I am planning a drive from Indianapolis to Portland, OR this December. Just to get one thing straight, I know that I am insane, so we can get that out of the way. :)
I'm either driving a Subaru Forester or WRX, both with all weather tires. I am planning on getting a set of chains. I know all the usual winter weather advisories - carry maps, water, food, warm clothes, shovel, kitty litter, cash to bribe people to help pull my car out of the ditch...I am no stranger to long drives or snow - I grew up in the middle of lake effect snow in upstate NY, and have driven the route back home from Indy that 700 miles in a day is an easy day.
I am looking for some ideas of what to expect for the drive. Google Maps gives the best route as I-74 to Davenport, IA, then I-80 to Salt Lake City, then I-84 up to PDX. What are the chances of getting held up/stopped by snow? How quickly do they get the interstates cleaned up when they have to close? Will I have a better shot at making it faster by taking I-70?
Funny story about having money to bribe people...it at least used to be quite common for teams racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (sportscar race in France) to have a kit in the racecar with a few basic tools, a cell phone, and a large wad of money. The track is several miles long, and if you break down or throw it off the road it's going to take a long time for someone to help you...so it was usually easier to throw some money at spectators to bribe them to help push you out of the ditch. :)