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CoastieSCPO 06-04-2008 05:05 PM

I do not believe that US 64/74 is any more than 6% but it is narrow in places with lots of curves. It is a lot shorter than Lorna's route. I have been in Blairville, but it was in the toad. Blarisville is in the mountains but we took US 129 from the south to get there. I have not travelled on US 76 but it looks like a four lane highway and, by the way, if you take that road, US 441 is not in the mountains, runs north and south and can be used to miss Chattanooga. We have use that road.

No terrific choices here, but if you don't mind driving a little out of the way, the 76 route might be best. Funny thing, the way the crow flies is real short!


GLWilliams58 06-04-2008 05:33 PM


You said 441 north to bypass Chattanooga. Do you mean 411? Looking at 441, that is way east and goes right up through Gatlinburg.

CoastieSCPO 06-04-2008 07:12 PM

It's 411. You could scoot over to I-75 at Tn 30 or 68. We've used both those roads going to the KOA in Tellico Plains or go all the way to I-140 to I40. Yes, it is 411, boy do I need a new pair of glasses!


Lorna 06-05-2008 06:35 PM

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GLWilliams58:
Lorna, I was following your route until I got onto 75. I am heading to Knoxville, not Nashville. So once I get to 75N, I would be fine right? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, Stay to the Right after the GA/TN state line. This is what happens when I try posting something when half asleep. David said you may want to consider 68 in Ducktown. This will take you out to I75 at Sweetwater. Road is pretty decent too.

515 is a good country road, little traffic. You should have no problem with your RV on it.

BTW, David usually took 64 thru the Gorge and By Pass around south end of Cleveland to I75 when he traveled from Franklin to Whitwell (former home). 200 mile driveway to driveway. I would run 64 to Hayesville, drop down and pick up 76 to Dalton and on to Whitwell. 210 miles driveway to driveway. Not much differance. Of course I never got stuck in the Gorge for hours because a semi got hung up on the rocks either.

chasfm11 06-06-2008 04:30 AM

Not to steal someone else's thread but we need to drive in a close by area and I was looking for some suggestions.

We are heading from Dallas to West Jefferson, NC. My original plan was to take I-40 through Knoxville, then I-81, turning off on Route 58. Mountain Directory East feedback on the latter convinced me not to do that. Now, I'm thinking about staying on I-81 a bit longer and taking Route 16 over the mountain. I've found no feedback that says that the Route 16 up and down is terrible. Once I get to Mouth of Wilson, I'm good. It is just figuring a way to get there.

Last year, we left West Jefferson to the south and ended up using Route 321 towards I-77 then taking I-77 and I-40 back to Knoxville. That wasn't a lot of fun. The 7-8% grades on Route 321, followed by a couple of miles of 10% grade were exactly the situation that I'm trying to avoid. 6-7% grades are fine for me as long as they don't have a lot of hairpins. Even with diesel at $5 a gallon, I'd rather drive an extra 30 miles than give myself a white knuckle down hill. Vacations are supposed to relieve stress, not add it.

Does anyone know that routes that I've listed, particularly Route 16 and can offer feedback?



Lorna 06-07-2008 07:09 AM

Why don't you get off I81 at either I181 (Johnson City/Kingsport exit) and take the road thru Elizabethton (Exit 24... we just spent the past 6 months in Elizabethton) to 19E to Hampton US321 over to Boone (I know the roads are not bad too as we explored on weekends) and then up US221 to W Jefferson. Alternatively, looks like on the map you could get off I81 to Bristol and take US421 all the way to US221. I have been on US421 from Shady Valley to Mountain City and that part of the road is decent. But then, I don't know what type of roads you would be comfortable on. These are high mountain roads. They are considered Primary roads even when 2 laned. Shoulders may be tight and you will see several semi-trucks on them.

chasfm11 06-07-2008 05:45 PM

Thanks for the feedback, Lorna. I just looked at Route 321 (Mountain Directory has no information on it) on my Street Atlas and it sure does look twisty. I can see at least one of what appears to be a hair pin. I'm not sure that we didn't go through part of that once.

As far as what I would be comfortable on, that is pretty easy to explain. Downhills at 45-50mph are pretty easy for us. The engine/transmission hold us back pretty well. When we have to drop into the 30mph range, especially for hairpins, our exhaust brake is less effective and I'm on my brake pedal more. That's not good. The semis have a engine compression brake that will really hold them back. We just cannot match that. Short sections of steep (8-9%) followed by a hairpin are what taught me (afterwards) that rum comes in 1.75 liter bottles! I can pick my way down most roads but I'm doing about half the speed of the rest of the traffic and I'd prefer not to put us in that position if it can be helped.

One of the signs on Route 58 out of Abingdon mentioned Route 16 as a good alternative for trucks. That is why I was considering it. The time in the mountain appears to be just a little shorter (21 miles versus 32 miles on Route 321)

I'm not happy with the fact that Moutain Directly has neither Route 16 or Route 321 listed. I'd like to believe that is good thing from my perspective but am not very confident.

Lorna 06-07-2008 07:42 PM

Have you tried looking at the roads in question on Mapquest? They have an "aerial" view that shows the mountains. 321 runs around the lake and on top of the ridges, hence the twists and turns. We have been on 312 and then turned off onto 67 to go around the lake. There were no really bad turns there even though it looks like there may be a hairpin turn. Look up Hampton, TN and chase down the road on Aerial view.

chasfm11 06-12-2008 07:05 AM

Lorna, I did as you suggested and agree that the aerial view appears as you suggested. I also used that view to look at Route 421 further east that we used last year. I know that there is a 10% grade but was unable to detect it via the visuals.

Additionally, I contacted the NC State Police. They responded with a confirmation that we should use the route that you suggested. So, we'll be driving Route 321 on our trip.

Thanks very much for you valuable information.


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