OK to CA
I am planning on driving from Central Oklahoma to Orange County, California, or maybe just as far as Ontario, this February. I'm traveling with my seven year old daughter and this is my first road trip alone. This is also the first time I have been the driver and not the one drooling on my pillow for 10 hours straight in the backseat. I will be taking I-40. I've seen travel times of between 18 and 25 hours. I was wondering what a realistic (and very convenient to I-40) stopping point would be for the first day. I really want to drive as far as possible the first day. Also, if anyone knows what the driving conditions are like, I would really appreciate a heads up. I have no idea what to expect with weather, traffic, bad roads, etc...
Not sitting in front of a map, but somewhere between Albuquerque, NM and Flagstaff, AZ should be a good first stop for you. (Good luck trying to entertain a seven year old for that long!) Grants, NM is a decent little motel town in between the two cities.
Good luck and safe driving.
I-40 is a main commercial cross-country route and truckers depend on it so the states do a very good job keeping it open in all but the most severe weather. I have driven it dozens of times in winter and have never had any difficulty. In February, heavy snow and wind is at least possible and you're ability to get through will have as much to do with your confidence and the condition of your car. As long as you're flexible with your schedule, you should be able to make it and if the weather turns out good, you'll enjoy some magnificent scenery. Have a great trip.