the United States, you will have to cross the continental divide someplace. There are routes that are lesser elevations -- I-10 to US-101 come to mind to reach Portland -- but you really need to give us a couple more parameters.

    Here is a good overview about mountain driving tips.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-06-2008 at 01:02 PM. Reason: added a link

  3. #3

    Default How serious is this "white knuckle" difficulty?

    Hello Dale,
    I wonder about the level of difficulty this concern creates for you. The reason is that it's likely very difficult to plan a route between places you want to see between Central FL and Portland, OR which would not include some mountain passes, tall bridges, and "shelf roads" (where the highway skirts along a mountainside).

    If your tolerance for such topographic features is zero, some greatly detailed knowledge of the lay of the land and highway systems is required. If, instead, you only need to avoid "the worst of the worst", some generalities in terms of suggestions may suffice.

    As Mark noted, you've got to cross the Great Divide at some point. To me, having crossed it at many places between Montana and Arizona, that's not the real issue. The issue would be the hundreds and hundreds of places in the American West where highways go through mountain passes and across big bridges over deep canyons. Finding a gentle place to cross the Great Divide is simple. Avoiding the latter, well, not so much.

    I do not know of discussion groups, etc, for folks having the type of difficulties you express. Sure there are some, the cyber-space communities being what they are these days.

    I wish you the best of luck and enjoyment planning your trip. Six weeks from FL to OR and back sounds wonderful!


  4. Default White knuckler stay out of RMNP scenic drive.

    Ok, I cannot emphasize this enough. If you are a white knuckle driver, then absolutely don't let anyone tell you that the drive through Rocky Mtn. National Park is an easy drive because I wasn't even driving and I had a panic attack from the roads loaded with RV's on our side of the road and our side had no guard rail. Many times I was in the floorboard praying that I was not "going to meet God." It was horrendous. If you drive into the park then only go up about two miles, anymore than that and you'll be in trouble. If my husband had been as upset as I was, they would have had to bring a helicopter in to get us out of there.

    Send me a message if you have doubts about any cities you'll be going through. I'll be happy to give you my read on them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Yeah, this is a tough one

    I agree...I can't imagine how you can avoid something like this. Maybe you're best off to fly into Portland and avoid this scenario?

    Actually, my gut response is to tell you that you might want to work on the issue in order to resolve it so that you no longer have fear of these types of roads. I know....this is easier said, than done.

    Interstates have to meet certain conditions (grades, width, etc.) in order to be appropriate for truckers to drive the big rigs. So I guess my best suggestion is to stick to interstates.

    The only other thing I can think of is to visit the Department of Transportation websites for each state you're driving through to garner what information you can about the road conditions along your route. Hope this helps a bit.

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