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  1. #1
    KMA Guest

    Default San Francisco to Montreal passing by New York

    Hi everyone,
    i'm new in this forum and this is my first big roadtrip, i'm living in San francisco now but i'm planning to move to Montreal, i don't know what cities should i visit and what highways to use , how to prepare for this trip, i'm going to use my old car(1997 mercury tracer, i'll be also taking some of my stuff with me), which i think is reliable.So i'm open for suggestions(tips concerning the roads, cities to visit)and i'm also concerned about the weather (i'll be leaving by the end of february).
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Greetings, KMA, and welcome to the forum!

    Route recommendations are tough without knowing what kind of things interest you. There are many ways to get across the US and they're all good routes. Most interstates are usually kept relatively free of ice and snow. On the flip side, most any route has the potential to have short-term delays in February due to weather conditions. Therefore, I don't think potential weather should be your first consideration when trip-planning.

    I would suggest having 2-3 potential routes figured out and then checking weather forecasts the day or two before leaving to see which one is predicted to have the best weather for your trip before you decide on your final route. Of course, in February, you would want to pay attention to the weather forecast each day to see if you need to make some adjustments to your route as well.

    I think the 2 main considerations should be:
    1. How much time do you have for this trip?
    2. What do you really want to see on this trip?

    I would suggest getting out a map of the US and marking anything you desperately want to see along the way there. What are the things that you haven't seen that you've always wanted to see? If at all possible, I would route myself in a way to see as many of these things as I would have time for.

    If you spent some time doing this and came back with specific ideas of what you want to see, you would get better feedback from all of us on whether or not this route would be feasiable at that time of year and in the time you have allotted for making this trip. We could give you pointers and tips as well.

    As for your car, if it has been a good-running car, it will probably be fine. Make sure you get an oil change, that you have all the other fluids checked and replaced or filled as recommended, and that you have your tires checked. Make sure you let your tire store know that you might be driving through some ice/snow on this trip so they can take this into consideration when determinining whether or not your tires are safe. Put together a kit with basic tools, jumper cables, and other auto-safety items like flashlights, a safety triangle or flares, etc. I think a AAA membership is a must, myself. And make sure your spare tire is in good condition and is filled to proper inflation levels. I don't know if you have much use for these in San Francisco, but make sure you have an ice-scaper for your windows.

    Some items that might be handy if you find yourself in icey/snowy conditions: a small shovel (a folding camping shovel is all you need) and a small bag of kitty litter (in case you are parked on an icey patch and can't get traction to get moving). And it's always a good idea at this time of year to carry chains. Make sure you know how to put them on before you leave home.

    Other cold-weather safety items could include: extra water, a blanket, an emergency candle in a tin, and some easy to pack food like granola bars, protein bars, etc.

    I doubt you'll need to use any of these items, but it's better to think like a Boy Scout and be prepared for these types of trips. I would rather have something wtih me and not need it, than need it and wish I had it.

    You might check out this handy page with tips on winter driving if you're not used to driving in these conditions. The information on this page should answer most of your questions and concerns.

    I hope you'll give us a chance to help you further after you have made some decisions about what sites you want to see.

    Happy planning!

  3. #3
    KMA Guest

    Default

    Thanks, Judy for your answer, actually i only have a week or so to make this trip, and i was thinking to take I80 almost all the way but i'm planning to stop in Chicago because i've never been there, so is there any other places to visit without making a big detour?.
    KMA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default A week

    Quote Originally Posted by KMA
    Thanks, Judy for your answer, actually i only have a week or so to make this trip, and i was thinking to take I80 almost all the way but i'm planning to stop in Chicago because i've never been there, so is there any other places to visit without making a big detour?.
    Generally, I would recommend that you stick close to I-80 and make tracks so that you can take some time in Chicago to look around. However, roadtripper Gen did a similar trip recently and she traveled from San Francisco by way of Las Vegas and Miami, Florida and up to Montreal in about a week!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Bienvenue à Montréal!

    Hi KMA and welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    Just tell us what you're interested in and we'll be glad to assist you. Every place is worth a visit but if you tell us more about yourself, we might be able to point out appealing attractions that suit your needs and style. I'm a Quebec native and I lived in Montreal for 2 years, I travelled all over the US (well, I left out a few States so far but I'm working on it:-) so if you need any precise information just shout!

    Here's a post about some Montreal attractions. We're lookiung forward to hear more from you.

    Gen

  6. #6
    KMA Guest

    Default

    Hi Gen, in fact i've never took a so long trip and besides NY, california and Miami, i don't really know north america , so knowing that i'm not going to have such an opportunity for along time i'll try to visit as many places as i can (put in mind that i'm going to take I 80 and like someone said i would rather stick to it, and i only have a week or so).Besides i'm only going to visit some friends in Montreal and i'll be settling down in Toronto (i know leaving San Francisco with such a beautiful weather to go to Toronto may seem odd, but work is work...).
    Ps: Gen to answer your question , i'm a free spirit and i like nature and beautiful landscapes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Scenic Routes

    Hi KMA,

    i know leaving San Francisco with such a beautiful weather to go to Toronto may seem odd
    Amen!:-)

    Ps: Gen to answer your question , i'm a free spirit and i like nature and beautiful landscapes.
    Then you should consider taking I-70 through Colorado and Utah, spectacular sceneries are everywhere. Here's what I would do :

    -I-80 east bound to to Reno;
    -US50 all the way through Nevada to Salina, UT;
    -follow I-70 to Denver;
    -from Denver : I-76 east bound to I-80;
    -I-80 all the way to Chicago;
    -either take I-94, cross the border at Detroit and take I-401 and I-20 to Montreal
    OR
    -continue on I-80 to I-90 (toll road) and then take I-81 north bound, cross the border at Gananoque, Ont and follow I-401 and I-20 to Montreal.

    If you think you'll run out of time, just skip the US50 part, drive straight from SF to SLC on I-80, take I-15 south bound, US50 to Salina and I-70 to Denver. But still, if you like nature and nice landscapes and is more of the "zen" type, driving US50, a.k.a the Loneliest Road in America, is a very inspiring journey especially through Nevada. Be sure you have winter tires on your car, the weather can get really nasty in no time the mountains! However, in my experience, against all odds, I believe the worst snowstorms of all are in the Ohio Valley! But if you drive carefully and at your own speed, everything should be fine.

    Have a great trip!
    Gen

  8. #8
    KMA Guest

    Default

    Thanks Gen for your answer , i think i'll do that(for the first part of the trip) but i'll also have to stop by NY and to save time i'll skip us50.
    KMA.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Too bad!

    to save time i'll skip us50
    It'll just give you another excuse to hit the road again in the future:-)

    Drive safe!
    Gen

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