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  1. Default From Greensboro NC to Salt Lake City UT in December

    Hi, everyone, I am from Greensboro, NC. I plan to drive from Greensboro to Salt Lake City, UT from Dec 13, 2013 to Dec 17, 2013. I will go with my wife and we have a CRV with all season tires. We do not have any plan to stay for the natural wonders during our trip, and just want to be UT fast and safely. Can anyone give us some suggestions regarding the route, where we should stay, the preparation, and the cautions we should have? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Hope for the Best But Plan for the Worst

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There's no way to predict what the weather will be a month from now when you're traveling. Even when you leave Greensboro, the weather forecast for Salt Lake City four days later will be little better than an educated guess. What you should do, then, is to plan out a route and schedule that will get you to SLC in the most efficient manner and have a fair idea of where you should end up each evening. The most direct (almost) all-Interstate route is (from Mount Airy) I-77 up to Beckley WV, I-64 west to St. Louis, I-70 west to Kansas City, I-29 north to Nebraska City, NE-2 west to I-80 west to Salt Lake City. Evenly spaced and well-paced daily goals would be roughly Evansville IN, Lincoln NE, and Rawlins WY.

    Now that's if everything goes according to plan. But you should be ready for the distinct possibility that you will see some snow along that route that late into December. Your best way to deal with that is to have some spare time in your plan so that you can just sit out the storm, let the road crews do their job, and get back on the road when, and only when, the highways are clear and dry again. If you schedule four to four and a half days for the drive you will have plenty of time for both, the drive and the 'not driving' should you need it.

    Other than that, the standard pre-RoadTrip preparations are in order: Make sure that you're familiar with your route, particularly in and around large cities such as St. Louis and Kansas City where you will be using connecting routes or beltways and/or changing route numbers, and have paper maps that you know how to read; Have your car thoroughly serviced, oil and tires checked, etc.; Blankets, food and water are al handy to have on any winter drive and can come in handy should you fail to get off the road soon enough during a storm. Otherwise just use common sense. Only in the far western portions of this trip are you going to see long stretches between towns where you don't want to let your gas guage get much below half a tank. Once you've done everything you reasonably can, just enjoy the trip!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you don't want to go up through WV and take the turnpike, it's only about 30 miles longer taking I-40 to Nashville, then I-24 and I-57 to I-64.

  4. Default thank both of you!

    Thank both of you! yes, I would like to try I40 because I have driven I-40 to Asheville, NC this summer. Another reason is that I guess Tennessee should warmer than West Virginia and Kentucky, am I right?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I guess Tennessee should warmer than West Virginia and Kentucky, am I right?
    Not necessarily. You cannot generalize. In fact, I-40 at the NC/TN state line can be really nasty, you are going over the Smokies.

    FYI, if you take I-40, your first overnight would be Paducah, KY.

  6. #6

    Default My preference


    I very much favor I-40/24/57 to Mt Vernon, IL rather than I-77/64. The last time I drove it in 2002, I-77 from Wytheville, VA to Charleston, WV was not an enjoyable drive, with the pavement much torn up from coal trucks, and lots of long grades.

    I-40 from west of Knoxville to just east of Nashville isn't exactly a day at the beach inasmuch as it crosses the Cumberland Plateau. The ups and downs and condition of the highway are still an improvement over I-77/64.

    From Nashville to Mt Vernon, IL is fairly flat, uncongested, and fast. Top off on fuel before you leave KY, as fuel is much higher in IL. MO may have the cheapest fuel in the nation, or at least cheapest in the midwest. Carry I-64 all the way through STL to Wentzville, MO to pick up I-70. That's a much better ride than I-70 from the Mississippi River crossing to Wentzville.

    I drove from Raleigh to Park City in January 2011 and again in January 2012. I recommend topping your windshield washer tank with de-icing type fluid, put a fresh gallon in the back of the car for additional top-offs, purchase of a nice new squeegee, and carrying a roll or two of heavy-duty paper towels. If you end up on wet roads following snow removal, keeping the salt spray off of your windshield, door glass, and mirrors will become most desirable.

    It's hard to say how things will go, and since I don't stop like most do, my recommendations on where to stop wouldn't mean much. I did enjoy an overnight in Sidney, NE and another in Cheyenne, WY on my trips.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you hit STL in rush hour, do not take I-64 through the city. Go south on I-255 to I-270 back to I-64.

  8. #8

    Default Oh, and.......... Mapquest told me the distance from my Raleigh driveway to the main exit at Mount Vernon, IL was only 20-22 miles farther via I-40/Nashville as opposed to the I-77/64 route. Should be similar for you unless your location in Greensboro is way northwest towards W-S and the US 52/I-73-77 corridor.


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