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  1. Default Florida to Alaska, Late March/Early April

    Hi there, new to the forum, but I love the topic.

    So when I get back to the states next year I will be driving from Tampa to Juneau Alaska via Oklahoma, Cedar Rapids IA, and Denver, then up through Banff and over to Prince Rupert to Ferry the last bit.

    How is the weather conditions from denver onwards in late march? That is my major concern. I have a car, not a truck. We have lots of time to do this, but want to be there by mid april at the latest.
    As well I imagine they have plenty of snow plows ready to work in these parts. I grew up in wisconsin, so I know a bit about snow driving. So how bad exactly are these roads in march/april?

    We plan to drive for maybe 4-6 hours during each day and get there in 3-4 weeks.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Default Easiest way to cross the Rockies in Late March

    Hi there,

    So my plans have changed a bit, as they often do, and now we are going to cross the rocky mountains from Iowa-ish and go to the west coast and hit Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

    Question: What will be the easiest place to cross the rockies? I understand the weather is unpredictable, but I just don't want to combine weather with mountains.

    I assume the easiest would be going across southern NM and Arizona over to San Diego/LA and drive north along the coast. I believe that crossing through Denver might be a bit tough. anything other ideas?
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 04-06-2011 at 04:44 AM. Reason: Merged - Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default incorrect assumptions

    Welcome to the RTA Forum, and apologies for the delayed response. It looks like your first post was a rare one that slipped through the cracks.

    As far as your question goes for crossing the rockies, your assumption is actually very off.

    If you are starting in Iowa, trying to Seattle via Arizona and New Mexico is actually one of the worst things you can do if you want an easy trip. The biggest reason is distance. If you go all the way down to I-10 you are doubling the length of your trip - going from a trip that can be done in 3 long days, to one where you need 5-6. With those extra days, you're adding a lot of extra time where you could see a storm, and adding in lots of terrain where you could still see bad weather. A late season storm wouldn't be out of the question in the southern plains, and you have several extra mountain passes along the coast range you'd have to deal with as you head back north along I-5. If you take a more direct route, you could sit and wait up to 3 days for a storm to pass and be cleared, and still be better off than trying to find a perfect route, which isn't even possible.

    Actually, the best bet is often to go north. I-90 crosses the Rockies at a pretty similar elevation to I-10, as it spends most of its time in valleys as it rolls through Montana. The odds of seeing bad weather in general should be relatively small by this point of the year, but the number one set of rules for winter travel still apply here: Take the shortest route (In this case that is either I-90 or I-80 to I-84) putting you on the road for the smallest amount of time, and watch the forecasts carefully just as you get on the road, so you can make decisions based on current information, not just generalizations and averages - which really are not all that useful when you are traveling on specific days and dealing with specific storms and conditions.

    BTW, I wouldn't worry about having a car either. While having a 4 wheel drive is helpful in some situations, it is not all that helpful in a cross country trip. If an interstate highway is in such poor shape that you need 4 wheel drive, you probably should be thinking twice about being on the road anyway, plus, the bigger issue in that case is stopping - where 4wd does nothing, and a heavier truck takes that much more time to slow down!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The fastest route from Iowa to Portland is I-80 to I-84. I'm assuming you want to go to Portland first. The only real problem area that way might be I-80 across Wyoming. If the weather looks like it's going to be bad through there, take I-29 north to I-90, then west of Spokane take US-395 south through Pasco/Kennewick to I-82 to I-84. This adds about 100 miles.

  5. Default Working along the way?

    Two of us are taking a road trip from Florida to Alaska next year. I was wondering if anyone has experience finding short term work while road tripping. My initial thought was to work serving beers or something like that at beer tents in county and/or state fairs in whichever states have them when we're there. Not sure how realistic it will be, but we will be able to plan around these if the opportunity is there. We have time.

    Anyone else find short term work while traveling in the USA? Doing what?

    Moderator Note: Please keep all of your question about this trip in the same thread.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 11-14-2011 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Merged Again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default that's probably not going to work

    I can tell you off the bat that planning to serve drinks along the way almost certainly will not work. Most states require some kind of license before you are allowed to serve alcohol. Typically, its just requires a short class or some paperwork and a fee, but probably not something that will work well as you bounce from state to state.

    In fact, in this current economic climate, planning to show up anywhere for a job is not a recipe for success. There's simply too many people looking for work, and not enough jobs to fill them - and locals with ties to the community are typically going to be chosen over someone who just dropped into town and will probably be gone by next week.

    Your best bet would likely be to find something you could do on an internet-type basis, where you'd have something set up ahead of time. This is also a book you should check out - while its focused on RVers, it will have some more ideas for you to consider.

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