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  1. Default Cross country move - Austin, Tx to Portland, OR

    I've already read some excellent winter driving advice on this forum, but being an anxious road-tripper I feel compelled to post my details and see if I get any more helpful advice geared towards my specific situation.

    We are moving to Portland in mid-late January. We are driving up there twice, once to find a place to live (and leaving the car) then again with the Penske truck and our THREE cats. The three cats are part of my worry about the winter driving, as having to stop for inclement weather is going to be made that more unpleasant by the presence of the felines.

    Any advice on the best route to plan on taking (a first choice with the least likely weather delays, with a backup for bad weather?)? So far our two options are looking like (basically) 1-40 to California, then up 99/1-5 to Portland or the more direct route through Kansas/Salt Lake/Idaho. I am leaning towards the California route for safety's sake, but after reading a few forums I am thinking perhaps that might be a mistake. Any helpful advice, especially about driving the moving truck in the winter, would be really appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Winter Driving

    Here's what I suggest:
    1. Read RTA's Winter Driving Tips
    2. Buy chains and practice putting them on
    3. Make sure you have proper gear in the car in case you get stopped by bad weather (read the Gear-Up Section for lots of good tips on this). Blankets, working flashlight with extra batteries, boots/coats/gloves/hats, snacks, water, and either flares or a reflective emergency triangle are properly the minimum to have on-hand.
    4. Watch weather reports prior to leaving to make the best choice at that time.
    5. Watch weather reports each night/morning so you can make adjustments or change routes, if needed
    6. Jot down the DOT numbers for all states you're driving through so you can call to check road conditions up ahead
    7. Be prepared to layover for a day or two if conditions demand it (yes, the cats do make this a bit trickier -- if they don't travel well, consider talking toy our vet about tranquilizers of some kind.)

    Really, this is about the best you can do. Thousands of truckers drive these highways all winter long without incident. Most likely, you will, too. However, it is best to be prepared and have a plan just in case.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-15-2007 at 03:23 PM. Reason: proper citation for Robert Schaller and Dennis Weaver's tips

  3. Default

    hey bethany,

    how are you cats in the car? have you taken the cats for any test runs to see how they'll react and possibly get them used to rides in the car?

    i have three cats and i'm moving to seattle. my gosh - i went through the mental ringer with whether to fly or drive my cats. I inevitably decided to fly them, but i don't trust to put them in cargo (as i cannot get any direct flights from Nashville to Seattle) so i'm totally busting the budget to fly all three cats in the plane - but to do that i'm also flying two friends to take the trip with me to drop my cats off - and then we're all flying back the next day - expensive but,.. for me, i can always make more money - i can't replace a cat.

    Anyhow, if you're interested to see my thought process and some good questions you'll want to be sure and ask yourself, if i'm allowed to post this here - you can see my personal blog at - it might give you some helpful ideas, suggestions or questions to ask

    driving w/the cats, that far, at that time of year, with such a possibility of inclement weather - it's a big decision to make - i know, been there, done that, still not done w/it yet :P

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