Slopes of 8 degrees is about the maximum you will see on the TransAm.I think you'll find a lot of people who would dispute that.
Did your remark take into account that I mentioned a slope of 8 degrees? More often slopes are expressed as the ratio of rise over run, which for an angle of 8 degrees amounts to a grade of 14%?
I don't know abut John, but I missed the "degrees" and thought "%" automatically. Degrees seems like an odd way to express the steepness only because "%" is pretty much universally used.
Oh and based only on my impression of them... The hills in Missouri climbing up out of the river valleys were pretty tough, but a few in the Appalachians definitely were harder for me so I'd assume they were steeper than the ones in Missouri. Two that I remember were at Vesuvius and another that I think it was at Big A mountain. Those were climbs for eastbound riders. There were a least a couple others that seemed steeper to me than the ones in Missouri.
That said I don't have accurate numbers for any of them. Furthermore I have decided that we seldom know the actual grades because the signs posted are often way off and even the maps can be pretty misleading. Also the grades on smaller roads are generally extremely variable along their length. So do you call the grade by a 100' section that is steepest, by the average from bottom to top, or something else? In any case the numbers can be misleading wrt to the difficulty in riding them.