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  1. Default LA to NYC: Feb. 4. North or South routes?

    Dear all,
    Thanks for his forum. I've done cross-country 3 times, once with friends, and twice solo.
    Nevertheless, that was in the mid-90s. I had hoped to have three weeks or so, mostly for meandering, and dropping
    in on long-lost friends but alas, I leave on Feb 4th mid-day, and need to be in NYC by the 13th latest....
    I'm leaning towards going through Nevada, the Dakotas and onwards to Minneapolis - in the hope that
    I could still see people for a couple days.
    The northern route is based on some likely idiotic notion that it'd be preferable to drive through snow up north
    than ice in the southern routes, especially since the middle part of the country's one big blizzard belt right now.
    Still doing my research but would welcome any advice, tips etc..
    Being that it's anyone's guess as to how the weather shapes up - is my notion not too crazy?
    Possible to have two days in Mpls if I leave on the 4th, and have to be in NYC by the 12th, latest 13th?
    btw, I'm driving a Land Rover Discovery 96, with a 2inch lift and snow mud tires....
    thanks in advance,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your plan seem perfectly reasonable to me. Your idea that there are times where a northern route is actually a better choice in winter is actually completely accurate. Of course, weather forecasts themselves are the real key.

    At this point, it looks like you'd see good travel the first few days of your trip, although going across Nebraska might be a better option than going through the Dakotas, as it looks like the Dakotas could see a winter storm on Saturday, the day you'd be traveling through. Still, Saturday is a long way off when it comes to weather forecasts, and a lot could change between now and then, so simply keep an eye on things.

    Even if you do see some bad weather, you should have plenty of time to make your plan work. In good conditions, you should be able to make it to MSP in 3.5-4 days, getting you there on the 7th or 8th. You can get from MSP to NYC in 2 hard days on the road, so you could spend 2 full days in Minnesota, get on the road on the 10th, and still have a nice cushion of an extra day to get to New York, in case there is more bad weather.

  3. Default

    Thank you Michael,

    So I wasn't so crazy after all....I suppose I'd have all of Utah to
    look ahead to road conditions re: Wyoming, Dakotas..
    Could you also kindly recommend one weather site for travelers?
    I see you're in WI - considering the weather, is it not to hairy to pass by friends in Mequon WI?

    I wished it was springtime, and one didn't have to be on such high alert.
    Still, a road trip is a wondrous thing, and I can't wait for the roads that bend...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO

    Default is as good as any - and for road conditions, has links to all the states' road conditions websites.

    Note that I-80 across Wyoming is notorious for blizzards, whiteouts, black ice, and strong winds. I-70 across Colorado goes through the Rockies at elevations up to 11000 feet, and can also be a problem. You need to make a decision when you reach the I-15/I-70 junction in Utah.

    Mequon is no problem, but if you go that way you will have to deal with the Chicago traffic on the way from there to NYC. You are also looking at significant tolls from the WI-IL state line to Youngstown OH (about $36) where you would take I-80 on in to NYC. Best way around Chicago coming from Milwaukee would be I-94 to I-294 to I-80/90, avoid in rush hour.

    If you take I-70 across Utah, fill your tank in Richfield or Salina and do the bathroom thing - there are no services whatsoever between Salina and Green River - over 100 miles.
    Last edited by glc; 02-03-2015 at 11:45 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default has an interstate travel forecast that is a nice, quick and easy way to get an overview of what conditions you might see. If they are flagging a spot with fair or poor conditions possible, then I find an actual city or two in that area to get a more specific forecast.

    Mequon would be an easy detour for you, just take I-94 to Milwaukee and then head back north about 15 miles up I-43. The only potential downside is that it kind of locks you in to driving through Chicago, and then across the tollways towards Cleveland - an area where Lake Effect snows can sometimes be an issue. Otherwise, you could take I-39 into Central Illinois, then go across I-74 to I-70 through Indianapolis, but I wouldn't keep that from seeing your friend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    If weather agrees (and I haven't looked), I'd take I-15 up to I-70 and straight across. At Columbus, OH, take I-76/I-71 up to I-80 at Akron, and straight across. It avoids tolls for the most part except for a $2-3 toll on the KS Turnpike (eastern KS). It also avoids some of the more populated areas in PA and NJ.

    Basically, we took that route in reverse, going from the northern NJ area to our home in San Diego, in summer 2011.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Donna, the original poster needs to go through Minneapolis.

  8. Default

    Thank you all so much gents, and lady.
    Really specific info there, and right on the money.
    Thing about the weather, I may get fed up/slightly frightened
    that I may yet ditch all the friends for another early summer road trip
    (great excuse) - soI may yet take Donna up on her suggestion 8-)
    thanks again - much appreciated.

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