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  1. #1
    Tiny Guest

    Default MAINE to L.A. in dead of winter...HELP!

    Hi guys! i'm new and as you probably can tell this is my first major roadtrip. I have to be in LA at noon on feb 13.
    when should I leave Maine? I plan to drive from 8 in the morning to 10-11 at night every day. How long should i expect the trip to take? I do plan on staying in hostels so can you recomend cities that take about a day to get too along the way. Any other tips? I plan on using the route provided by mapquest. ALL ADVICE IS WELCOME!

  2. #2
    Tiny Guest

    Default come on now!

    Nobody has any advise? Well at least can someone give me an estimate on about how long the trip is going to take?

  3. #3
    Guest

    Default It depends...


    If you get ideal weather conditions the whole way out, Your trip will take you about six days. Considering the time of year and some of the terrain you will be crossing, I would leave a day or two earlier than that.

    I've never stayed in hostels, but I can offer cheap motel advice for just about any part of the country if you need it.

    Good luck and safe driving.


    ab

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Fastest

    I have made a similar run in just over 3.5 days, however, there were two drivers alternating every three hours with only stops for fuel (no extra stops for weather, food, or sleep). I wouldn't recommend such a pace.

    My views about I-40 in the winter are well-documented -- I still suggest I-70 thru the Colorado passes as being the fastest. In any case, it should be a fun trip.

  5. #5
    Tiny Guest

    Default I-80 to san fran???

    Last minute change of plans... I now will be travelling to san Fran instead of LA. Is I-80 straight across the US the best way to do this? what is I80 like in the winter??? HELP!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default I-70 is more reliable

    Traveling across the USA in winter is no big deal. It is not Siberia or the upper Yukon. It is true that difficult weather can slow progress but generally the state highway departments keep the roads open and passable.

    I-80 is fine -- there are some sections that can easily be affected by inclement weather -- ground blizzards in Wyoming and Nebraska are possible. We have hit some amazing ice storms near Omaha and paused for white-outs in the passes in California -- but generally it is no big deal.

    For sheer beauty at relatively high speeds -- our recommendation remains I-70 to I-15 to CA-58 to I-5 to San Francisco.

    Each night pull-up the local weather for the days's drive ahead at www.wunderground.com -- you will be fine. The following link provides access to road conditions in the entire continental US: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/index.htm

    Remember, professional drivers follow the same routes every day of the year -- even in the midst of the worst of the winter storms it is unlikely that your trip will be delayed more than a few hours. However, always carry some canned food, water, extra clothes, flashlight and something to read/do if you have to hunker down for a while.

    One other question -- if you are starting in Maine -- why aren't you going via Montreal and Sault Ste. Marie and picking up I-90 (often it is too dang cold in the Dakotas to snow in January)?

    Winter road trips can be their own reward -- go enjoy and stop with the "help!" nonsense.

  7. #7
    Tiny Guest

    Default thanks

    I'm not going via montrreal because i have to stop in syracuse. you say:"our recommendation remains I-70 to I-15 to CA-58 to I-5 to San Francisco" I've been looking at my map and doesn't that route take me down toward las vagas? or did you mean north on I-15? and i can't find CA-58 where would i pick that up? what do you think the time savings would be I-80 versus I-70? Is 80 really as boring as people say it is? thanks for all the help

  8. Default


    Here's the route I would take, given the time of year.

    I-90 west out of Syracuse, all the way to I-15 South. Pick up I-80 in Salt Lake City and head west again from there.

    The editor (a fellow weather enthusiast) is dead-on about the north being generally too cold to snow that time of year. 90 will bring you north out of Chicago into Wisconsin, southern Minnesota, and South Dakota- all of which experience their coldest times of year (on average) between Jaunary and February.

    Good luck and safe driving.


    ab

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default That's right -- via Las Vegas

    If you commit to I-70 -- it makes more sense to proceed southbound on I-15 thru Las Vegas and take the cut-off near Barstow along CA-58 over to I-5 and north to the Bay area.

    Even though it is a slightly longer route than following I-80 thru northern Nevada -- it is a route much less affected by winter storms.

    I-80 has never seemed boring to me.

    I-70 is just more spectacular because of crossing the Colorado Rockies and the Canyonlands area of Utah.

    Timewise -- savings of I-70 route versus everything eles could be as little as break-even and as much as a day.

  10. #10
    Tiny Guest

    Default thanks!

    Thanks for the advise guys. I feel comfortable with both of these routes and will make a decision based on the forecast when i leave. I'll let ya know how it goes. Thanks agian!

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