Halloween is upon us so we must weave our way through the seemingly endless onslaught of pumpkin flavored everything, costume selection, and candy consumption (it’s not just for kids, you know!) until the end of the month. As road trip enthusiasts, we’ve probably, at one time or another, sought out the most frightening haunted houses and attractions around the country to combine Halloween with our most beloved hobby. With that thought in mind, we felt that we could use this opportunity to take a slightly different twist on the typical Halloween style blog that has both a seasonally accurate and informative message. You know what’s 10 times scarier than a demented zombie with a machete? Driving a Class A rig around a windy road covered in ice going down hill. Ask anyone who’s ever experienced road conditions like that and they’ll surely tell you they would rather take their chances with the zombie.
Route 550 aka The Million Dollar Highway – Colorado
The Million Dollar Highway gets its nickname because of its’ breathtakingly beautiful views throughout the 25 mile stretch from Silverton to Ouray. However, during this specific portion of Rt. 550, the road narrows to a 2-lane highway that twists and winds through the Uncompahgre Gorge, which can be one of the most intimidating and scariest places to drive any vehicle, let alone a 40+ foot motor home. Drivers will experience a lack of guardrails on the roadsides that are thousands of feet high, hairpin curves, and extremely narrow lanes. Oh, and snow season starts in October, so if you’re going to be driving through this pass, get your tires chained and hang on tight. Million Dollar Highway 1, Zombie 0.
James Dalton Highway – Alaska
For anyone who has ever watched the show Ice Road Truckers, you know exactly what we’re talking about here. Not only does the Dalton Highway have similar steep cliffs with no guardrails like the aforementioned Million Dollar Highway, but it also has the added element of serious unpredictability. What do we mean, you ask? How about avalanches, random whiteout snow storms, and a hundreds of miles of gravel roads coated with ice. Those who are brave enough to try and best the Dalton Highway are rewarded with gaining access to the Brooks Range, a desolate, mountainous range connect that is like heaven for the outdoor enthusiast.
Tail of the Dragon – North Carolina
If the name of this road isn’t enough to scare you off, then it’s 300+ twists and turns might be. Considered one of the windiest roads in America, this 11-mile stretch on US 129 starts at the North Carolina/Tennessee border in Deals Gap and is a haven for sports car and motorcycle enthusiasts, but not so much during the winter months. At this time of year travelers will most likely have to deal with one, if not all, of the following in addition to the insane amount of twists and turns: bears, turkeys, deer, wild boar, down trees, snow, and ice. This might be a fun road to drive on a crotch rocket, but I doubt anyone in a diesel pusher is going to enjoy the Tail of the Dragon.
Remember this Halloween, zombies and monsters only exist on TV and in the movies, but icy, white knuckle inducing roads are real, and they’re out there…
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