I am trailering a horse from NC to Lexington KY. Has anyone traveled either I40 to Knoxville and then I75 to Lexington lately? The other option is to take I77 to I64 through WV. I would like to know which route would be easier on the horse and truck and trailer.
While I have not taken the I40 route, I can tell you that I64 through WV and eastern KY is pretty but you will definitely be in the mountains, I have driven a rig that way going to Virginia. I passed through Lexington on my way from Chicago to VA.
Be sure you check 511 for road conditions. I believe I40W is clear at the moment, but the Gorge is always subject to massive rock slides which can close one or both lanes of traffic at the most inopportune times. And try to avoid going I40W thru Asheville on a Friday between 3-7pm. Traffic tends to get backed up from everyone trying to go to the Smokies for Fall camping.
A few years back I rode shotgun with a friend from KS to Winston Salem, NC to pick up and bring back a horse. I-40 was closed due to a massive rock slide so we drove on I-64 through WV then dipped down into NC on 77. I-64 through the mountains in WV is an eye opener but doable.
This summer hubba and I drove back east. We overnighted in Lexington, KY then drove down to Knoxville and east to Asheville. On the return trip home we drove I-40 from Asheville over to Nashville. To me it seemed like the shoulders on I-40 were more narrow and the drivers a little less courteous.
FWIW, my BIL is with the SC Highway Patrol and he says I-40 is one of the worst interstates in the region.
In March, we drove the WV route from Lexington, KY to Vass, NC for the Adult Rider Camp. The roads are newer, but have a lot of curves.
On the advice from one of the other Adult Rider campers, we went back on I 40. I had to peel my fingers from the steering wheel after coming back that way. I 40 has narrow, did I say Narrow, lanes and the road is not as new. Pulling a horse trailer, with two Semi trucks on either side of you, on a very narrow three lane Interstate, is extremely stressful!
If I ever go back that direction, I will go through WV! It may be slow going through the mountains, with all of the curves, but the roads are much better. We did run into a bit of snow on the way over, so be careful about that.
It took us 9 hours to go there and 12 to come home. Big difference!
40 to 77 to 64 is my standard. I spent many years driving between N KY and central VA, then N KY and NC's piedmont. It really is the easiest and most efficient. There are tolls on 77 in WV, but there's not much traffic unless you drive the day before Thanksgiving. It's a pretty easy drive and from the north side of Raleigh, I can make Lexington in about 7-7.5 hours. That's without a trailer. I do not find any of the mountainous sections scary or difficult and I think I-40 through the mtns to TN is much more isolated and has patchier cell reception.