DC to SF, 1/4 to 1/9
I decided I'd be skipping the moving companies and taking only a carload of my stuff with me as I move from DC to San Francisco, and I'm looking for a decent route.
While, initially, I was thinking it would be fun to drive US-50 as much of the way as possible, I'm guessing that, at this point, given that I have 5-6 days and it's winter, it might be a better bet to stick to interstates and leave the US-50 trip for another time. Is that a fair assessment?
From DC, it looks like I-80, I-70, and I-40 all give me a 2,800 to 2,950 mile route, so no major differences in that respect. Weather-wise, it looks like Tuesday will be clear into Kansas, Wednesday might be messy (snow from MO to UT, and as far south as Dallas), and Colorado and SLC will be snowy on Thursday.
I've got a 4-cyl Ford Fusion, which is fine enough in a bit of snow, but it's not as if I test it all that often in DC.
Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice? I'll be glued to my iPhone, so I'm happy making adjustments as I go, but I've never done the Rockies in winter, so orientation would be appreciated.
Cheers, and thanks much!
Keep It Short and Simple
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The most direct route is I-70/I-76 to I-80 in western Ohio and for the rest of the drive. At a shade over 2800 miles, that could conceivably be done in 5 days of steady, workman-like, but sustainable, driving. Adding more miles for an alternative route just cuts down on the amount of margin you have to deal with bad weather. If you can afford a 6th day, then I'd hold it in reserve, keep an eye on the forecasts as you go, and be ready to get off the highway early in the event of a storm. You want to stop driving before the roads test your limits and before the roadside motels fill up with other 'stranded' travelers. And just plan on using your 'spare' day to be off the road during the worst of any snow/ice event. Let the road crews do their job and get back to your driving once the roads are safe again.