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 > Traveling South using I77

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mgfiest

Ontario

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Posted: 06/18/12 07:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

I will be traveling to North Carolina.. the West side and looking at the map... I am coming from Canada.. I looked at I77 as a good route down. I was told... if you are traveling south to avoid THE GORGE. Has anyone heard of this strip of highway.

Thanks

Mike

KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 06/18/12 07:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not sure what "the gorge" refers too. I-77 is a very scenic interstate thru some very mountainous terrain in WV and VA. It is a toll road thru a lot of WV. There are lots of twists and turns thru WV but all roads thru the mountains do that. The route thru VA is much straighter but still goes up and down a lot. The long decent at Fancy Gap into NC has a tremendous view. I would enjoy traveling the road for the scenic beauty of the area. If you have a large rig and don't like curves you probably won't like it. However, there aren't many straight roads thru those mountains.

bwtrump

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Posted: 06/18/12 08:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The issues with "the gorge" is speed limits dropping in Summersville WV, Oak Hill, Fayetteville and Mt Hope--which are all on Rt 19. It is a timesaver and much better road. Basically, you will take 79 South to US 19 South to I 77 South. Saves about an hour of driving while in WV


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Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 06/18/12 08:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mgfiest wrote:

Hi,

I will be traveling to North Carolina.. the West side and looking at the map... I am coming from Canada.. I looked at I77 as a good route down. I was told... if you are traveling south to avoid THE GORGE. Has anyone heard of this strip of highway.

Thanks

Mike


The only Gorge I know of in NC. Is the Linville Gorge. But you won't hit that on 77


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routeforty

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Posted: 06/18/12 08:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure either what "the gorge" is. Have been from the beginning of it in Cleveland to the end in SC many times. Aside from the curves on the WV turnpike(a few miles where the speed limit is 60) and a couple decent uphill pulls headed North it's a good road. We take it every year to Fl. Either take the travel trailer or Truck camper, never had a problem. There is a place on the WV turnpike (can't remember the mile marker) on the SB side around the roadside park that is a little rough. Not potholes, but the road joints seem to not line up. But I just slow down a little. Gary


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Squirlian

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Posted: 06/18/12 07:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, I live in Ontario as well, depends on where you will cross the border....my preference is Fort Erie, run west on I90 to Erie, PA then down I79...have done this route umpteen times in everything from a minivan, to current E350 ext with 28ft (32 total) TT to 53'trailer on a rig... yes there are some steep hills, but there's no way to avoid them. IMHO... enjoy

Handbasket

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Posted: 06/19/12 06:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you just told whoever told you to 'avoid the gorge' that you were coming to the western half of NC, they may have been referring to Pigeon River Gorge on I-40. It's the 1st 20 miles inside NC from TN. Not really that bad, but slow & curvy, and somehow truckers manage a couple of wrecks a month despite being restricted to the right lane at 50 mph. There's also Green River Gorge, but that's on I-26 and not much of a challenge.

If you're coming down I-77, there's a nice NC welcome center just after the downgrade leaving VA. I've overnighted there, but it's been a few years. I also recall thick traffic from Statesville on into Charlotte.

Jim, "Mo' coffee!"


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Eycom

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Posted: 06/18/12 09:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've made the trip down from Buffalo many times, since I work the east coast and am based out of Charlotte. Cross the Peace bridge and take the I-90 to Erie, PA. Then I-79 south through PA into WV. Take US 19 (Exit 57, IIRC) towards Summersville & Beckley, WV. Watch your speed in Summersville and Fayetteville. They have zero tolerance for speeding. Be sure to stop at the Federal Park Service just north of Fayetteville and view the "arch bridge" that you will be crossing. It's about the 5th highest in the world and worth the stop. Follow US 19 to Beckley and take I-77 south to Charlotte. If you like crafts, you might enjoy WV's Tamarack. IIRC, it's the first exit after getting onto I-77 south from US 19.

You'll have 2 long grades. One is at Midway, WV heading into Beckley, and the other at Fancy Gap, VA heading down into NC. You'll also have two tunnels. The East River Mountain Tunnel, connecting Virginia and West Virginia and Big Walker Mountain Tunnel before you get to Wytheville, VA. No propane restrictions, so sail on through.

It takes me about 12-13 hours from Buffalo to Charlotte and I usually break the drive up into 2 days. I've over-nighted at Cracker Barrel in Fairmont, WV or Walmart in Clarkesburg, WV. Both are right off the Interstate. During winter weather, I've parked in the rest areas, both Walmarts along US 19, the Tamarack in Beckley, WV. All are RV friendly. Your best fuel prices will be in the Wytheville, VA. area. Mon thru Fri, Charlotte traffic is the pits during rush hours, about 3 to 6 in the evening. It's horrendous for 30 miles out. Plan accordingly. Have a safe trip.


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RowdyJ

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Posted: 06/21/12 08:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mgfiest wrote:

Hi,

I will be traveling to North Carolina.. the West side and looking at the map... I am coming from Canada.. I looked at I77 as a good route down. I was told... if you are traveling south to avoid THE GORGE. Has anyone heard of this strip of highway.

Thanks

Mike


"The Gorge" you're being told about is the "New River Gorge", and as posted, it is on US19. Traveled the road many times, most recently two weeks ago, and it is a very good road. But, as posted too, you're in the mountains, there's no way to avoid the "twists, turns, and the many ups and downs". If you've got the time, there's a Visitors Center at the New River Bridge that is well worth the stop. This is the bridge that is famous for base jumping. They even have a Festival in October that includes "Bridge Day" when the crazies are "allowed" to jump from the bridge.
http://www.officialbridgeday.com/

* This post was edited 06/21/12 08:51am by RowdyJ *

mgfiest

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Posted: 06/19/12 03:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks all for your input.. I am coming from the Detroit direction and my first stop is around Athens, OH. from there my next stop is Charlotte, NC where I am staying. Hope my 22yo Class C will make the distance.. lol

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