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  1. Default Driving to Seattle, WA from Minneapolis, MN in a Honda Civic - Yikes!


    I received a new job in Seattle so I will be leaving Minneapolis on January 26th and hopefully arriving in Seattle on January 30th. This is roughly 1600 miles across I-90. What I would like to know is that given the current snowstorms in the NW, will this be possible in a front-wheel drive Honda Civic (with recently purchased tire chains). The other option would be to travel down a more Southern route to California and then up the coast on I-5. I realize this is a longer distance but the entire trip may be quicker than driving 25 mph on a more direct route.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome and congratulations on your new job!

    Since your trip is a week out, the current weather conditions shouldn't give you any cause for concern - any impact would have been cleared up by then. At this point, I think your best option is to keep your eyes on the weather for any possible route you are considering, and to maintain alternatives. While I-90 could see snow, so could your alternate route. The Interstates are generally kept quite clear in all but the heaviest of bad weather situations - and even then they are cleared as soon as possible. It is also unlikely that the entire route would be at 25 mph!

  3. #3

    Default Watch and see for yourself

    Just check out the Montana and Idaho DOT webcams during the day tomorrow and for the next several days. What you're likely to see is I-90 holding traffic moving at normal paces except for the passes, and once the snowfall stops, the passes will be wide-open within a few hours. If you allow time to wait out another passing storm, say, allowing a half-day to a day or so, you're not likely to have problems.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    In addition to what's been said about your fears of having to drive 25 mph the whole way being basically impossible (can you only drive 25 mph during an average day in Minnesota?) it should be noted that your idea of going to California is quite flawed.

    Going to California would add at least 1000 miles to your trip (increasing your total miles by 70%!) so that's a minimum of 2 full days extra on the road. With those extra miles, you'd still have the chance of severe winter weather across nearly the entire trip. I-80 can see major winter storms, plus you'd actually be dealing with several mountain passes in California, both crossing the Sierras at the Donner Pass and then again on I-5 as you travel through Northern CA and into Oregon. Basically, you'd only be increasing your odds of seeing bad weather! You simply can't go far enough south to avoid the risk of bad weather.

  5. Default

    Thanks everyone for the responses! Very much appreciated! I've lived in the Midwest my whole life and never ventured to the coasts during the winter months by car anyway. You can drive more than 25 mph on an average day in Minnesota as they do a good job of keeping the roads clear, that was just my attempt at humor :)

    Anyway, this puts my fears to rest and sqashes any doubts about my choice to not take a more southern route as it appears I would just compound my problems. I'll definitely take the more direct route.

    Thanks again!


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


    Quote Originally Posted by salthaus View Post
    TYou can drive more than 25 mph on an average day in Minnesota as they do a good job of keeping the roads clear, that was just my attempt at humor :)
    Your humor was noted, but really the point is pretty simple. You've lived your whole life in the Midwest, so you know, the vast majority of time in winter, the roads are perfectly clear and fine. The only problem is the few days where there are storms, which then you have to be patient and let the plow crews do their job.

    Your trip out west will be going over different territory than you are used to, but ultimately the principals of driving in winter will be the same as if you were at home.

    In other words, you should be just fine! Good luck, and safe travels!

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