Our son-in-law has recently got a new (and better) job in the Denver CO area. He's currently working by telecommuting, and will be taking our daughter on a "house-hunting" trip later this month. Then, in mid-February, the four of them, plus hubby and I, will be moving them up there permanently. (Part of this makes me sad, but like I said in someone's else's post, the cost of housing here in San Diego vs paychecks don't always go well together. Denver will be a good move for them, though I will miss them a lot!)
Hubby has the truck-driving experience, so he will be driving a U-Haul type vehicle (brand yet to be chosen/reserved) towing a car on a trailer, 4-wheels up. I'm taking some time off work and will ride side-saddle with him, besides being the designated route-motel finder. The "kids" have the responsibility of packing, loading said truck, and are so grateful not to have to worry about the things we'll do. They are driving their SUV crossover with their two boys, ages 5 and 1-1/2. They'll have their hands full with the boys, another good reason for grandma to ride along.
There are three basic routes to take, and we intend to take 3 days (a 4th if needed) to drive any of the three. Daughter has a friend who is a meteorologist willing to give her up-to-the-minute weather reports starting a week before we go to depart, so we will choose based on weather:
1) I-15 to I-70 is basically the shortest route. However, it has two very big CONS to it in the winter. One is that it gets over 11,000 ft in elevation. That's why the ski areas are so popular. The other is that long 6% downgrade into Denver. Hubby drove that towing our 5W, years ago, and said he would never tow that again. So this is probably not in the running, though it is 200 miles shorter than the other two routes.
2) I-8 to AZ-85 to I-10 to Loop 202 (?I think?) to I-17 to I-40 to I-25. A little longer, the only pass I see that could be "interesting", and that's Raton Pass. As I told my daughter, when you move to a place on the other side of the mountains, you're going to have to go over said mountains. MY QUESTION HERE: What's the grade like going northbound out of ABQ through/over Raton Pass?
3) I-8 to I-10 to NM-(something) to I-15. This is definitely the longest of the routes, but is "only" 50 miles longer than route #2. We are familiar with I-8 and I-10, but none of us have driven I-25, ever. QUESTION HERE: Is there any major difference between using this route, vs. Route #2, for climbing? I know I-17 has some grades. Obviously, there's some climbing between Tucson and Lordsburg on I-10, but how are the grades on I-25 to get from Hatch NM up to ABQ? (We'd have the same question from Route #2 with this route, too.)
We are very excited for our family members, and anxious to try to help them out as much as we can since his new job is not funding the move (sad).
Thank you to those I contacted via PM, too -- we are going out later this week to see what kind of deal we can get on the moving truck. Our area has some medium sized U-Haul and Penske dealers. (Budget is anything but, from what we've seen online.) Any more words of advice on that would be helpful.