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Old 01-19-2010, 10:31 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,350,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
But, thousands do it every day, so you can do it too. Just have enough sense to know when to stop if gets bad.
Thousands every day in the middle of winter? Uh......no. Couple of hundred maybe, and a whole lot of them professional truckers.

We drove I-90 from Spokane WA to Butte MT for the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. There was nobody out there except for some long haul truckers and the occasional local. Very sparse. Plenty of snow around but the highway was all good except for those very treacherous mountain passes. They're bad. Just bad.

Last edited by azoria; 01-19-2010 at 10:43 PM..
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:53 PM
 
75 posts, read 198,315 times
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Awesome! Thats what I needed to know! Thanks, but I have to admit I'm now getting a bit scared!
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,152 posts, read 6,320,285 times
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If you were in Chicago any lenght of time, you pretty much have seen all of the winter driving conditions you might encounter along the way. I have been over the I-90 moutain passes in the winter several times. Never had any problems. My only suggestion is to give yourself a couple extra days to get there. If the road conditions get to where you are not comfortable, get a motel and call it a day.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:00 AM
 
12,265 posts, read 18,393,933 times
Reputation: 19087
Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
Highly unlikely that there will be either sun or rain in Montana on I-90 in January.
Say what? LOL. I am sure people from Montana would be entertained to know that someone from Seattle says the sun never comes out and it never gets above freezing in Montana in winter. (I might invite the people over from the Montana forum to laugh at you).
Yesterday it was 45 degrees in Billings, ever hear of Chinook winds? temperatures in the 50s can occur. But this isn't a weather forum, just wanted to clear up such an obvious misstatement. Seattle? Yeah you guys go into panic when you see snow flurries.

Last edited by Dd714; 01-20-2010 at 07:17 AM..
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:40 AM
 
14,257 posts, read 23,974,521 times
Reputation: 20048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Mutt View Post
If you were in Chicago any lenght of time, you pretty much have seen all of the winter driving conditions you might encounter along the way. I have been over the I-90 moutain passes in the winter several times. Never had any problems. My only suggestion is to give yourself a couple extra days to get there. If the road conditions get to where you are not comfortable, get a motel and call it a day.
There is a substantial difference between driving on flat roads in Chicago and driving on hilly and mountainous roads. Just maintaining momentum heading up hills can be a real challenge to the uninitiated.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:10 AM
 
75 posts, read 198,315 times
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Well I'm going to buy chains for sure now and I have a week to get out to Seattle.
I'm going to take it WAY SLOW!
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:04 AM
 
12,265 posts, read 18,393,933 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefftpr View Post
Well I'm going to buy chains for sure now and I have a week to get out to Seattle.
I'm going to take it WAY SLOW!
You don't need chains...or, I should say, from the degree of your concern - if you think you need chains on a stretch of road you shouldn't be driving that stretch of road period - pick another route, or overnight in a hotel.

Just to show I am not all a bad guy I am attaching a link to a post from the Montana forum, from people that live there, not from a lowlander:
Traveling through on I-90 this time of year?

General consensus is that you will be fine, no chains needed unless you really think you need to travel over a pass during a bad storm. And we already advised you to watch the weather forecast and highway conditions, or wait it out, etc.

Last edited by Dd714; 01-20-2010 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:13 PM
 
75 posts, read 198,315 times
Reputation: 54
ok I just saw everyone was telling me I would HAVE to have chains to make it up some of the passes so I got a bit worried.

I'm a good driver and have drove all over the country during all types of weather, just never in the west.
I will be keeping an eye on the weather the whole way and taking it easy. I just dont want to be unprepared. Plus I really don't want to but chains, but they way everyones been talking about this trip, they make it seem not possible with out them.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,416 posts, read 17,382,101 times
Reputation: 14073
No, chains aren't likely to be needed, but they should be available for your use just in case. I always carry chains with me but haven't actually used them since about 15 years ago, and that was off the main road when I happened to get stuck. Normally the Interstate will be closed by the highway department before it gets so bad that chains are needed, especially if you're driving a 4x4. But just like other emergency gear that should be packed, if/when you need them, you REALLY need them.

Here in NE Wyoming on I-90 it's currently a sunny 43F and headed for 47F today. That doesn't mean that it won't be -30F with a raging blizzard this time next week. In fact, a quick check on the weather forecast says we should get 6+ inches of snow this weekend with sustained winds of 27 mph and gusts to 49 mph. That could shut down parts of I-90 for a spell.


Azoria, I don't often travel I-90 between Spokane and Butte, but in most sections between Chicago and Billings, MT, I can assure you that "thousands" of travelers per day is not unusual in the dead of winter.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,416 posts, read 17,382,101 times
Reputation: 14073
Jeff, I'd just get some cable chains -- one pair in case of emergency. I'd try them on in your driveway before you leave to make sure you know how to do it and that they'll fit. It's a lot easier than fighting them for the first time once you're stuck, or even if you aren't stuck but pulled to the side of the highway with strong winds blowing snow in your face. You probably won't need them, but it's wise to have them for this trip and any other winter trips you'll take in the PNW. I also always carry a tow rope and jumper cables. I don't use them often, but they're not virgins either.

Last edited by WyoNewk; 01-20-2010 at 12:52 PM..
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