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  1. Default Best route from Seattle to Dallas mid Jan.

    I will be moving from Seattle to the Dallas area. I am driving and plan on leaving Jan. 13, 2009. I will have a dog and two young men with me. What is the best route this time of year? Are there any numbers I can call that will give me weather information along the way? How many miles are realistic to cover in a day? I am getting nervous and thinking that I should just head south to CA and take 40 over instead of the more direct route. Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Two Keys

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you look around at the numerous questions about planning a cross country winter trips similar to yours, you'll see the same two bits of advice repeated over and over: Miles are your enemy. Time is your friend. Turning a 2200 mile trip into a 2500 mile trip on the hope that you'll see better weather is chancy at best and is based on the false assumption that the roads will be clearer. In fact both I-5 and I-40 are subject to extreme winter weather particularly on those stretches that reach elevations of 5,000 to 9,000 feet. You can often be better off by using the extra day that you'd have to use driving on the more southerly route to have in hand should the weather turn bad on the northerly route. In the end, without an up-to-date forecast, say from the day before you leave, there's no way you can know which will be the better route. So plan on being able to take either, and decide only when you know what the weather will be like along each route as you drive.


  3. #3

    Default What he said

    Hello lolo10,

    As is normally the case, AZBuck says it all and in a much clearer style than I am capable of. I do have a couple tidbits to contribute which relate directly to your questions concerning road condition updates, and they follow.

    I haven't done the mapping homework to derive an exact figure, but Mapquest recommends I-84/I-80/I-25/US-287 into the Panhandle, and various routes on to Dallas from Amarillo. Surely I-5 down to Southern California is farther, and it (obviously) involves California freeway miles. Talk about "miles are your enemy".

    If the young men traveling with you are like my two sons, they're iPhone or Blackberry-equipped. With either, you can connect to weather radar on a zip code basis up ahead, and you can also connect with the various state's DOT webcams for a real-time look at road conditions. Absent a high tech phone or a laptop with a wireless card, you can check on the weather mapping cellphone service "My Cast" which I find very accurate and easy to use. You can store zip codes along your route, a few hundred miles apart, and punch up actual weather radar and detailed text forecast all the way. Most states have so-called "511" road condition phone numbers, but in my own experience the data is sometimes many hours to a half or full day out of date, not to mention there's just so much a recorded message can tell you.

    So, take the most direct route, study ahead with the boy's high tech phones, or get MyCast added to your own cell plan. Look ahead and plan on just hunkering down a day or so, at the place of your choosing, should the weather get bad up ahead. I am of the opinion that for the most part, those who get stuck in bad weather do so due to not having done their homework, at least these days. Less so just a few years ago.


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