Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Default Massachusetts to San Francisco in Feb 2015

    Hi,

    In view of the recent aggressive snow storms in the Eastern Corridor, is it safe to plan a trip to drive from Boston to San Francisco?
    Any thoughts on how long it will take for a solo driver?

    Look forward to any suggestions FOR vs AGAINST doing the trip.

    Thanks,
    MovBos2SFO

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I would definitely plan it. Now, what route you take would depend on both the current and forecasted weather and road conditions. Under ideal conditions, the fastest route would be I-90 to I-80. This is 3100 miles and will take at LEAST 5 days of hard dedicated driving, 12+ hours a day with brief food and rest stops. However, this route can be subject to lake effect snows in Upstate NY and along Lake Erie to Cleveland, and south of Chicago. It also has considerable tolls. I-80 across WY is also subject to high winds, blizzard conditions, whiteouts, and black ice. It also occasionally will have chain requirements across Donner Pass in CA. I would allow at least a whole week, if not more, in case you have to detour around bad conditions and/or wait it out in a hotel somewhere.

    To get around both the tolls and lake effect (and Chicago traffic), you can get off the Mass Pike at Sturbridge and take I-84 to Scranton, then I-81 to I-80. At Youngstown, take I-76 to I-71 to Columbus, then I-70 to Indy, and I-74 to I-80. If I-80 is looking like a poor option and you really need to go south, you can stay on I-70 to St. Louis, then I-44 to I-40. To get to SF, at Barstow take CA-58 to Bakersfield, then CA-99 to CA-46 to I-5. That adds considerable miles, so I'd leave that as a last resort. I-70 through Denver is a possibility, but that road climbs to over 11000 feet to get over the Rockies and can be a nightmare, especially on weekends with all the ski resort traffic. If you do that, you would have some very desolate country to go through - no services at all between Green River and Salina UT - 108 miles - and the fastest way to SF from Salina would be across US-50 to Reno, which is known as the "Loneliest Road". You could take I-15 through Las Vegas to CA-58, but that adds a lot of miles. You could also take US-191/US-6 at Green River to I-15 south of SLC, then pick up I-80.

    Bottom line, any cross country route can be subject to snow and ice, you just have to take it as it comes and make informed decisions. People drive cross country every day in the winter so it's no big deal. The state highway departments place a very high priority on keeping the Interstates open and clear. If you do get into some bad weather, don't press on if you don't feel comfortable, get off the highway and find a hotel to wait it out.

    This winter - it almost looks like the biggest hassle will be just getting out of New England!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    GLC's advice is spot on. There's no reason you can't plan to make this trip. Thousands of people are driving across the US every single day of the year.

    I'll also mention that it's kind of pointless to look at any specific weather event - like the snowstorms that have hit Boston in the past month - and draw any conclusions about the future.

    If you go back just one month, Amarillo, Texas had actually seen more snow than Boston this winter. That didn't mean Texas was going to keep getting hit from with storms and it didn't mean that New England would be spared bad weather. If you were traveling this past week, Kentucky would have been a horrible place to be, but that doesn't mean they'll see snow again later this month (of course, it doesn't mean they won't either).

    Really, the only thing that matters is the current weather forecast - forecasts which really are only accurate a few days out. Those are what you need to focus on as you get ready to hit the road, and figure out which route will be the best choice for your trip.

  4. Default

    My question is, why are you going?

    If you want to get there in a hurry, then I90 to Chicago and I80 into San Fran are the way to go. I would consider hooking up with I70 in Denver and then RT 50 all the way through Nevada. It won't take much longer.

    Whatever way you go, you are in for a very sweet trip. But you need to determine how long you want the trip to last and exactly what you are interested in seeing.

    One thing is for sure though, you need to start looking at the weather reports. Pay close attention to Chicago, Denver and Salt Lake.

    It could take as little as 5 days or as long as you want. It's your call. Keep us updated!

  5. Default

    Thank you for the detailed reply. I have to build up the courage to get prepared to try this.
    I was requesting quotes for transportation of my car and the price is north of $1400 and delivery dates are 15 business days. I am moving from Boston and have to decide whether to ship the car or drive up there. Going solo in my own car as opposed to rental car is the scary part. So reading up on the forum to muster courage for the trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    If you are moving, I cant see any situation where renting a car would make any sense. You'd have the high cost of shipping the car, along with the extemely high cost of a one way car rental. If your car isnt road worthy enough for a cross country trip, then shipping probably doesnt make sense either. In that case, you'd be better off selling your car and buying a new one in CA.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default Give yourself time and it'll be fine.

    Interstates are a priority to keep clear and the country on the move. As long as you have enough time so that you can make wise decisions when needed, resting when tired and pulling off the road early for the day [or leaving late ] in the event of a severe storm etc, then you should be just fine. As mentioned earlier in the thread, 5 days is a MINIMUM, buit be prepared for it to take longer and don't get tempted to push to hard in the first couple of days when you are fresh, you will end up burnt out. Just remember it's a marathon and not a sprint. Get your car checked out and make sure it's servicing is up to date before you leave. Good luck and have a safe trip !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Another way to help you feel more comfortable about making the trip in your own car: get an emergency road service plan such as the one offered by AAA. Get the good plan so that you have the capability of longer mileage towing -- it's called AAA Plus in our area. It's also a good thing to have for planning your trip, as they can give you all the maps you need, tour books (which have motels and places to see listed), and (if desired) a TripTik containing your routing.

    It's great for peace-of-mind while traveling in strange places!


    Donna

  9. Default

    Thank you Donna. I visited the AAA and got the maps and hotel information. Got the car serviced. Need to check weather forecast and make plans. Google maps indicates for 3100 miles 45 hours. Wonder if anyone has done it in less than 5 days and experience related to it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    No, do not under any circumstances attempt to do this in less than 5 days. Even 5 days is a bit of a stretch. 45 hours is pure fantasy. Google drives constantly at the speed limit and stops or slows down for nothing. You will be on the road for approximately 12 hours a day for 5 days straight. You need to allow at least a week! Professional drivers are limited by law to 600 miles a day.

Similar Threads

  1. Denver to San Diego, April 2015
    By HilaryUK in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-08-2014, 03:08 PM
  2. First 'roadtrip' ever - Northeast Feb 2015
    By mattnufc1 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-02-2014, 10:52 AM
  3. Trip in Feb 2010 - Vegas, LA and San Francisco
    By Maddie_S in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-21-2009, 09:09 AM
  4. Feb Roundtrip San Francisco to Vancouver
    By Pat winter trip in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-02-2006, 08:44 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES