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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The biggest issues with I-80 and I-70 are elevation.

    I-70 crosses the Colorado rockies at over 10,000 ft.
    I-80 across Wyoming doesn't go as high, but is still over 8,000 ft across much of Wyoming, on a high plain that can see high winds, and can add to the challenges if there is snow. I-40 by comparison is generally in the 5000-7000 ft range across NM and AZ.

    Both could be perfectly fine, those factors can increase the risk of bad weather though. Taking I-80/I-76/I-70 through Nebraska and Colorado is actually slightly shorter than the route I recommended, and it's also a beautiful drive in good weather. But noting your concerns about snow, the difference is small enough that I think you'd find the I-40 based route a little easier, if the weather conditions are equal.

  2. Default

    Thank you very much, your answers mean a lot to me because it is completely unknown to me to travel by car from Il to Ca and any information is welcome

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default One day at a time.

    We are here to offer support should you need it when you depart or while you are on the road. Looking at it as a whole trip can seem daunting your first time but if you think of it as a days drive at the beginning of each new day perhaps it won't be so overwhelming. Just remember that each step you will be sharing the road with thousands of others who all have somewhere to go whether it be locals or people like yourself on a cross country journey. It's really not that different to driving around familiar places at home it's just that each day is the start of a new adventure. Everywhere across the country is someones home where they have to go to work, shopping etc and it's a priority to keep that happening the same as at home so don't worry too much, your doing the important part which is asking questions and planning ahead.

    Safe travels and please let us know when you have completed your trip safely.

  4. #14


    Whichever route you take be prepared for a ton of trucks on the highways. Despite all the news of being short 100K truck drivers it seems busier than ever. With so many trucks out on the interstates, driving 400 miles seems like 500 miles. Some routes are worse or better than others but I would not know which is which at this point. Trucks and snow make it worse.

    FWIW, I believe the Rockies have been without snow thus far--the ski resorts are not loving that.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    FWIW, I believe the Rockies have been without snow thus far--the ski resorts are not loving that.
    My daughter in the Denver area, was just commenting on that over the phone yesterday!

    For the OP, I used to live in San Diego, and am now in mid-MO. MidwestMichael gave you the route that I would be looking at first, the one through St Louis and Flagstaff. Be aware that New Mexico is doing a lot more construction along I-40 than is mentioned on their 511 site. You should also be prepared for tolls in Oklahoma along I-44: about $10 worth (cash) unless you have EZ-Tag in your vehicle (which won't work in San Diego; FasTrack is the box option there). That's the car toll, not one that includes a trailer of any type.

    If the weather is cooperative, and you decide to use the 44/40 route, you could be looking at overnights somewhere along I-44 around Lebanon or Joplin, MO; another one in Amarillo TX or Tucumcari, NM; a third overnight at Flagstaff. From personal experience, my husband and I have overnighted in various places along I-40 and 44. Of the towns I mentioned, all of them have choices for overnight stays and restaurants (though Tucumcari's restaurant choices have dwindled).

    We've also traveled I-15/I-70 a lot, though not the 76 or 80. (Hubby has traveled the 80 a lot). If you go that route, you'll probably want to stay on the west side of Denver and then either Cedar City or Beaver, UT. (Probably Omaha before that.) Be aware if you are in UT on a Sunday, your restaurant choice will be smaller as most of the family-run restaurants are closed on Sundays. We discovered that one time in Cedar City and ended up at a chain restaurant instead of one of the ones we'd gone to on another trip.

    As stated before, please let us know how your trip goes!


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    EZ-Tag is issued in Texas and works in TX, OK, and KS only. OK calls their version PikePass. Bottom line, your IL I-Pass won't work.

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