Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default Red Bluff CA to Lincoln NE Route Help Please!

    I am in desperate need of a route back home to Nebraska. I just made the trip out to California and I am already dreading the drive home. The drive here was horrible and has my anxiety through the roof. I can not handle the interstate or big cities. The mountains and cliffs have me extremely stressed. Can someone please help me find the best route home?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,177

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    The fastest route is mostly Interstate and only involves narrow mountain roads at the beginning. Take CA-36 to Susanville, then US-395 to Reno, then I-80 the rest of the way. If you think that would be too scary, take I-5 to Sacramento then I-80. I-80 does go through the mountains, but it's wide with shoulders and guardrails. The only places close to being big cities are Sacramento and Salt Lake City. You can't avoid mountains and it would not be wise to avoid Interstates.

  3. Default

    I had a panic attack outside of Salt Lake on my way here so ended up not taking the interstate the rest of the way. I am scared to drive around Reno as well. But I ended up having to take Surprise Valley Road which is something I never want to do again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,791

    Default One step at a time.

    I'm sorry but I don't see a way to avoid what you are dreading as it seems to be one or the other. I think your best bet is to concentrate on the fact that you got to Red Bluff OK so you can do this. I agree with glc that Interstate is your best option. How much time can you take to get home ? I would try and take enough time so that you have plenty of time for making plenty of short rest breaks where you can get out the car take a walk and breath of fresh air and then just concentrate on the next 'short' section of the trip, taking it one step at a time. Try to avoid rush hour traffic around the City's, for example you could plan to arrive into SLC after evening rush hour (or well before) and get lodgings on the east side of the city so that you are heading away from the city during the morning rush. Of course I don't know how bad your anxiety gets but I don't recall anything 'scary' on CA36 to Susanville and US395 to Reno and that would put you on I-80 as suggested above. During these short stops if you have someone who understands your worries, give them a quick call as a friendly voice and some reassurance can go a long way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,177

    Default

    One thing that might help in Salt Lake City - I-80 does go up over a mountain east of the city. To avoid this, take I-215 north to I-15 north to I-84 east back to I-80. I-84 goes through a canyon instead of over the mountain.

    Your only other option may be to ship your car home and get a plane ticket.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,668

    Default There is an alternative -- but it will be a long road trip.

    There is an alternative -- but it will be a long road trip.

    You need to cross the continental divide somewhere -- but the least mountainous place to do this would be through the desert of southern New Mexico.

    Red Bluff > Drive through the Central Valley on Interstate 5 going south to Stockton. If you found I-5 OK for the first part, you can continue on I-5 or transfer to CA-99 which goes through the farming areas and has the least elevation gain.

    Continuing past Bakersfield return to I-5 -- you will go up a short section of mountain in the Grapevine area (all wide Interstate Highway) but you can leave the mountains by turning just past Gorman and proceed East on CA-138. It is 2-3 lane road -- but almost flat -- proceed until you reach Lancaster by turning south on CA-14.

    To avoid most of the mountains, stay on CA-14 as it weaves it's way through the Santa Clarita Valley and rejoin I-5 for short distance before turning east in I-210.

    Take I-210 to I-10 and stay on I-10 through Arizona and New Mexico until you reach I-20 in Texas.

    And then take I-27 north to Amarillo and then north again until you reach your home lands of Nebraska.

    So, this route would be 2427 miles -- Red Bluff to Lincoln. And would take six full days of driving. You might be able to drive more than 400 miles in a day, but I would recommend limiting your driving to that distance and keep your panic attack potential to a minimum.

    Here is a map showing this route. Click here.

    I have left the "Red Markers" in this map so you can scroll in and see where to turn to avoid the mountains along the route.

    So, be sure to scroll in on the map pane above to see the roads I have picked for you.

    And the map shows the route along I-5 (I think you will be fine with it) but if you want the flattest route through California follow the CA-99 mentioned above.

    We have a tool that let you see the elevation at any point on the route. So, the elevation at Red Bluff starts at near Sea Level and you cross the highest point along I-10 in Texas at 5,000 feet, but it will look flat to you -- it is low rolling hills of the desert and once you past Amarillo it is all downhill (in terms of elevation) until you are back home in Nebraska.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-04-2022 at 10:24 AM. Reason: updated map to go to Lincoln, Nebraska

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    Mark has some good suggestions, but I-210 to I-10 in the LA Metro area may not be great if cities bug you. Even 210 can get bogged down unless you drive it at 2 am -- and I wouldn't suggest that at ALL.

    Another thought - also long, but few mountains and cities - down the 5 south, take CA-46 over to CA-99 south, then CA=58 east. You will go through some mountains but no cliffs or drop offs, just nice wide 4-lane road. It will drop you on I-15, go north. Follow the signs to I-40 east. That route is all desert, some hills. It's very roll-y, but no cities, cliffs or drop offs. Stay on I-40 east, and the biggest city you'll deal with is Albuquerque. On the interstate, there are certain rules and guidelines that they have to follow, and you will be fine climbing into Kingman, and going through the pass east of ABQ.

    On the east side of NM, at Tucumcari, take US-54 through NM, OK's panhandle and into KS. You will be on flatland or at least "rolling hills" by then. I'd personally take the 54 to Pratt (stop by the World's Largest Hand Dug Well near Greensburg, for a break!) and then head up US-281 to Great Bend, where you can stay on that until you reach I-80 in Nebraska, heading east to Lincoln.

    I would also agree with the suggestion to get off the road when you are feeling a bit anxious, and call a reassuring friend. You CAN do this. I might also add that relaxing music might help, something that will calm your body and mind.


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-05-2022 at 07:21 AM. Reason: added link to Hand Dug Well

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,668

    Default And if this is still too much

    CA-58 is likely to be scary if I-80 and Salt Lake City presented an issue. And I-40 over Flagstaff sometimes presents issues -- although going eastbound those pressures will be less because the road drops down from Flagstaff.

    And I drive I-210 at least once a month -- yep, traffic is an issue, but the good thing is that during the day, no one travels very fast. Top speed averages 35 mph - like traveling on surface streets with NO traffic signals.

    Generally going south as far as you can and still being the USA is the "safest" way to get around mountain travel anxiety.

    And if this is still too much -- GLC's suggestion that you ship the car and fly home might be the best option of all.

    Mark

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Mark has some good suggestions, but I-210 to I-10 in the LA Metro area may not be great if cities bug you. Even 210 can get bogged down unless you drive it at 2 am -- and I wouldn't suggest that at ALL.

    Another thought - also long, but few mountains and cities - down the 5 south, take CA-46 over to CA-99 south, then CA=58 east. You will go through some mountains but no cliffs or drop offs, just nice wide 4-lane road. It will drop you on I-15, go north. Follow the signs to I-40 east. That route is all desert, some hills. It's very roll-y, but no cities, cliffs or drop offs. Stay on I-40 east, and the biggest city you'll deal with is Albuquerque. On the interstate, there are certain rules and guidelines that they have to follow, and you will be fine climbing into Kingman, and going through the pass east of ABQ.

    On the east side of NM, at Tucumcari, take US-54 through NM, OK's panhandle and into KS. You will be on flatland or at least "rolling hills" by then. I'd personally take the 54 to Pratt (stop by the World's Largest Hand Dug Well near Greensburg, for a break!) and then head up US-281 to Great Bend, where you can stay on that until you reach I-80 in Nebraska, heading east to Lincoln.

    I would also agree with the suggestion to get off the road when you are feeling a bit anxious, and call a reassuring friend. You CAN do this. I might also add that relaxing music might help, something that will calm your body and mind.


    Donna
    Thank you so much for your advice. This was the perfect route for me. Albuquerque was tough, because of all the lanes but I made it through. The rest of the drive was not bad at all for the most part. I was able to stop and visit my sister-in-law in Kingman and my oldest son in Junction City so it worked out well. I made it home safely. I am so thankful for your advice!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,791

    Default

    We are pleased to know that you made it home safely without too much drama. Thanks for the update.

Similar Threads

  1. Towing a trailer from Atlanta to Lincoln, NE--safest towing route?
    By Jacque1 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-31-2016, 08:00 PM
  2. Winter RV route from Lincoln City, OR to Tucson, AZ
    By soloRV in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-24-2010, 03:30 PM
  3. Fall 2010 Roadtrip - Lincoln Highway/Route 66
    By Hoos in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-08-2009, 03:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

  • MORE TO EXPLORE