We are driving from Portland, OR to Philadelphia, PA leaving on January 5th. Our plan is to drive down to LA to visit friends then stop in Albuquerque to visit family, then to Fort Smith, AR for another visit, then maybe stop in Nashville since that seems a reasonable driving distance, then to Washington DC for one more visit before going to Philly. We will be driving a Ford Fiesta with manual transmission.
I have a fair amount of experience driving in the snow being from upstate NY, but I wondering what to expect for road conditions especially between LA and Albuquerque. My ILs said there are about 3 mountain passes we will have to go through, and they are talking about them as if they equal certain death. Realistically, what conditions can we expect in this area and how safe would you say it is to drive. We plan on having chains in the car. Also, we will have a baby with us if that changes anyone's opinion on the safety.