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  1. Default Denver to LA in November

    I'm planning to drive w/ my two kids (ages 2 & 4) from Denver to LA. I've heard different things about the road conditions through the Rocky Mountains along I-70. Do they close down the mountain roads? What would be the best alternative route, if they do? I just don't want to be stuck in blizzard like conditions w/ no where to turn w/ my little ones in the car. Is this even safe? Or should I just buy plane tickets?

    Thanks to all for your help & advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Relax!

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I think you're really over reacting a bit. Thousands of cars drive on I-70 across the Rockies every day, even in the winter. They do occationally have to close the highway because of storms, but if that happens you still should be able to get to another town and stop until the storm passes and the roads clear.

    If during your travels it looks like there will be storms along I-70, you could could continue north on I-15 and then take I-80 through Wyoming, cutting back south on I-25.

    And of course, before you go, check out our winter driving tips!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Central California

    Default I agree...

    ...with Michael.

    I-70 across Colorado in November shouldn't be too bad. Just keep an eye on the local weather for what is going on over Loveland Pass (Eisenhower Tunnel) and Vail Pass especially. Other than those two spots you usually have little to worry about.

    If you don't like what you hear, and still have to go, you can drive I-25 south to Alubuquerque, New Mexico and go west on I-40 from there to LA.

    Have a good trip,

    Craig Sheumaker
    co-author of the travel guide: America's Living History-The Early Years

  4. Default


    You have no worries, Did the wyoming route last june and it was rather boring compared to the i70 route through the rockies which I did in Feb with no problems at all in a little honda accord.

    Go through the rockies
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-19-2007 at 01:00 PM. Reason: fixed typo

  5. Default Thanks

    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for the reality check. I guess I just don't know anything about driving in snow/mountains/etc. I'm a California girl who just moved out to Denver for a job. I'm already homesick & want to go home for Thanksgiving, but really can't afford the airfare w/ the two kids. Your comments are really reassuring.

    So aside from having my car checked & getting chains, any other safety tips? And do you have any recommendations for places to stop along he way w/ little ones?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Kid Friendly Activities

    One general consideration for travelling around Thanksgiving is to try to avoid driving on the Wednesday before or the Sunday after the holiday itself. Those are the two heaviest travel days in the U.S. and traffic can and will be a nightmare, particularly in the larger cities that you'll have to pass through. On the plus side, at 2-4 years of age, your kids don't really know the difference between Disneyland or a local park with a good set of swings, so finding places along the way to let them blow off some steam and enjoy themselves isn't all that hard. State parks are an excellent low-to-no cost resource and make particularly good sites for picnic lunches. You should plan to stop for some out of car time every two to three hours. In that case, some possible stops along your way would include Harvey Gap State Park near New Castle, CO. Arches National Park is a bit farther off the interstate, but well worth the extra drive. Old Cove Fort near where you transfer from I-70 to I-15 would be another chance to show you children something just a bit different. And you'll be passing close enough to Zion National Park to visit it. By the way whenever you visit a National Park, stop at the visitor's center and ask about the Junior Ranger Program. Not only does it offer some fun and educational activities for kids, but they get a park specific badge when they're done.

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-19-2007 at 04:20 PM. Reason: added link to the article about this program

  7. Default

    could always stop by gay johnsons tire and bible in grand junction, not sure how the two stores relate as I just drove by it.

    the views will be breathtaking going through the rockies and sights of the co river, and if you have never drove through a mountain and i mean right through it, its a fun experience.

    one thing though, make sure you fill up for gas before you get to low, there is a long stretch (100 miles plus) in the co/utah area where there is no service stations.

    as for getting your car checked, if you do reg maint and oil changes on your car you won't have a problem.

    usually i perfer to pack in the trunk, a few qts of oil, a gallon jug of water and a thing of coolant

    then relax and enjoy the drive, lets us know how it went too!

  8. Default Random Safety tip ideas...

    For a couple of other random safety tips...

    - Cell phone and car charger. If you're on the interstate, you should have cell coverage 99% of the time. The phone companies have really tried to get the interstates covered.

    - Cooler with snacks and stuff in it. Besides helping save money, it can help if the kids get hungry and cranky. And in a real emergency, it helps to have some extra food along.

    - Blanket/ extra clothes. You'll have your luggage and some winter clothes along, but just in case, I always have a blanket in the back of the car. It primarily gets used for picnics, but its been used also as a ground cloth so when I crawled under the car to get the spare out while I was in my business suit I didn't get it dirty, and I have used it to wrap up in to sleep as well.

    - First Aid Kit. Bandaids and aspirin and over-the-counter antispectic cream. Kids can get cuts, scrapes, etc.

    - Flashlight and batteries. Actually if you checked my car I think you'd find several.... Kids also love flashlights... so you might want extra batteries.

    - Credit card/ spare cash. Just in case -- you need to buy a new tire, stay overnight somewhere you weren't expecting it...

    And lastly... don't stress on time and speed. You're the driver, and you your job is to get everyone there safely. If you have to pull over once an hour because "Mommy! We have to find a bathroom!" .. so be it. This can be a fun trip, if you take time to make sure the kids know you aren't ignoring them.. You won't do 10 hours a day behind the wheel with 2 kids, and you'll want to stop at least every couple of hours to let them out and run around, but this can be fun. Your kids sound like they're at the age they are still in car seats, so you really do need to stop and let them out frequently -- and can use this time to stretch and relax yourself from driving.

    Bring some of their favorite toys and CDs/ Tapes, etc. One of the things I've seen, if that every kid get to bring a bookbag/ backpack of their favorite stuff... Or people have suggested you secrete a few new toys in the back, so when they start doing the "Are we there yet?" and "OOohhh I'm bored!" you can you pull out something new. Coloring books, little animals, etc.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default ....Kids Go Kits

    Quote Originally Posted by road momma View Post
    Thanks to all for your help & advice.
    And here are some time-tested tips for roadtripping with kids.


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