I have been perusing these forums for a few days, and I am really enjoying myself. This advice is invaluable!
I am currently looking for some advice on an upcoming trip I am taking. I have a new job in Portland that I will start on January 9th. I am planning on leaving January 2nd since my last day of work is the first. I will be reimbursed for the move, but I still opted to just leave my furniture behind and take my 2013 Honda Civic with a cargo top. I would also be taking my cat with me in the front in a small dog kennel. This is my first multi-day trip by myself and my first trip with an animal, so my nerves are quite frayed.
Since I'm time limited, I have no choice but to travel in the winter, which is my main point of fear. I have been contemplating several routes, including the southern route across the country and up California, and the more direct route through Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. I am leaning toward the latter since the mountain passes on I5 look pretty bad, but I'm still concerned about the mountains in Oregon. I have also been contemplating the purchase of snow chains, but it feels superfluous since I'm never going to use them again and the weather might not even require them.
What I am looking for is alternate routes in case of snow, best places for weather information, and advice on whether or not I should book hotels in advance. I've been making checkpoints on my journey (Kansas City, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City, and Boise) and I have been thinking about going ahead and booking those hotels so I can avoid the stress of finding one. Like I said, this is my first major trip by myself, so any information would be helpful.