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  1. Default Florida to Oregon this December

    Hello everyone,
    My wife and I are relocating from Florida to Oregon and will be driving across after Christmas. There are two main routes we are currently considering: the default one that Google gives us and one that I have altered a bit to take a more southern route. The default one is interesting to us because we haven't driven through many of those states before, we're just a bit concerned about the weather at this time of year. I've included a link to it here:

    The other route we are considering is this one:

    This should avoid more of the potentially bad weather, but still putting us on roads we haven't trekked before. The only part we are a bit concerned about is the bit between Albuquerque and Salt Lake City: routes 491 and 191 through Utah. Since they aren't Interstate highways, they could be a bit more treacherous if the weather is bad. Does anyone have experience with these roads?

    Also, any other general advice about these two routes? What would you do in our position? We'd like to take our time (maybe stretch it to 3-4 days), take in some scenery, stop in some tourist traps, etc. We've got a fairly new, really safe, AWD sedan with good gas mileage, if that makes any difference.

    PS - A third route we're considering is one we've done a couple of times, the most southern route: across on I-10 and then up I-5. We'd rather not take this one because it's a bit boring now.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 12-18-2008 at 03:19 PM. Reason: link format

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Stretch It to 3 Days???

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Quote Originally Posted by rpviking
    We'd like to take our time (maybe stretch it to 3-4 days)
    You cannot drive the 3,500+ miles from Pompano Beach to Portland in 2 days, irregardless of what Google tells you. You cannot drive it in 3. You cannot drive it in 4. This is a 6 day drive at a minimum. You will also need to schedule at least a day of reserve in case you run into weather that you are uncomfortable driving in. You say that you've done this drive before via I-10/I-5. Surely you know that this is a week long endeavor?

    Also, there is no route that you can know a priori will have better weather than any other. I-40, I-84, I-70 I-80, even I-10 and I-5 can all be subject to weather that make them unsafe to drive and can even cause them to be closed. You will simply have to wait until just before you leave, have a look at the forecasts, and only then choose the route that seems to offer the best chance of driveable weather. But even then you must be prepared to sit out a few hours to as much as a day if the weather and road conditions turn against you.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Number 1

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The premise that traveling south will avoid bad weather is simply isn't accuate, so your options 2 and 3 really aren't good ones, unless you've got some specific forecasts indicating that those roads will be clear and I-80 will be seeing storms.

    Not only is the second route that you've listed not any less likely to see bad weather, but since you'll be traveling across many more 2 lane roads, include those in some pretty mountanous areas, there would be quite a few more potential problems with that route.

    We'd like to take our time (maybe stretch it to 3-4 days),
    I'm also very concerned about your potential time frame. You are talking about "stretching" your trip to 3-4 days? This is a 3200 mile trip at the shortest route (more than 3500 using the other options you've listed). Doing this trip in 5 days, which is the absolute shortest you can do safely and assumes perfectly good weather, you'll still need to be on the road for more than 10 hours a day. That doesn't leave much time at all for enjoying the scenery or stopping at tourist traps. 6 days really would be better, but still involve very long days on the road.

  4. Default Clarification

    Thanks for your responses.

    I think I may have been a bit too cavalier in my 3-4 day estimate, admittedly. However, I have driven from South Florida to Los Angeles in 3 days, maybe 3.5 days. And that was following the speed limit and driving 8-10 hours per day with ample breaks. Anyway, for the purposes of this discussion, please ignore the time frame. Forget I said 3-4 days. We'll probably still do 8-10 hour driving days.

    Furthermore, I do understand that there is no magical route that will protect us from weather and no one that can tell us what the weather is going to be. I'm just asking for advice based on prior experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Options, Options, Options

    The benefit of long cross country journeys, and your is one of the longest possible, is that there are usually several ways to make them. The two options you've listed are just the tip of the iceberg. The first on is the shortest (at least while staying mainly on the Interstates) and would therefore be the default choice unless there are other reasons to pick something else. But there are at least three other routes that are no more than ten percent longer and should therefore be in your bag of trick as possible alternatives. Besides the secondary route you are considering, there is of course the I-10/I-5 route which at 3680 miles is 'only' a day (or less) longer than the most direct one. There is also a route that first heads north and then west: FL_Tpk/I-75/I-24/I-65/I-94/I-90/US-385/I-84 through Atlanta, Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago, Minneapolis, Billings, and Spokane. The final determining factor will be if there is any severe weather predicted for any of those routes while you'll be traveling. There is no way to know that until just a day or two before your departure, and even then, the forecast for near the end of the drive will be at the very edge of what is useful for real planning. So at this point, just get to know your options and then a few days before leaving start paying close attention to long range weather forecasts particularly for the areas where each of your possibilities crosses the Rockies. Choose only when you have all the available information, but shorter is usually better.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Not trying to start an argument here, but Pompano Beach to LA is 2700 miles, and 40 hours driving at the speed limits with no stops whatsoever. Your math doesn't jibe, I think you may have forgotten about a couple of days in there somewhere.

  7. Default Just a follow-up

    We've pretty much settled on a route now and we have broken it into 6 days of travel with 8-10 hour days.

    This is the one!

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