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  1. Default My move east: Seattle to New Haven in december

    Hello everyone,

    In a couple of weeks I will leave behind the Emerald City and will cross the continent up to New Haven, CT. Well, I'm Italian - I've been working at UW here in Seattle these past two years - and the idea of a coast to coast it's really something BIG for me.

    So, any comment, help, advise, suggestion is very very welcome! My plan is to avoid the far north (Montana, Dakota...) and move south-east and then east. Please note: we will be driving in 2, so we can go a bit longer I guess, and we will leave Seattle the 16th, but one of us will have to get a flight from NYC on 23rd so our maximum timeframe is one week.

    This our planned route:

    Day 1: Seattle to Boise (via I90-I82-I84) or maybe up to Twin Falls at best (I don't think it's doable to Salt Lake City)
    Day 2: Boise to Denver (via I84-highway6-I70). I'm kind of worried this day is going to be too long, especially approaching the Rockies.
    Day 3: Denver to Kansas City via I70
    Day 4: Kansas City to Columbus, OH via I70
    Day 5: Columbus to New Haven, CT via still don't know exactly...

    The one above is the 5-days-strict plan but we can easily spend an additional day driving and we would still have a spare day to spend in New Haven before the flight.
    One southern option is to go south at Day2, after Green River, UT, via 491 (Moab and Canyonlands area) to I40 (instead I70) and then proceed on I40 through the Texas panhandle and up to the east coast. It's a bit longer but shouldn't be inclement with weather. What about the Moab area-cut through 491 to reach I40?
    I favor the I70 option, and bear in mind that our main purpose is - unfortunately - "getting there" and not pure sightseeing.

    Thanks for any suggestion!!
    cheers,
    Ric

  2. #2

    Default Boise to Denver

    I have never done this drive so I really shouldn't be commenting but just looking at the millage, it's 831 miles between Boise and Denver and seems just too long for one day even with two people.

    Then you add the terrain (mountains), weather, and the stops this could be a even long day not to mention next three days are again 600+ mile days.

    Sorry I don't have a suggestion as I have never done this trip but would definitely recommend to try and drive under 600 miles per day.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonjohn83 View Post
    I have never done this drive so I really shouldn't be commenting but just looking at the millage, it's 831 miles between Boise and Denver and seems just too long for one day even with two people.
    Yes, jacksonjohn, you're right. The Day2 was already the weak part of my plan. I think we will try to drive a little further on Day1 in order to arrive at least at Twin Falls, after Boise, and from here on Day2 reach someplace before Denver. We will probably need a sixth day overall, but it's still doable.

    Any specific info from anybody on I70 during winter? I have seen a few posts around and seems to be quite a smooth ride assuming I have snow chains on board.
    Does anybody can tell me if from Salt Lake City it's better to go south east via I15-I70 or directly east via I80?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default It all depends on the weather!

    Quote Originally Posted by ricrossi View Post
    Does anybody can tell me if from Salt Lake City it's better to go south east via I15-I70 or directly east via I80?
    Without question, the easiest drive in winter is to stay on I-80 if the roads are open. It is the choice of nearly all professional truck drivers. The scenic beauty of I-70 is what tips the scale for most of us when considering I-80 versus I-70 -- but if speed is your primary consideration -- and the roads are clear and open -- I-80 makes the most sense!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default A re-wind for you

    Quote Originally Posted by ricrossi View Post
    In a couple of weeks I will leave behind the Emerald City and will cross the continent up to New Haven,
    I re-read your original post -- are you aware that by dropping to the south as you have outlined above you are INCREASING the chances of hitting much more severe weather than if you "save" the distance and simply head due east from Seattle (I-90 to Chicago and then east again to New Haven)? If it were me, I would take the most direct route and follow I-90. If you drop into Wyoming or Colorado -- you are much more likely to hit those fabled December snow storms....

    Mark

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor View Post
    are you aware that by dropping to the south as you have outlined above you are INCREASING the chances of hitting much more severe weather than if you "save" the distance and simply head due east from Seattle (I-90 to Chicago and then east again to New Haven)? Mark
    Thanks Mark. Well, I originally planned to go south instead hitting I90 directly east just because of weather and snow concerns, but of course I do not have any experience of central USA road tripping! I was kind of worried not to be "stuck in the middle of nowhere into a blizzard" on I90, but your comment makes me re-consider my plan. Going east on I90 is much shorter...
    I'l try to dig a bit deeper into this possibility.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default Conflicting goals

    I see Mark has already said this, but it seems like you were having some conflicting goals with your plans: trying to get their quickly and then also looking at going all the way down to Colorado or even Texas for this trip.

    If getting there in 5 days is your #1 priority, then I'd say that I-90 will far and away give you the best chance of achieving that goal. If the weather doesn't cooperate, it still might not be possible, but going south will just increase your time on the road, and thus increase your odds of hitting bad weather.

  8. Default a "northern" review

    Yes Michael, my number 1 priority is to get there in 5-7 days and try to avoid really bad weather, I do not really care/need to go down in Colorado or Texas... I'll definitively do it in a better - hopefully vacation - time!..

    I've been looking a bit deeper in these past days into the various weather internet services from NOAA and other channels and is seems that the Interstate 70 - Interstate 40 stretch is having a peak of bad weather (snow and ice) right now. Interstate 90 looks colder on average but "quieter"...
    Did you guys see the really cool new addition (weather and forecast layer) to the new version (4.2) of google earth??
    I think the way to go is to look at the weather forecast and then decide, but I90 seems better so far.

    PS:
    I set up an online map with the different routes I was planning to take on it. It helped me to have a more comprehensive look at the trip. It can be browsed here.
    Did you guys ever considered to add a google map based description on your (already very useful) website?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default still a ways out

    Its been a pretty strange December weather wise so far. I-90 has probably been the best overall so far, since I-80 got pounded with ice about a week ago, and I-70 and I-40 have seen their share of ice too.

    Actually I-90 through Wisconsin has also seen close to a record amount of snow for this time of year too, but there hasn't been much more than 6 inches or so in even the worst storms. We've just been getting hit with 2 inch nusance snowfalls every other day.

    Of course, the 23rd is still a long ways off. I would keep checking that forecast and hold off on a final decision until just a day or two before your departure.

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