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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Rockford, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default Chicago Area to Portland, Oregon Area in December

    Greetings,
    I'm currently planning to make the trip from my home in Rockford, IL (Near Chicago) to Portland, Oregon right around Christmas time.
    I have been reading lots of information online about others that have attempted and/or planned such a trip, though it seems there is much conflicted data.

    I'll be driving a Dodge Neon.

    I'm hoping there may be someone here that has made such a trip in a similar vehicle, perhaps.

    If not, I will absolutely appreciate any and all help that can be afforded.

    I'm a fairly experienced driver. Driving in wintry conditions doesn't bother me.

    From what I have read, having cold weather gear and provisions in the car is highly advisable.

    I'd like to avoid any conditions that would leave me stranded far from civilization and outside of contact via cellular phone.

    It's been noted that observing the current weather forecast is highly advisable.

    I'm thinking about taking 88/80/84. Any thoughts?

    I've investigated having my car transported and the cost is extremely out of range to be within my budget.

    I'm very open to any and all input. These are just the preliminary results of my research. If you know of any way I could save money, time, energy, etc. I would greatly appreciate the help.

    I have friends in Kansas City and Las Vegas, so I may decide to take the extreme detour and head south. Again, open to your suggestions.
    Last edited by trentoncorbin; 10-16-2012 at 02:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome!

    I would recommend you take I-90 all the way to west of Spokane (Ritzville), then US-395 through Kennewick to I-82 to I-84. Even though it's the farthest north, I-90 is the easiest way through the Rockies. I-80 across Wyoming is famous for its winds and black ice. You should have almost continuous cell coverage. It's a 4 day trip with overnights in Sioux Falls, Billings, and Spokane.

    If you want to go through KC and LV, that would send you over the Rockies on I-70 across CO, which is actually the highest Interstate crossing - and there's a stretch across UT with no civilization or services and very intermittent cell coverage for over 100 miles. That should be doable with overnights in KC (leave in the morning), Denver, Cedar City (arrive in LV in the middle of the day, leave in the morning), and Sacramento.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Rockford, Illinois, United States
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thank you!!! This was precisely the kind of input I was hoping for. Have you traveled this route yourself?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Yessir - both of them.

  5. #5

    Default

    I can tell you that Eastern Oregon is going to be all snow in December, as you head West it will get better, but not until you get to Hood River or Gresham (which is still close to Mt. Hood).

    Cabbage Hill (elev. 3,568) in Eastern Oregon will be the worst part of I-84. I would strongly advise against driving in a Dodge Neon unless you have chains. The snow is REALLY thick around that time of year. Semis drive along up and down Cabbage Hill as well, and the roads are pretty windy (twisty not the blowing air) and I wouldn't recommend driving at night.

    I have driven from Portland to Eastern Oregon for Thanksgiving and Christmas almost every year for the past 20 years.

    Hope this helps!! =)

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