Road closures, and possible look-outs
We are planning to take I-90 (mostly) from Chicago to Seattle. How long would this drive take? And can the road conditionds get real bad? I hear people telling me not to do this drive since I-90 can get real bad.
Also, we might be somewhere in Montana during New Year's Eve. Is there a good place to enjoy celebrations there?
This time of year, I wouldn't worry about I-90. Usually it is too cold to snow all that much until mid-January or so. That isn't to say that you won't hit some periods of snow and icing conditions, but over-all the road surfaces will be fine.
It will take a minimum of about 37 hours of driving to cover the distance -- longer if you hit many sections where you have to slow due the road conditions.
I-90 to washington is the best you'd be able to do. I do though suggest detouring north on State Rt 281 at George to Quincy, and then west on SR 28 to Wenatchee. Wenatchee is a city of 60,000 people and is a real treat (the apple capital of the world). Lots of lodging, food, and sights to see. Then take U.S. 2 West to the town of Leavenworth, Washington. Its a town that is nestled in the mountains and is a bit of Bavaria (germany) in the U.S.
U.S. 2 then crosses the portion of the Cascades known as "The American Alps", and it is a real treat. And with lower speed limits, it is also a much more enjoyable drive. U.S.2 crosses Stevens Pass (much higher than Snoqualmie over I-90), but is very well maintained. You will pop out north of Seattle. If you destination is Seattle or Bellevue, take SR 522 to I-405 which will let you go to Bellevue or Seattle. I-90 is a nice drive between George, WA and Seattle, but it is at such high speeds that you don't get to enjoy it. And besides, the cities of Wenatchee and Leavenworth will be left out. I lived in this area for the last several years, so I know my routes over the Cascades. Visit these sites to let you know what there is to offer: www.leavenworth.org and www.wenatchee.org
You are Correct!
Much, much better route suggestions! We really like the Leavenworth area -- and I was remiss not to mention those places. I haven't traveled those routes in the winter months, but the scenery is amazing just about anytime of the year1