I am planning to take a road trip from San Francisco, California to Chicago, Illinois. I will be driving a 2003 Lancer (5 speed) and i was wondering if the roads will be safe or if it is best to take a southern route. I need the fastest way. I will be riding with 2 other people. No pets. We want to drive straight through, only stopping for gas. We plan to leave Dec. 15 2005 and would like to return before New Years. Please give me any advice. I dont know how the mountains will be, i have never drove in the winter. Thank you very much!!!