U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-31-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,555 posts, read 39,934,465 times
Reputation: 23688

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siva00x0 View Post
... hours and HOURS of BORING NE/IA flatlands, but i'm assuming it gets a lil better after CO.
Don't get your hopes up... WY is probably the worst (boring, except for the 70 mph crosswinds and black ice). UT is pretty bad (boring) Nev is REALLY bad (boring).. IA and Nebraska are EXCITING in comparison.

Do stop by The Ollie's in Paxton, NE and also Cabela's in Sidney, NE.

WY excitement on I-80 is not getting mowed over by an 18 wheeler doing 80 mph on black ice (BTDT... for ~ 10yrs in WY ). Truckers DON"T get paid by the HOUR.... You can stop 2x for cheap IceCream Cones at Little America... but they are no longer $.25.

Watch the weather, be prepared to change routes / delay / hurry up.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-31-2012, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,955 posts, read 17,698,759 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siva00x0 View Post
hi everyone, i'm planning on driving from chicago to san francisco in one week via I-80 sometime in december. i heard it's boring, but direct. i've also heard that in wyoming during the winter, stuff can get pretty real and there are really bad winds/blizzards through the mountains.

can anyone attest to the best route from chicago to sf? i'm planning on going chi > omaha > cheyenne > SLC > reno > SF via I80, but open to more scenic/practical routes.

suggestions?
Buy some really good tire chains and learn how to install them quickly so practice at home!!

You will be required to install chains in the mountain passes or park the car since the police will insist that you have chains installed during snow storms in the mountains.

P.S. 4x4 drive don't mean squat in a mountain snow storm without chains.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2012, 03:40 PM
 
24 posts, read 56,141 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Don't get your hopes up... WY is probably the worst (boring, except for the 70 mph crosswinds and black ice). UT is pretty bad (boring) Nev is REALLY bad (boring).. IA and Nebraska are EXCITING in comparison.

I don't know why i thought that all those states would be way more exciting than it is over here in the plains. should i be worried about getting stranded in the desert after entering NV?

I will definitely get those snow chains before i go. the link that was posted earlier stated that it's pretty much the law.

wow, it looks like i'm in for no disappointments either way - if it's boring and uneventful, i can at least say i made it to SF hitch free. if i get caught in a WY snowstorm, i have a good story to tell :P so win win if i dont die? lol

EDIT: luckily i will have time and will plan it out so that i'm not splitting hairs over having to extend the trip. however, if i get stuck in WY somewhere... how easy is it generally to get hotel rooms at a moments notice? i suppose thats assuming i'm in an area that isnt stranded (of course no offense to wyoming-ans)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2012, 03:48 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,555 posts, read 39,934,465 times
Reputation: 23688
Carry a survival kit. Food, clothes, blankets, water, matches, candles, flares ...

I add a tall orange bicycle flag (in case I'm buried in a snow drift).

I have made the trip 'event free' many times. and also I have LOTS of stories to tell for generations. Of course my I-80 travels were long before cell phones and GPS.

My parents leased 10 OTR trucks that each did I-80 Chicago to SF 2x each / week.

Get in and go...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2012, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,660,022 times
Reputation: 7720
Couple of suggestions:

1. If the overhead traffic sign at Laramie, WY says anything about high wind, blowing snow or ice, get off the interstate and take US-30 west. That sign indicates what's going on where I-80 goes around Elk Mountain and it's arguably the worst stretch of road you'll encounter if the weather is bad. That's where vehicles get blown off the road. US-30, on the other hand, stays at a much lower elevation and comes back into I-80 past Elk Mountain. You may still get the snow or ice, but you won't get the "blow."

2. If there's any indication of snow at the higher altitudes, you can avoid Parley's Summit on I-80 just before Salt Lake City by exiting off onto I-84, just past the Utah line. It takes you thorough a canyon in the Wasatch Front instead of over the top as I-80 does. When you exit the canyon, go south on US-89 a few miles and it'll blend right into I-15 south, which will take you back to I-80.

3. If it's snowing in the Sierra's west of Reno, you only have two routes you can take to Sacramento: I-80 or US-50. They are the only routes CALTRANS plows through the mountains on a regular basis. And, it DOES snow up there. A lot. And, just about all the time. In fact, there was snow up there this week. But, they do a good job of keeping it passable. If the road is open, it is drivable, though there will probably be snow pack. Personally, I'd stay on I-80.

Just as you cross the state line, I-80 goes up at about a 6% grade for 6 or 7 miles. Don't worry about it. If it's snow packed, just watch your RPM's. If you have a standard transmission and the rear end starts to slip, just let off the gas and let it lug. Do NOT downshift unless you just have to. Where most people get into trouble is trying to keep the RPM's too high or during a shift. If you're driving an automatic transmission, use the manual selection to keep it in a lower gear.

After the summit at Truckee, the downgrade into Sacramento is about 40 miles long and consists of a series of slight downgrades interspersed with flat or even uphill sections. The downgrades are marked for length and grade so you'll know what's ahead of you and you can adjust your speed accordingly.

All across I-80 in December, you might run into winter weather. In the western states, they have barriers which they can use to close the road. In the ones more to the east, you'll have to be the judge of whether or not you should continue. If it makes you nervous, stop for the night and give the plows a chance to work.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2012, 07:50 AM
 
2,538 posts, read 4,030,702 times
Reputation: 3334
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucknow View Post
Watch out for black ice in the west on the I80. I have seen the wind blow hundreds of vehicles off the road on that super slick ice. If you start to see a few vehicles in the ditch, upside down, on the wrong side of the road etc, SLOW WAYYY DOWN!!!!
I drove across have of I-80 in WY last year in November. All I can say is good luck and hope for the best. The weather can change extremely quickly and become deadly in a matter of hours. They will close the highway if it gets too bad, but that means you could get stranded in the middle of nowhere. In the summer it is a great drive, but I don't think I would ever do it again in the winter. In the mountains they literally can get 10s of feet of snow in one storm and it can take days to clear the road.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2012, 10:28 AM
 
24 posts, read 56,141 times
Reputation: 16
thanks for the help and tips guys. it looks like i'm in for a real treat with this drive... can't wait!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,557 posts, read 10,264,564 times
Reputation: 9802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siva00x0 View Post
thanks for the help and tips guys. it looks like i'm in for a real treat with this drive... can't wait!!!
I wouldn't get too psyched out over bad weather because odds are it'll be an uneventful trip. Just be prepared in case it's not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2012, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Central Mass
1,976 posts, read 2,466,163 times
Reputation: 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
You can stop 2x for cheap IceCream Cones at Little America... but they are no longer $.25.
I was really let down when I stopped at Little America in June. If I would have stayed on 80 for one more stop, I could have saved like 0.10 per gallon (which is substantial on a 35g tank that was getting 8-10 mpg lol)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-01-2012, 12:22 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,475,774 times
Reputation: 29071
One caution. You'll be crossing over the Continental Divide at over 8,000 feet. Blizards can occur. Have emergency equipment, food, water and keep your cell phone charged. Listen for the weather reports.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top