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Old 12-09-2007, 12:15 AM
 
3 posts, read 11,111 times
Reputation: 10
Default Alternate Driving Routes? - TX to CO

Hello to all..
I am new to this forum but am very worried/nervous. My family is planning a trip to Breck this Christmas, and now learned that some of us won't get to fly and we wil be driving from Austin to Breck in a 15 passenger van.
1. My first concern is how do we get there? We have researched but, have been given several different routes.
AAA advised us to take I35 to I70, going through OK, and Kansas, and Kansas straight to Breck.
WHat would be the best route to take. I am sure there will be snow on the road as we will be leaving Dec 21st.

2. Is this a feasible drive for us without a AWD vehicle?

3. Do we need chains for our tires?

Please help with any questions or suggestions. Thanks a bunch
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Old 12-09-2007, 12:20 AM
Status: "See ya on the flip side" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Up in a cedar tree.
1,618 posts, read 4,251,341 times
Reputation: 497
Its the best / safest way to go. Its the way I am going also from Austin for the Xmas Holidays. I would not recommend going through NM and down Raton Pass.
Now being in a heavier vehicle will help. What does not help is it being rear wheel drive. Just drive slow if you get on the powder and treat the snow as its a bad rainy day here in Austin (drive slow)

You should be fine. I am sure the roads to Breck will be serviced for people that drive. They need the tourist money


Quote:
Originally Posted by smcintosh2801 View Post
Hello to all..
I am new to this forum but am very worried/nervous. My family is planning a trip to Breck this Christmas, and now learned that some of us won't get to fly and we wil be driving from Austin to Breck in a 15 passenger van.
1. My first concern is how do we get there? We have researched but, have been given several different routes.
AAA advised us to take I35 to I70, going through OK, and Kansas, and Kansas straight to Breck.
WHat would be the best route to take. I am sure there will be snow on the road as we will be leaving Dec 21st.

2. Is this a feasible drive for us without a AWD vehicle?

3. Do we need chains for our tires?

Please help with any questions or suggestions. Thanks a bunch
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:25 AM
 
7,963 posts, read 15,294,799 times
Reputation: 7947
Colorado's chain law is very specific. If the law is invoked because of bad road conditions, 15 passenger vans (because so many airport shuttles, etc. use them) are subject to the requirement to "chain up."

There indeed are many ways to get from Austin to Colorado--my advice would be to carefully check the weather and choose a route most likely to avoid bad roads--and be willing to modify the plan based on updated conditions. Most internet-based and map software programs have an inherent programming bias in keeping you on the interstates. That may not necessarily be the shortest, or even the best route. For my $.02, I often avoid the interstates--especially that weekend parking lot that I-70 west of Denver can be in bad weather.

Quote:
You should be fine. I am sure the roads to Breck will be serviced for people that drive. They need the tourist money.
Don't bet your life on that hokum. CDOT does the best they can, but even in a moderate storm, they often can't keep up. The road conditions will get bad, and you will have to deal with it. Yesterday was a good example of that . . .
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:34 AM
Status: "See ya on the flip side" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Up in a cedar tree.
1,618 posts, read 4,251,341 times
Reputation: 497
Quote:
Don't bet your life on that hokum.
Jazzlover - Hokem--- < I love you already !!


Quote:
CDOT does the best they can, but even in a moderate storm, they often can't keep up. The road conditions will get bad, and you will have to deal with it. Yesterday was a good example of that . . .
The best of course. All of us should know that. I am sure the driver or the others that ride will use common sense and watch the news or browse the phone e-mail to check out the weather. I will be using my blackberry internet access when on the road to check the weather conditions coming up for the Christmas holidays. Even my mighty CB radio will be on to hear the truckers.

-Merry Chrismas

Last edited by Mike78613; 12-09-2007 at 09:42 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:28 AM
 
3,555 posts, read 4,739,523 times
Reputation: 2223
I guess it depends on how much you like driving I 35 and exactly where you're starting. I live 50 miles west of Austin and I don't even take 35 when I go to the Metroplex!

I go through Llano up to Abiliene and over to 84 to Dumas. I used to turn from Dumas and go through Raton and over the pass. Now I just keep heading north through Lamar to Limon. The speed is more moderate on that road and it's a prettier drive than the interstates. But maybe that's just me.

golfgod
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:31 AM
Status: "See ya on the flip side" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Up in a cedar tree.
1,618 posts, read 4,251,341 times
Reputation: 497
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgod View Post
I guess it depends on how much you like driving I 35 and exactly where you're starting. I live 50 miles west of Austin and I don't even take 35 when I go to the Metroplex!

I go through Llano up to Abiliene and over to 84 to Dumas. I used to turn from Dumas and go through Raton and over the pass. Now I just keep heading north through Lamar to Limon. The speed is more moderate on that road and it's a prettier drive than the interstates. But maybe that's just me.

golfgod
Its the way I usually go also (same as you, but from hwy183 through Abiliene, lubbuc and Armarillo, but with the chance of snow and taking on Raton-pass and the steep curvy hill, no way. Not taking that chance if I'm caught in the blizzard.
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:22 PM
 
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Yep; Raton Pass is the reason I so straight up through OK to Lamar! Now that I have high speed internet I can just look at the weather and see which way has the least hassle. Although I think through Lamar and Limon is faster than Dalhart and Raton, regardless of weather.

golfgod
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:21 AM
 
3 posts, read 11,111 times
Reputation: 10
Default ALternate Route? TX

Hi Everyone,
My family and I are visiting Co (Breck) this X Mas. I initial route was leaving from Houston going through Ok & Kansas I70 to CO. Now that there has been a massive ice snow storm in OK and Kansas, we were planning alternate routes.
One route was heading through Texas, Amarillo area via Hwy 287 to Colorado.
Anyone know anything about this route or any suggestions?

Thanks so much!

Stacy
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:28 AM
 
7,963 posts, read 15,294,799 times
Reputation: 7947
Can be good or bad, depending on the weather. The "Caprock" around Amarillo is always windy--if it has snow mixed in, it can be a nasty blizzard all the way into southeastern Colorado. Fortunately, that doesn't happen frequently. Aside from that, it's a lot of two-lane 65 mph road. Hope you know how to drive on snow and ice--you are likely to hit some somewhere along the way, regardless of the route--nature of the beast this time of year.
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:38 AM
Status: "New user name, still old self!" (set 2 days ago)
 
4,465 posts, read 5,722,474 times
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Your best bet, as mentioned, is to have more than one route planned, but watch the weather carefully. I am familiar with all these routes as we used to live in Dallas, still have family in Texas.
If the weather is beautiful and not storms, then Raton Pass is not an issue. Going up I-25 gives you more civilization in case of problems. But if the weather is dicey, then I would select another route.
Coming up from the plains can be just as bad if there is a storm because of the horrible blizzard conditions that can occur in eastern Colorado.
Last January we flew into Dallas to pick up an H2 and a Mercedes to drive back to Colorado. The H2 was pulling the Mercedes. There was an ice storm as we were leaving Dallas and the further west we went it turned to snow. We barely made Amarillo and had to stop. I always feel so sorry for truckers. I don't know how they cope. I was a wreck. There are some very lonely roads along the way. Be sure to be prepared with blankets, wiper fluid, etc. on hand.
Also, the chain laws changed if I'm not mistaken and I think they got tougher?
CDOT Traveler Information - Chain laws
Main thing is to take your time, be careful.
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