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Old 01-19-2010, 10:23 AM
 
75 posts, read 198,289 times
Reputation: 54

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Hey All,

So I am moving from Chicago, Il to Seattle, Wa!
Yup! Super Excited!

However, I'm driving!!
My wife and son are going to fly out, but my brother and myself
are going to drive.

It's looking to me like I want to take I-90 all the way.
Seems scenic and pretty much goes right there!

Please fill me in on travel conditions. (Especially with it being winter)
I leave the morning of Jan 29th.
Also I will be driving in a 4 wheel drive Mountaineer (SUV).
It has always done well in winter, but I'm curious in people thoughts about this route.

thanks
-Jeff

Last edited by jefftpr; 01-19-2010 at 10:24 AM.. Reason: Title missing
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:17 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,447,720 times
Reputation: 8158
Watch the forecast.

Even in flat regions of southern Minnesota, I-90 has been shut down when we in central Minnesota didn't get the storm.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:19 PM
 
12,258 posts, read 18,390,529 times
Reputation: 19079
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefftpr View Post
Please fill me in on travel conditions. (Especially with it being winter)
I leave the morning of Jan 29th.
WTF? Do you think we have crystal balls? Look at weather.com or the weather forecast sites.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:41 PM
 
75 posts, read 198,289 times
Reputation: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
WTF? Do you think we have crystal balls? Look at weather.com or the weather forecast sites.


Wow, spoken like a true gentlemen.

No! I don't think you have a crystal ball.
However, I never thought I would have to break down the question so that you "Understood" it in the 'oh so' obvious way I asked it.

I am just curious of general travel conditions on I-90 during the winter time.
However, I do thank you for your witty, yet smart response of (weather.com).
Which I already checked, because checking those sites is...idk...super obvious.
(Which in any matter they only do 10 days ahead)

Thanks though

Thanks marmac for the info and lol Dd714 for the website
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:51 PM
 
14,253 posts, read 23,969,886 times
Reputation: 20035
As much as you don't want to admit it, Dd714 is correct. Weather forecasts are generally accurate MAYBE 24 hour out.

Check the DOT websites for the states you are driving through and carry chains prior to getting to the mountain passes.

Carry enough supplies, sleepong bags and blankets to allow you to survive for a MINIMUM of 72 hours should you run into difficulties.

Don't let the fact that you own a 4wd lull you into a false sense of security. While they may give you more traction in certain situations, such advantage is lost if you do NOT drive defensively and slow down on slick surfaces.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:10 PM
 
12,258 posts, read 18,390,529 times
Reputation: 19079
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefftpr View Post


Wow, spoken like a true gentlemen.
The thing is, we get these posts all the time in this forum by the newbies; "what will weather be like on highway x during the week of y". We know people are asking about general conditions, but there are no general conditions during winter - it might rain, it might snow, it might be sunny. It might be clear conditions in Montana, and a snow storm with impassable highways 1,000 miles to the south. It's all dependent on mother nature.

Also, truckers cover these routes 365 days a year, rain or snow it doesn't matter to them. It's not like anyone is crossing the Siberean wastelands. US Highways do have these things called snowplows and salt trucks.

The general advice will always stay the same - watch the weather forecast for the areas you will cross a few days before you leave and plan your route accordingly, be wary of the mountain passes, and be prepared...and also know that I've seen more 4wd SUV's turned over in ditches during snow storms than I can count. Give me a lightweight front wheel drive any day of the week over 4wd (all wheel drive, not 4wd, is what you want for snow driving).
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,217 posts, read 44,870,326 times
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About the only useful comment I can make at this point would be to check your tires, I'm assuming you have some sort of all-season tire on your SUV, these do a lot better in snow when they have nearly full tread depth than when they are half-worn or more. The distance from the rim of a quarter to the top of George Washington's head is frequently quoted as about the minimum that will do well in snow.

If you want to sell that SUV though, you would probably get more for it there than here - in Chicago people will expect it to be rusty, out here with little or no salt use older rigs usually don't have rust issues - and I for one would not buy it as soon as I realized it was from the Midwest. You could consider selling the truck there and flying, buy something here.

On the other hand if you plan to drive it till the wheels fall off, it will be uglier than most but whatever.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:15 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,349,514 times
Reputation: 4909
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
The thing is, we get these posts all the time in this forum by the newbies; "what will weather be like on highway x during the week of y". We know people are asking about general conditions, but there are no general conditions during winter - it might rain, it might snow, it might be sunny. It might be clear conditions in Montana, and a snow storm with impassable highways 1,000 miles to the south. It's all dependent on mother nature.
Highly unlikely that there will be either sun or rain in Montana on I-90 in January. I'd be putting my money on snow.

On the Montana/Idaho border, I-90 runs up a very steep mountainside of narrow switchbacks, Lookout Pass. Very very nasty stretch of road. More often than not in the winter, chains are required through this mountain range. Four wheel drive or no, you won't be going up Lookout Pass without chains.

Then a couple of hours later westbound on I-90 in Idaho, you get to climb Fourth of July Pass. Not as bad as Lookout. Everything between Missoula MT and Coeur D'Alene ID on I-90 is white knuckle driving in the dead of winter.

I don't envy you.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,652,720 times
Reputation: 7720
Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
Highly unlikely that there will be either sun or rain in Montana on I-90 in January. I'd be putting my money on snow.

On the Montana/Idaho border, I-90 runs up a very steep mountainside of narrow switchbacks, Lookout Pass. Very very nasty stretch of road. More often than not in the winter, chains are required through this mountain range. Four wheel drive or no, you won't be going up Lookout Pass without chains.

Then a couple of hours later westbound on I-90 in Idaho, you get to climb Fourth of July Pass. Not as bad as Lookout. Everything between Missoula MT and Coeur D'Alene ID on I-90 is white knuckle driving in the dead of winter.

I don't envy you.


There's also Homestake, just before Butte. And Snoqualmie in Washington. And the Black Hills of SD, where low temperatures can be very extreme.

It can be a pretty tough ride across 90. If it's snowing, it's typically blowing as well, which affects your vehicles handling and your visibility.

But, thousands do it every day, so you can do it too. Just have enough sense to know when to stop if gets bad.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,415 posts, read 17,378,768 times
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Monitor the current and forecast weather ahead of you all the way. When you stop for fuel, ask those coming from the other direction and those behind the counter what you've got ahead of you.

Have chains and emergency gear packed, including food, water, blankets, candles, etc.

I think most states have a highway conditions toll-free phone number to call. Get those numbers ahead of time and call before you drive into a blizzard and have nowhere to stay. (Hotel rooms fill up fast when I-90 closes.)

I'm more optimistic than most of the posters seem to be. Chances are you'll make it all the way without closures. Just be aware that it's very possible you will have a closure or two. It once took me a full week to get across South Dakota on I-90. Roads closed, then opened a day later. Temps were -30 and my battery froze up, killing my alternator in the process. Then the roads were closed again -- no way to get an alternator in. Finally it arrived and was installed, and the roads closed again. I was sick the whole time. Worst week of my life. But I've driven the same stretch of road a hundred other times in the winter without problem one.
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