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  1. Default OR to IA.... with a 4 month old.... in Dec

    We're moving at the end of the week and, up until last night, were planning to take the northern route (395 to Spokane, 90 to Billings, MT, 80 down through South Dakota and into Iowa). We've had a lot of snow and that has started to make us worried about this route.

    We've started to consider taking the southern route, the SUPER long drive through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and then up through Kansas.

    The other factor is that we are moving our most precious cargo, our 4 month old baby. Which is crazier: facing potential blizzards in the north or driving basically twice as long but in safer weather?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Longer is Not Safer

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Its actually quite a foolish move to add hundreds of miles to your trip thinking that you will magically see better weather in the south. In fact, since you'll be on the road for a longer period of time, its actually more likely that you'd run into bad weather by taking a longer route.

    You can't travel across the west without running into an area that sees winter weather. The I-40 based route you've described regularly sees snowfall especially at the elevation it covers in New Mexico and Arizona. You'd also be seeing areas of common snowfall in California and Oregon as you make your way back north.

    The one place you might be less likely to see snow is the southern plains, but that doesn't mean that you'll see good weather there. It just means its more likely that if you see a storm it will be an ice storm instead of a snow storm.

    There are two routes that would potentially work. The route you described using I-90, or you could cut down towards Salt Lake City and take I-80 across Wyoming and Nebraska. Check the forecast just before you leave to see which route looks best, and in any case be prepared to deal with and potentially wait out a winter storm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I would take I-84 to I-80. It's the shortest and most direct, and no more prone to bad weather than anything else. The only way I'd take anything different is if the specific weather and road conditions dictate.

  4. Default

    I suggest Montana over Wyoming.

    Take it easy, drive safe and slow (i.e., no speeding and slow down for the weather) and I-90/I-94 will be a breeze.

    I-84/I-80, to me, has too many bad mountain passes to take. I-90 only has Lookout at the ID/MT border, and the one east of Butte. For the most part 90 snakes through the valleys of western Montana.

    Keep an eye on the weather. Either 511 or have a laptop and get online. Leave PLENTY of following distance on slick roads. Not just for you, but in case somebody is too close following you.

    But, I've driven it in snow/ice, you should do fine. Lots of blankets, water, food, etc in case you do get stuck in a bad spot (like a rest area snowed in). Keep your gas tank full (stop often) so you can idle if you do sit and can't get a hotel.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The long range forecast right now favors 84/80. You need to check on conditions right before you leave.

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