View the Road Ahead

As RVers, the road is a big part of our life.  Depending on the size of your rig, there are some roads you should not drive.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know which ones they are before you plan your route?  Maps aren’t always good enough.  And, even if you can find someone who has driven that road – their opinion of it’s driveability may not be the same as yours. 

Most RVers have stories of ‘the road that gotcha’.  The road they’ll ‘never do again.’  It was so steep that you slowed to a crawl going up, or burned your brakes going down.  So narrow that you sucked in your breath passing another vehicle afraid you’d lose your mirror.  Or on the side of a canyon such that the person on the outside edge feels they’re hanging over the abyss and had to close their eyes to keep from screaming.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a preview of the road before you start driving?  Now you can.  With Google Earth. 

When Jim and I were getting ready to drive to Sedona, we noticed some pretty sharp-looking switchbacks on the map.  So Jim opened up Google Earth on his computer and zoomed in on highway 89.  He set a beginning point and and end point and asked Google Earth to ‘fly’ him over the route.  Here’s a screenshot of the beginning:

Google Earth - highway 89

When Google Earth finished the ‘flight’, Jim said, “That looks like fun!”.  See our personal Blog for actual photos of the drive.  Here’s what Google says about the product:

“For anyone who has ever dreamed of flying…” – NY Times

The idea is simple. It’s a globe that sits inside your PC. You point and zoom to anyplace on the planet that you want to explore. Satellite images and local facts zoom into view. Tap into Google search to show local points of interest and facts. Zoom to a specific address to check out an apartment or hotel. View driving directions and even fly along your route.

The personal version is free, or you can pay $20 for a few extra features. 

Every RVer should check it out!

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One Response to View the Road Ahead

  1. Jim says:

    Actually, the fly-over didn’t quite work. It could not handle the sharp turns and ran off the road. I wondered if that was some sort of omen.
    Reality was easier. It’s much better when you know what to expect. It was fun and I will do it again.

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