I'm moving from Portland, OR, to Sioux Falls, SD. Am planning on leaving next Monday the 18th. I do have some play with the time of the trip but am going for a job and would like to be there ASAP. Will be driving a 2014 Ford Focus hatchback. Getting new tires today (all-season with best snow/ice reviews I could find) and planning on getting oil changed/radiator up to below zero temps over the weekend. Getting a winter prep kit in the car (scraper, flashlight, blanket, etc) also. Am I forgetting anything prep-wise that anyone can see?
I'm a midwest raised girl but haven't driven on snow/ice in six years or so years (having taken a small life vacation in Thailand and Oregon). I'm not above stopping to wait out the weather (I'm no "road warrior" when it comes to driving in iffy conditions, have seen too many blizzards and ice storms in my 50 yrs to take silly chances). I've got all the links to road and weather conditions and will be keeping up all that intel to current as the trips nears and progresses. I'm also allowing stops to overnight for minimum two nights.
I'm debating taking I90 up and over straight through to Sioux Falls vs taking I80 over to Omaha and then up to Sioux Falls on I29. My big concern, again from being raised in the midwest with the straight, curveless, mostly hill-less roads, is driving through the mountains. Which route would you all recommend? I did a pass through Yellowstone in 2014 (coming Sioux Falls to Portland) and really white knuckled it on the roads there (at 25 mph, on dry roads, on sunny days) -- the curvy, edge of mountain driving just isn't my thing. I know the interstates will be different than say taking up through Jackson Hole (which I have driven dozen or so times in summer going So Dak to ID to visit family). Does anyone have advice on which route might be better next week, in mid-winter? Also, and advice on where to overnight on either route would be appreciated. I've actually driven from the mountains (Jackson Hole and Denver) to Sioux Falls many many times -- so once I it the plains, the comfort-zone of experience should (I hope) set in. My goal is to drive daylight hours only...you know, unless I'm to Nebraska/South Dakota and so close to home I can taste it).