Nashville to Seattle
I'm moving cross country in October from Nashville to Seattle with a 15' truck. Any suggestions on a route? I think I'm leaning toward the northern route. I would like to avoid as many mountain passes as possible. I have about 9 days to spend and would appreciate any ides on places to see/things to do.
Also, what are your ideas on discount gas cards?
you're going to hit mountains- its part of the deal getting into seattle, but from cross country there are ways that are less mountainous.
if it is october, i would avoid the norther way. though beautiful, you never know if you're going to hit snow through montana or wyoming (and that way is very mountainous at some points). i hit snow in wyoming/montana when i went through in late may. sunny one day, 6 inches of snow the next.
if you want flatter and less chance of snow i would take 70 through to utah, switch over to 15, (then 84, 82 )and finally catch 90 when you are in the middle of washington. You miss a lot of the forest beauty of the northern way but much less chance of snow and the more deserty way is beautiful too.
And you will hit the cascade mountains crossing over on 90 into the seattle area. whichever way you go, be prepared for any kind of weather at that point in the year. carry chains and winter clothes as well as shorts :D good luck and have fun!
Didn't know the weather could be so changeable in early October. Do you know anything about South Dakota?
no, sorry. the only time i've been in south dakota was in august.
and things may be nice and sunny in october. i just don't trust the weather for predictability during fall or spring.
Hard to miss Mtns on "northern route"
John, Sounds like a great road trip adventure. In your posting you referenced "...leaning toward the northern route. I would like to avoid as many mountain passes as possible..." Unless you go to the Artic it is pretty difficult to get over the Rockies and Cascades without going over passes.
October is just about the perfect month for road trips in North America. Although there is a chance for early snowfall -- generally the days are cool, the nights crisp and reasonably dry roads are the norm.
South Dakota is pretty amazing place -- were you considering taking I-90? The least mountain driving route would be I-10 and then up the coast (but you will still have mountain passes on this route). What is your concern about the moutain driving? Take it slow, use the turn-outs and enjoy the views -- it is going to be great.
Weather is main worry
I guess weather was my main concern. I just didn't want to drive through the mountains in snow. Remember I'm from Tennessee, heavy frost on the roads make us nervous.
From what I hear I'm planning on the northern route along I-90.
It should be a fun and easy trip. Most of the passes you will use are under 5,000 feet and traveling on snow is really not such an ordeal. Fall storms, when they happen generally are pretty mild. That route through the Bitteroots into Idaho is really special.