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  1. Default Cross country with my son

    Hi, I'm traveling from Logan, Utah to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and back again from December 23rd for two weeks. It's my second cross country road trip this year. My first time in the winter. I am looking for the best route, is I70 okay in the dead of winter or am I safer dropping down the 15 to the 10? I know there are trucks on I 10. My son is 18 but he doesn't drive or change tires, etc. I am renting a reliable car, and I don't plan on driving more than 500 miles per day. With the exception of the fact that my solo portion of the trip originates from Valencia, California to Logan, Utah, to pick up my son from school. We have family in Bethlehem and plan on visiting NYC as well as DC, before returning home. I love national parks and my earlier trip this past spring was over highway 90 to Pennsylvania and highway 80 and 70 back to Utah to visit my kid before heading back to California.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The myth and the basics.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    It is a myth that going south in winter is necessarily a better route. I-10 and I-40 can and do see winter weather condition regularly. There are trucks everyday on each and every interstate, from coast to coast. They know going south is no guarantee of storm free travel.

    Your best route is the one which is likely to give you the best weather while you are on the road. So check the weather forecasts leading up to your time of departure, and keep an eye on it while on the road. Choose the route with the least storm activity. Be sure to have a plan B, just in case an unexpected storm should pop up ahead.

    But your most valuable assett will be time. Keep at least a day in store to sit out a storm, should you encounter one along the way. Check into the nearest motel and wait until the crews have done their job.

    Safe travels.


  3. #3



    Watch the weather, pack your vehicle with extra warm clothes and gloves and some blanket, plus a couple of quarts of water.

    Check the availability for commuter trains into NYC. I-78 is a direct shot to Newark and NYC, but advise riding a train to/from NYC. The tolls over to NYC are pricey and so is parking and the traffic is unwelcome!

    MetroPark, NJ, is a major transit hub. Probably better for parking and safety than some of the other transit line stations from what I have seen from the Amtrak training riding by. Explore the NJ transit site:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Limits: Time and Geography

    If the two week time span you say have for travel includes everything from Valencia to Logan to Bethlehem and back, with side trips to New York City and Washington DC, then you really don't have time for the trip. At only 500 miles per day, it will take you six days each way between Valencia and Bethlehem, leaving only two days on the east coast, and you simply can't fit in any meaningful visits to both NYC and DC in that time frame.

    If the two weeks includes both weekends, or just covers the time from Logan to NYC and back, then you have a couple more days to play with, but still not much. How you use that time is up to you, of course. But the first thing I'd do is, as others have indicated, allocate one full day to be available to sit out any bad weather you run into. And I'd hold onto that day until you're practically home since (statistically at least) your greatest chance of bad weather is at the end of the trip as you have to cross the Rockies and Sierra Nevada in mid-January.

    You should also work up two completely different routes between Logan and Bethlehem. Choose whichever one looks better weather-wise for the east-bound portion, and then perhaps take the other route west-bound (again, if the weather allows) to see a little bit more or different areas of the country. Given the tightness of your schedule, those two routes are most likely to be 1) I-80 all the way with just a short bit on I-15 at the start and I-476 at the end, and 2) I-80/I-25 to Denver and then I-70 from there to south-central PA and I-76 to ABE. Both of those Logan to Bethlehem drives would require a bit over four days if you only do 500 miles per day, but can be done in less than four if you can stretch your daily run to 550 miles. The I-80 route is slightly shorter but involves considerable tolls and traffic along the southern edge of the Great Lakes between Chicago and Cleveland. Trying to go as far south as I-10, I-20 or even I-40 would add at least another full day to your one-way drive time without really doing much for your chances to avoid wintry weather.


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