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Old 12-29-2014, 01:52 PM   #1
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SCARY ROADS inspired by Gene & others to share

Gene (Grand Junction, Colorado)... it is an idea that has arrived. Scary Roads. I have already had my sanity questioned by a flurry of Threads waiting out the snow, ice and departing mid January from Colorado to plant ourselves in the desert South West to escape the grip of a Rocky Mountain WINTER.

Scary Roads. There must be a reason this is considered SCARY. I have offered more than enough in West Boondocking and not wanting to give everyone the impression that driving from the East Front Range of the Rocky Mountains to the East Sierra Mountains is... one... long... disaster... waiting for unsuspecting travelers from the Hinder and Flat Land we consider... Texas, as well the other Hilly, Bumpy States, Provinces to the North and the Appalachians we do not hear much about on the Forum.

Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter travel can be a wonderful experience. But then again, the ICE storms of the Midwest can make a snow packed two lane highway in the Rocky Mountains appear to be child's play.

Gene, ghaynes755, mojo, field & stream, Ag&Au are among the multitude of Airstream Forum Posters that KNOW the difference between a pleasant drive, somewhat difficult, wish I had not planned this trip, to what am I doing, to downright death wishes depending on the time of the season.

Some of us are OLD because we are the survivors of inexperience. Those younger than 40... listen to these grey hairs that know. Unless you are already prematurely grey at 30... go ahead and toss out your unpleasant experiences of traveling... WITH or WITHOUT a trailer in tow.

This is NOT a Thread for the meek and timid.

I have a long list of paved and especially, unpaved roads, that I would not want to repeat. Not that the roads were not passable with 4x4 and trailer. My concern was I question WHY the road was placed where it was in the First Place.

So blame the army of Air Forum members of dubious character or not... that if there is a challenge... and the possibility of telling the story of that one or two roads that made yourself all the wiser... THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY.

Otherwise. Select "ignore" on this Thread and we will follow the newspaper of your progress across the North American Continent or any other part of the World that an Airstream has been towed, temporarily parked or is still frozen into the Arctic Ice.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:03 PM   #2
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Not a scary road, exactly, but a scary driving condition that most people on the Gulf Coast will remember with PTSD flashbacks— hurricane evacuation, especially the dreaded "contraflow." New Orleans, LA to Jackson, MS normally takes just over three hours of easy driving, but in a hurricane evacuation it can take upwards of nine hours of bumper-to-bumper mayhem! With no emergency services available if you have to pull over for an overheated radiator or empty fuel tank because even if you could get a cell call through to summon help, roadside assistance can't get to you until after the storm passes.

Now that I'm (almost) retired I'm so glad that I'll be able to bug out at the first hint of a hurricane, and not wait until the last minute anymore. No more contraflow for me!
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:50 PM   #3
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Scary roads aren't just in the boonies. My scariest drive was through LA to San Diego on I-5 off commute (when traffic was moving along) traversing numerous construction zones with temporary 10 foot wide lanes at 55 mph on pavement with swimming pool sized potholes, no freeway shoulders, sandwiched between 18-wheelers and crazy speeding auto's while zipping past dead landscaping, graffiti covered sound walls, and massively barb wired protected street signs.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:59 PM   #4
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SWIM ate a brownie of dubious origin once, and after several hours was convinced that said brownie was inert.

SWIM quickly realized that he was in no shape to be walking, let alone driving or operating a motor vehicle on the way home and parked his car at a donut shop to eat and took a cab. Neither SWIM nor any member of the public were hurt or killed fortunately.

SWIM made it through a 4-5hour traffic jam and 3 feet of snow durring a surprise spring snowstorm one year, but fell asleep at the light a block from home and rolled his volvo into the car in front.

many many years ago, before they passed laws impounding vehicles for speed violations, SWIM drove 330 miles to a nearby city at over 100MPH the whole way to see if the trip could be done in less than 3 hours to save time. It can , but there is no time for bathroom breaks.

SWIM has driven 26+ hours non-stop, and since decided that he will take a short nap at a rest stop in Georgia.

SWIM has hit black ice on highway on and off ramps and almost been tossed into the ditch a few times. Swim has driven over 1,000,000 KM and seen the usual whiteouts, fogouts,sheet rain, godam* monsoons, low grade hurricaines, trees, downed electrical wires, snow, sleet, tennis ball size ice balls in nebraska and rocks coming from the sky, truck wheels, large chunks of ruck tires,metal plastic and wood debris, furniture, plastic and canvas tarps on the road, animals large and small.

a SWIM buddy once totalled a brand new rental car by driving it into a male deer, and had a main wheel bearing failure on an olds 88, and another rental car was lost when flying truck parts emptied the entire cooling system in 2 seconds onto I75.

After 20 years accident free he was rearended 3 times in one year, the last time by a city bus. All 3 of the other drivers were AT FAULT, and the bus driver was hit and run.

In general SWIM has seen more Jacknifed 18 wheelers, flipped over SUVs, cars that have flown off the road and landed in wierd places, and generally smooshed drivers and burning cars than he can shake a stick at. He has even seen a few other drivers' vehicles disappear into lakes and rivers. Enough to express some wonder that he is still alive.

SWIM once drove a car that would stall below 45MPH, and another that took about 30 seconds to get to highway speed. He has of course seen his tires rupture and experience throttle(full open and none) and brake failure.

Near SWIMs house there is the widest highway in North America, sometimes when SWIM would like some excitement, he drives there and tries to make it alive through the large percentage of marginally licensed drivers on that road who like to drive like Fast and Furious 1-5 Tokyo Drift.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:06 PM   #5
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Aspen, Colorado: Independence Pass
asphalt- Highway 82 going East or West
Pulling a trailer: Scare Factor 9 out of 10 Guard Rails
Driving a vehicle: Scare Factor 4 out of 10 Guard Rails

This has a considerable discussion already in progress on the Forum. I normally do not blink or break a sweat towing our Airstream or just to enjoy a road that would be more described as someone's paved driveway to a cabin.

I do not recommend towing anything on this route. The best time, if you are so inclined to travel Highway 82, towing, is during the Winter. This road is CLOSED during the Winter months, that is why it is the best time.

I actually do not recommend this route as a casual drive UP and then DOWN returning to Aspen.

The "guard rails" are merely intended to keep you from NOT SEEING the edge of the road. I am not sure if a bicyclist could be saved if hitting the guard rail. IF you have keen eyesight and can judge your clearance between yourself and oncoming traffic... go ahead and do it. If you found it easy and not intimidating... let us know on the Forum. I WILL suggest a better option to test your driving skills... and your marriage.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
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timhortons... I have an easy one for SWIM to attempt. No, not Independence Pass, Colorado but:

Royal Gorge Park, Canon City, Colorado
Royal Gorge Bridge aka 3A Road
Pulling a trailer: I do not think it is allowed. Park it in the Parking Lot.
Driving a vehicle: 4 out of 10 Loose Boards for drivers, 6 out of 10 for passengers

There is a cost to drive across the Royal Gorge Bridge. I remember it being East to West and one way. Call to see if it is open since the big forest fire in the area that burned out some structures and may have affected the suspension bridge... but come one... do not weasel out on this just because of a few technicalities.

It is rather exciting to drive across, knowing that below you is a railroad track that looks like some scratches into the mountain AND a river to add. But, the real entertainment is for the pedestrians that get to walk across the bridge.

When you are crossing the speed limit might be 5mph to avoid pedestrians that are trying to look confident that this thing is going to hold up with YOU and vehicle approaching. So... for their entertainment... lurch your vehicle by applying the throttle just enough and let off. It will cause a real odd sensation... like this bridge is not safe. The pedestrians will be immediately out of the middle of the road and grasping for the handrails on the side.

Works every time. There is also a viewing area on the West side you can watch the commotion on the bridge. The crossing is worth every dollar it costs to maintain the bridge. I do believe it is the highest suspension bridge in the world. Even higher than those reported in Texas and Kansas, which I believe are wild exaggerations.

I, of course, have not attempted the "lurch factor" into crossing this bridge that swings around in a brisk wind. I recall it must have been read... some where.

For those cheapskates that do not want to pay to cross with a vehicle. Park in the lot at night. Sometimes there are private parties or weddings going on and it is all lit up. Take the entire family across the bridge. If you think it was SCARY to cross by foot during the day... you had better be prepared for a night crossing.

Pedestrian crossings: 6 out of 10 Knee Knockers during daylight, 9 in the dark
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:55 PM   #7
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I knew 😉 Eklund was a poseur. Hwy 82 is one of the nicest non-Interstate roads out there . . from Wichita Falls past Birmingham.


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Old 12-29-2014, 05:16 PM   #8
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There are scary roads and then there are hairy roads. I think what makes a road scary is not knowing what lies ahead. Once you have driven it once or twice and know what to expect, it's not so scary. But, if it demands your full attention...then it's just a hairy road. However, weather and traffic can make any road scary. As protagonist said, just add some media driven hurricane fear and thousands of idiots with no where to go and no place to buy gas and you have a nightmare!

I actually enjoy exploring the back roads and mountain passes. But then I also drive a lot of the CO 4x4 trails and old mine roads plus do some 4 wheeling in Moab and the desserts. So if it's a paved road, it must be easy, right? Well sometimes. Where I live, I have to go over Coal Bank, Molas and Red Mountain pass from Durango to Ouray in order to go North or take Wolf Creek Pass to go West. These are known as two of CO's most dangerous roads.

The Moki Dugway on UT 261 south of National Bridges is a fun one. The pavement ends and it is a 1000 foot drop on a gravel dirt road to the bottom with many hairpins and a road width in spots 1 1/2 lanes wide. The sign says trailers not advised, but it is doable if you have good brakes. You can usually see someone else coming and vice versa. When the cars see you coming down hill with 25' trailer, they will find a wide spot to pull over and wait for you to go by. Plus there isn't much traffic so it's not that stressful. Bedsides it's along ways around.

I have invested in a copy of the Mountain Directory which lists all the "hairy" mountain passes and mountain roads telling the grades and difficulty. I found this a good idea after coming to sign on a CA road that said "No Rv's or Trailers-24% Grade Ahead".
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Old 12-29-2014, 05:47 PM   #9
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The roads marked "scenic" are the first clue.


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Old 12-29-2014, 08:10 PM   #10
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I know I'm gonna regret this, just sayin' right up front......but what the heck is SWIM?

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Old 12-29-2014, 09:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan View Post
I know I'm gonna regret this, just sayin' right up front......but what the heck is SWIM?

Jim
I'm with you. my guess:

Short White Indigenous Man.

I think it comes from dating sites.

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Old 12-29-2014, 09:54 PM   #12
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Swim

I guess we're not hip.
Here's the answer:

Urban Dictionary: swim

It is slang for: "I just made this stuff up"

Ken
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Old 12-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #13
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Someone Who Isn't Me... I'm guessing.

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Old 12-30-2014, 10:48 AM   #14
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We have towed 20' and 25'AS on both interstates (I90) and state and federal highways - both two and four lane (US93) from February to November ... three words about towing in inclement weather over both flat lands and mountain passes: expect the unexpected. The newer model TVs with dedicated braking and anti sway programming ease the burden somewhat, but there are still white knuckle times. Be prepared ... for what, you say ...ice on the roadway, hail, thrown gravel breaking glass on both the TV and TT, falling ice, lane hogs that want to push you off the road before they are clear, impatience - lots and lots of impatience for all manner of vehicles following - 2 to 18 wheelers, side drafts from the wind as well as passing vehicles, temperatures cold enough that although you have de-iced for visibility, your defroster will not keep the windows clear, chain links broken off of passing vehicles (both coming and going) flying off at you.

We try to extend our "season" for AS use as long as possible, but the older we get (66 now) the more sense it makes to keep the AS "investment" close to home during inclement weather.
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