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Thread: Cali to Georgia

  1. Default Cali to Georgia

    I am driving from California in early February to Fort Benning, GA for training. I am not wise to the ways of winter travel outside my sunny corner. Below is a link to my proposed route. I would like any advice i.e. likelihood of snow/icy roads, routes that require tire chains, or anything else I should know about driving into the South at that time of the year. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Looks good to me

    Hello esk123, and thank you for your service. Headed to Jump School?

    Your route looks fine to me. I've personally driven most of it, excepting only some of the CA inland routes to Barstow and I-40, Barstow to Kingman, and the new 4-lane which diagonals across MS and AL to Birmingham. The rest of it I've driven at some point in the last 30 years, including a Raleigh, NC to Port Hueneme, CA trip, mostly on I-40, in October 2007. If your concerns are winter travel, here are some thoughts:

    Snow and ice is a possibility pretty much anywhere from western AZ all the way to Memphis in February. Your principal risk areas are some of the higher elevation passes and plateaus in western and central AZ, more of the same in western NM, and still more around Albuquerque, NM. Amarillo, TX gets its share of crud, too, with its elevation around 4,500' up on the Staked Plain. The most likely situation is a passing front dumping some snow or ice in the mountain passes in AZ or NM and some Great Plains ice storms. In each case, the highways are normally cleared very quickly and only those who choose to or must remain on the highway no matter what will experience difficulties. If you are PCS-ing to Ft Benning, your travel time allowance should be quite generous, so hopefully that's not an issue. I'd allow at least 5 days plus an additional day or even two for weather contingencies. A close look at approaching fronts and forecasts will give you much advance notice of problems ahead, and that can be accomplished with or other forecasting services, so taking your laptop or PDA along will be very helpful. If weather alone prevented you from completing the trip in 7 full days, I'd be very surprised.

    UPDATE: By way of example, is warning of the potential for ice in OK and AR today, from roughly OK City to Little Rock, and the possibility of this continuing on and off through Wednesday. This is the kind of situation where access to a computer or at least a TV during your trip can go a long way to helping you avoid delays by re-routing.

    I've got a nephew who is a 2LT at Benning right now and his brother is a 2LT at Fort Stewart. My son is a Navy Seabee. Please know how much I appreciate the service of yourself, my kinfolk, and everyone in uniform.

    Travel safe,

    Last edited by Foy; 01-26-2009 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Added info regarding current forecast

  3. Default

    Thanks Foy. I'm a 2LT myself but I am headed to Benning for this relatively new mandatory training event that all new officers attend between commissioning and branch training. After six weeks of this I will drive to Ft. Lee, VA and then back all the way to California over the summer. I leave tommarow morning and will make stops overnight in Kingman, AZ, Amarillo, TX, and Little Rock, AR before reaching Georgia. I recently had installed an XM/navigation system in my car and my iPhone should be a good backup. I also bought snow chains and a AAA emergency kit just in case. I hope my trip goes smoothly although I am squeezing it into four days making about 620 miles/day. Thanks again for your insight Foy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Some more winter driving tips

    Here are some more ideas to keep in mind and.... thanks from me to for your service.


  5. Default

    CA 58 is a good road. I've driven it from Bakersfield one time. As for US78 (aka, the future I-22) through northern Mississippi and Alabama.

    It's a good road altogether. The Mississippi stretch is much like the interstates in MS, not really up to interstate standards, but still a good high speed road. The stretch through Alabama is great. Although the last five-ten miles into Birmingham are a pain with all the lights you'll hit (they still haven't finished the end yet).

    US78 is nice. If you're an Elvis afficianado, there's his birthplace in Tupelo. I stopped there once. Pretty neat, even if you're not a fan.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-04-2009 at 08:15 PM. Reason: added a link to the RTA article about Elvis' birthplace

  6. Default

    Well I made it here to the Fort Benning area on schedule. Except for a spark plug I had to have replaced in Amarillo, it has been smooth sailing. Roads were clear and traffic was good for the most part. There was some snow in Arizona but none whatsoever on the roads. Thanks to those who chimed in.

  7. #7

    Default Good news

    Glad you arrived safely LT esk123.

    Thanks for checking in, and I hope you enjoy Ft Benning.


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