A bit of context, I am from Montreal, QC, Canada, and I work for the Cirque du Soleil. I just learned there was a 95% chance I'll be working in Vegas from January to September 2008. I have 2 cats, and a brand new car, and I want to have them in Vegas, so I decided I would drive there instead of flying it. I have never drove that far in my entire life -not surprisingly. The entire distance totals 2600 miles totalling about 39hours of drive. I might find a colleague to come with me, but for now, let's pretend I'll be on my own.
I have a couple problems though. First, theoritically speaking, the Cirque would be paying me a flight there, so I guess I could have them pay for gas and hotel if I can come with a solid plan on how to do it for less money than a flight (which is about $550.) I also have to take as little time as I could to get there; I'm going there to work, not to travel and couldn't justify taking a week off when I could be there in 4 hours...
So I came up with something of an itinary from Montreal to Chicago, then Chicago to Denver, and then Denver to Vegas. It's 12 to 14 hours of drive a day, it sounds do-able, even with the cats. They have never been sick in the car and usually sleep through whatever -much shorter- drive I took with them. Problem is, I have no idea how to figure out how much that would come to. Or wether this truly is reasonable. I found some hotels where pets are tolerated, but they weren't cheap... I definitely need something cheaper than $500 or they'll have me fly wether I want it or not, and I really want to avoid it.
Secondly, I have questions regarding weather. It is currently 14F in Montreal and there are about 25inches of snow out there. In Vegas it's 56F and slightly rainy. I know it snows in Chicago but I'm not sure how it is in the streets of Denver. I have no idea what to do tire-wise. I currently have winter tires, but I hardly could keep them in Vegas. I definitely do not want to bring my 4-seasons tires in the trunk, it will be full already! I'm used to driving in snow (hey, I live in Quebec I have to) but I don't want to risk being stuck or running into any kind of avoidable problems. Anyone has any idea?