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  1. #1
    Indicus Guest

    Default Route 66 and Highway 1

    I will be relocating to San Jose from Dallas this month (around new year). I would like to drive via I-40 (Route 66) and Highway 1 - Coastal highway.

    I have 4 days and a 38,000 mile Mustang GT (good shape with brand new tires). I will be travelling alone, need tips on how to avoid icy roads (Weather forecast report - I -40 has icy condition in Dec/January) need tips on
    a) Checklist for the car.
    b) Places to visit/places to avoid in Route 66

  2. #2
    Indicus Guest

    Default Route 66 and Highway 1

    I will be relocating to San Jose from Dallas this month (around new year). I would like to drive via I-40 (Route 66) and Highway 1 - Coastal highway.

    I have 4 days and a 38,000 mile Mustang GT (good shape with brand new tires). I will be travelling alone, need tips on how to avoid icy roads (Weather forecast report - I -40 has icy condition in Dec/January) need tips on
    a) Checklist for the car.
    b) Places to visit/places to avoid in Route 66

  3. #3
    Guest

    Default Some winter weather driving tips.

    With respect to your query about icy roads: I have a 1996 TransAm that used to be my daily driver (hence the handle TimboTA - my daily driver is much more sedate now, though I still have the musclecar). I drove that thing in all kinds of weather, including ice, snow, rain, sleet, slush, etc. With good tires, it's not too bad, but only do it if you absolutely cannot avoid it. I was fortunate that my car had traction control, though the engine usually overwhelms that. I've spent many an icy night driving home from work sideways, sometimes actually very relaxed, other times white knuckled. It builds character. It builds a desire to live in Hawaii.

    I'm thinking that you don't have to much experience with the winter weather conditions mentioned (though if I'm wrong, 10 lashes with a wet noodle for me!). So, first, try to get as much weight over the rear axle as possible. Equip yourself with some form of traction aid. Kitty litter actually works well if you find yourself stuck on the side of a road. Most highway departments are good about maintaining the drivability of major Interstate routes, though I have read I-40, in areas, is not this way. Give yourself plenty of time and just as important, plenty of space between your car and the one in front of you. No sudden moves, keep it smooth. If the car torques to one side, just off the throttle and gently countersteer, into the slide.

    This, of course, if the conditions are bad. To search for weather, Weather.com is very useful. You'll be able to look ahead up to ten days. Also, try http://www.roadtripamerica.com/links/conditions.htm - yes, there's a place right on this site!

    My biggest problem with ice and snow is that people get injured or worse because of it, and it eventually melts and evaporates, leaving no evidence of the cause of the accident, like a ghost. You'll have a scar or something and someone will ask "What caused that?" and you point to a puddle - it just seems wrong.

    HTH with your decision on what route to take.

  4. #4
    Guest

    Default Ice in California? What's ice?

    I can't comment too much on I-40/Route 66, but I was just there and I don't think they get a whole lot of snow or ice along the western side. I could be wrong, I would still check weather reports. Stop at Amboy Crater and Mitchell Caverns along the way, they were pretty interesting if you don't mind a little walking. The section of Route 66 I traveled on is a little rougher than the 40, so it's a little slower too. But it crisscrosses the 40 in a lot of places, so you can hop on and off frequently

    Route 1 up to San Jose, if you see snow/ice, you're probably lost. I don't know if it's ever gotten below freezing along the coast in California. There is a lot of rain though. And just to warn you, route 1 is very long and winding in central california, expect an average speed of 30 mph, even less if it's raining or get stuck behind a large vehicle. If you get tired of driving it, cut over to the 101, more interesting than the 5, faster than the 1. And if it's nightime, there's not much to see along highway 1 anyway.

  5. #5
    Guest

    Default Ice and Snow? You betcha!

    I-40 across N. AZ is frequently the scene of snow and ice. Depending on the severity of any particular storm, it can be centered locally on Williams and Flagstaff, or it can stretch from the NM border all the way across almost to Kingman. Just for perspective, Flagstaff AZ has often been (historically) the first location in the USA to GET snow during the year. So they are no stranger to it, although at this point in time we are in the midst of a multi-year drought.

    That said, Timbo gave the best advice for driving in those conditions (so I'll repeat it) -- be prepared equipment-wise, and "Give yourself plenty of time and just as important, plenty of space between your car and the one in front of you. No sudden moves, keep it smooth. If the car torques to one side, just off the throttle and gently countersteer, into the slide." (as far as countersteering, just remember to steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go. This is the SAME THING, but it is easier to remember for some.)

    I remember the only time I "suffered" a slide off a snowy, icy road. I was in the mountains of Oregon in my Dad's 68 Firebird, 350 V8 and a 4-barrrel carb. This is significant information (INSTANT throttle response, gobs of power). I was on my way from US30 (north of Portland) to the town of Vernonia to visit a school chum -- and the farther I got into the hills, the twistier, narrower (and icier) the road got. Later the tow truck operator expressed AMAZEMENT that I had gotten so far up the road before I lost it. But I KNEW that I had to be VERY smooth. My downfall was an uncontrollable sneeze. The sneeze caused me to hit my foot against the accelerator, and that V8 ripped loose! Just long enough to get things "swinging." It was like a slow ballet after that point, with me as a passenger. We finally just slid slowly into the ditch (about 12 feet deep and filled to the top with snow). Just TRY to use kitty litter on THAT! :) I was lucky that a local happened by and realized how much in trouble I was (I was far from any help), and gave me a ride back down the hill. To the end of his life, my Dad enjoyed this story almost more than any other, when it came to my adventures.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default TimboTA

    Funny me -- I thought the TA referred to "Teaching Assistant" Probably still appropriate -- considering the text of your post.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default And my personal favorite ---

    My unfavorite section of I-40 in the winter months is just east of Amarillo (in fact any section of Interstate in Texas can be problematic -- no matter the local conditions).

    Only one uncontrolled slide? Sheesh, I consider it a personal record of achievement if I can keep under one per season! But maybe you have more sense than I do -- I figure severe weather is just another good excuse to go driving.

    Sneezes are always good excuses for those unplanned horizonal shifts.

    I have another one that often happens to inexperienced 4-WD drivers. It happened to me too -- on an icy cliff on the approach to Yosemite Valley one snowy February: While under power using 4-WD, if one lets up too fast on the accelerator (which could be caused by one's reaction to seeing another vehicle coming around a corner in your lane...) it has the exact same effect as stepping on the brake. When it happend to me -- the <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/phoenix/imap.htm">Phoenix One</a> executed a perfect, slow-motion 140 degree turn on a two-lane road (with a 200-foot drop-off on Megan's side of the truck) and we gently careened into a snow bank, narrowly missing (by inches) the fender of the vehicle I was attempting to avoid. I will never forget the size of that other driver's eyes as he held on to his steering wheel as he anticipated that nudge that would push his truck over the cliff --

    When your off-road "go" truck weighs 7.5 tons, it is possible to find oneself in a variety of situations, that are better off not spoken about too often.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Guest

    Default Yee HA!

    Not to mention the size of Megan's eyes at that moment, I'd bet!

    I've had a few additional MINOR slides in my career, none of which I remember too well because I was able to recover, I guess. I've always been conservative in snow and ice, probably because as a desert guy I don't encounter those conditions enough to ever really get USED to them. I got some of it in my truck-driving days, of course, and I'm never afraid to go when the roads have snow on them. I call this personal courage, some others call it foolishness.

    Last winter (Christmas Eve, actually), I accompanied my son as he drove from Phoenix to Denver (his mother lives there). We took I-10 to the Deming area, then north up I-25 to avoid snow closures on I-40 between Flagstaff and Gallup. I-10/I-25 weren't much better; starting at about Texas Canyon near Benson, it was snow, ice and sleet all the way, but at least the roads were open. He was driving on I-25 south of Albuquerque and lost it in some black ice south of Socorro (which means "help" by the way -- rather appropriate). No harm, we just did a slow slide off the right and into a drift. He was doing somewhere between 15-25 mph. He didn't want to drive for awhile after that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Ice Driving

    I have had my fair share of ice driving -- no one can really control anything on black ice though. One of my more classic experiences on ice happened in Davenport, Iowa one chilly November. After driving in white-knuckle dreadful conditions for several hours, I stopped to rest at a roadside RV park. I managed to stop in a parking space (albeit not where I had exactly intended) but with a seemingly degree of control. I was feeling sufficiently proud of my accomplishment until I opened my door intending to walk around the truck and take Marvin for a walk. To put it mildly, it was very slippery. About 1.5" inches of ice & frozen rain had blanketed the parking lot and as soon as I put my foot on the ground I fell out of the truck. I couldn't stand without grasping the step extenders and hauling myself back up. Totally insane driving conditions. So it was an early night for us.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Now back to the query

    Too much fun thinking about ice driving...

    If you have spent much time living in Dallas, you are already experienced with ice driving. I really like it when the 18-wheeler trucks slide backwards down those over-crossings on the ring road. When you are on the bottom of the ramp, such a sight can really warm the seat cushion of your vehicle.

    From Dallas, I would suggest US-287 to Amarillo - if the roads are snowy -- I can just about guarantee it will be safer off the Interstates. In fact, if when you reach I-40 the road surface appears to be icy -- get off the Interstate. The side roads are usually not plowed but the traction is much better. The good news, is that the New Mexico highway department is far more competent at keeping the roadways clear and dry -- no matter the local conditions.

    As far as Route 66 goes -- be sure to check out the daily logs of the <a href = "http://www.cart66pf.org/66caravan/schedule.htm">Route 66 Caravan</a>. They did an extensive coverage of the route this last summer and the site can provide you with accurate details to whet your appetite for this route.

    There are some other Route 66 factoids of use on the RTA <a href = "http://www.roadtripamerica.com/links/route66.htm">Route 66</a> page.

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