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  1. #1

    Default California to Virginia in December

    Hi! We're a military family getting ready to move from Monterey, CA to Saint Louis, MO. We have to travel across country in the middle of December and are heading to Virginia for Christmas before heading to Saint Louis. We have a couple of challenges to consider on our drive. We loved taking I40 on our way out here two years ago. We traveled in February and had no problems.

    This time, we'll be traveling in mid December. We will be towing our boat and our son will then be two years old and much more difficult to travel with for long periods of time. We also have only about seven days to get from CA to VA.

    Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to how to avoid lots of mountains (hard with the boat), bad weather, etc. Also, do you have any suggestions for fun things to do with a two year old along the way? We've already done the Grand Canyon. Any cute towns with great Christmas lights or celebrations occuring while we're traveling? We will be on the road starting December 16th and hope to arrive in Norfolk, VA by Christmas Eve.

    Thanks so much!

    Madi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Mid-west decorations

    Quote Originally Posted by montereymadi View Post
    We have to travel across country in the middle of December and are heading to Virginia for Christmas before heading to Saint Louis.
    Wow, that is a serious zig-zag, towing a boat in the "dead" of winter! Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    We loved taking I40 on our way out here two years ago. We traveled in February and had no problems.
    Heh, heh -- you should have seen it last February -- some of the worst ice storms ever seen on I-40! Some of our experienced correspondents reported tunnel-like paths through much of New Mexico.... One of the things I have always loved about traveling around the Christmas holidays is the holiday decorations you can see in the upper windows of farm houses in the mid-west. Makes me yearn, almost, for such at trip as you are about to embark upon. I can remember seeing those jolly lights for miles as I drove through the dark in Kansas and other plains states a rew years ago.

    It is also great to have new members make great posts for local intel like you did on this post about Monterey, California!
    This time, we'll be traveling in mid December. We will be towing our boat and our son will then be two years old and much more difficult to travel with for long periods of time. We also have only about seven days to get from CA to VA.
    I would recommend I-80, yes, it crosses the Sierras and some hilly terrain in Wyoming, but it is the best route out there for towing a boat across the Rockies in winter.
    Also, do you have any suggestions for fun things to do with a two year old along the way?
    Here are some kid-friendly road trip planning tips and here are some stopping and wandering places along I-80.
    Any cute towns with great Christmas lights or celebrations occuring while we're traveling?
    I have to do some fact-checking on this -- back later...

    Happy Planning!

    Mark

  3. Default

    Hi Mark,

    I, too, am planning a trip from northern CA to Ohio late December, January. I will be pulling my car with a 22ft rental truck. Just curious what would make the northern route I-80 more appealing than the more southern route of I-40 that time of year? I am in the early stages of planning and any advice is appreciated! thanks, cin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default direct = better

    Welcome to the RTA forum!

    I-80 less likely to get the ice storms that can plauge I-40. If you get bad weather on I-80, its more likely to be snow, and I'll take snow over ice any day. There's also the aspect that states like Wyoming are a little more used to dealing with major winter storms than states like Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

    I-80 is also going to be much more direct. Any cross country route can see bad weather in December, so the added miles needed to use I-40 would simply increase your travel time and thus increase your risk of running into bad weather.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the advise! Makes alot of sense and I especially like the idea of less travel time...weather permitting, of course!

  6. #6

    Default thanks

    Thanks so much for the advice. I'll check out I80.

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