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  1. Default NY to CA with daughter in Jan. 09? Help!

    Hi everyone,
    My daughter (20) is going to school in Los Angeles for 2nd semester starting this coming January. She wants to have her car with her there but I will not let her drive cross-country with a girlfriend. Told her it was either myself or my husband that would be going with her, or she could fly and we would ship her car. Overprotective mother I guess. Anyway, I'm driving with her there and want to rent a car and drive back to NY with my best friend who will meet me out there. Should I drive through middle of country to LA or head across southern part of country because I'm leaving in January? Any ideas from those of you who have driven cross country in the winter time? I've gone cross country before in the summer months but never the winter time. How far from the east coast will there still be snow and lousy weather? Thanks for any info or tips you can give me

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Unpredictable.

    If only we could predict the weather this far in advance, unfortunately it isn't possible.

    Welcome to the R.T.A forums.

    How far from the east coast will there still be snow and lousy weather?
    There is a chance of encountering winter storms anywhere across the States at this time of year so you will need to keep an eye on the forecasts and road conditions prior to leaving and during your trip. I would look to take the most direct route which in turn means less time on the road and therefor less chance of disruption. The Interstates are a priority to keep clear and free of ice but you should allow enough time for any delays you may encounter. I would allow a minimum of 5-6 days each way.

    It looks as though the direct route would be I-78/I-81 /I-76/ I-70 to St Louis and then I-44 to Oklahoma and then I-40 and I-15 to L/A.

    Overprotective mother I guess.
    That's dedication, there's no love like a devoted mothers love ;-).

    Here's some links that may help, Winter driving tips.
    Safe driving distances in a day, and a great list of places to close to the Interstates to take a break.

    If there is any other info you need please ask, Have a safe journey.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-22-2008 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Clarity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Keep Your Options Open

    There are at least 3 different routes between New York and Los Angeles that differ by less than 220 miles in total length. So any of them would be a fine route and you can make your final choice on the day you leave depending on which has the best weather forecast:

    1) I-80 (Julesburg, NE) I-76 (Denver, CO) I-70 (Beaver, UT) I-15 [2795 miles]

    2) I-78 (Harrisburg, PA) I-81/I-76 (Bedford, PA) I-70 (St. Louis, MO) I-44 (Oklahoma City, OK) I-40 (Barstow, CA) I-15 [2785 miles]

    3) I-95 (Washington, DC) I-64 (Front Royal, VA) I-81 (Dandridge, TN) I-40 (Little Rock, AR) I-30 (Dallas, TX) I-20 (Pecos, TX) I-10 [3000 miles]

    You can even take one way out with your daughter and another way back with your friend so that each of them gets to see what they want (weather permitting) and you get to see two different views of the country. Besides the timely, quiet stops that Dave pointed you to, there are a few major attractions along each route that you might want to throw into your decision mix: 1) Great Lakes, Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Salt Lake; 2) Gateway Arch, Oklahoma City Memorial, Grand Canyon; 3) Smoky Mountains, Graceland, Carlsbad Caverns.


  4. Default

    You can hit bad weather anywhere. Remember, even if you wind up on I-10, you will go through mountains. I-40 through New Mexico is over 6,000 feet for most of it. Flagstaff is almost 8,000 feet. They get snow. Lots of it. I would suggest, at least, avoiding I-70 though Colorado.

    For overall scenic view, get down to I-40 as soon as you can and take that west and just prepare for NM and AZ possibly having snow. If you're adventurous, have the time, and have snow tires (or want to put on chains), Glenwood Canyon, Vail, and the rest of western Colorado (as well as the 110 miles of desolation in Utah) are worth seeing any time of year.


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