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Old 08-23-2009, 10:11 PM
3 posts, read 7,351 times
Reputation: 11
My partner and I live in Toronto and have family friends who live in Salt lake, we are interested in driving there for christmas with our pet dog. How realistic would it be to drive between these two cities in winter conditions? I maped out a rough plan on google maps...it would take us through Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, how are the road conditions at Christmas time?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:13 PM
Location: 151st Street
188 posts, read 345,199 times
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I...I can't even begin to think about how terrible of a drive that would be.

I'd put the kibosh on that idea right away.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:28 PM
3 posts, read 7,351 times
Reputation: 11
Why do you say that? I'm happy to do it over 3-4 days. Why would it be terrible? I'm used to long distance driving. Are you talking about the conditions?
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:38 PM
Location: 151st Street
188 posts, read 345,199 times
Reputation: 303
I'm make a poor, cranky long-distance driver, I guess. Heh.


What kind of vehicle do you own?

Is your partner mentally stable?

Good dog? Bad Dog?

I guess the main issues are the road conditions and the type of vehicle you have. That time of year, the mountains and those wide open expanses of plains might really prohibit you from being a happy, breathing driver. My two cents.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:12 AM
Location: The other side of the mountain
2,409 posts, read 5,306,284 times
Reputation: 1092
That is at least a 3-4 day trip in the best conditions...well, we drove from SLC to OH and it took us 3.5 days of around 8 hours a day. We also had two kids and 3 dogs with us. They all travel well though, and we didn't stop but maybe twice a day for fuel and potty breaks.
Wyoming can get pretty nasty with some storms. It isn't unusual for I-80 to be closed in some areas due to conditions. I would imagine that NE would also be like that. With NE, there is flat land. WY has those hills to climb! Either one can have their own trials in the winter.

Of course, it can be done! You just better be prepared. Have a winter survival kit in your car, chains, a cell phone and don't discount that you may need to spend an extra day or two in a hotel!
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:53 AM
Location: east millcreek
835 posts, read 1,608,676 times
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I love a Road Trip! We drove I80 across Wyoming for a Thanksgiving trip to Kansas. It can be pretty sketchy due to the wind and blowing snow. As Katydid pointed out, be prepared for anything and everything. It can get down to 1 lane on the freeway and slow going-but is so stark and beautiful-the first time or 3. Have plenty of stuff in the car in case you do need to hunker down-especially for the pooch. No experience with Nebraska but it is probably quite similar to I70 on Kansas. I still laugh about the first time that Mr was with me when we drove back to see my parents. It was in the summer, hot and windy-imagine that in Kansas! There are the big crossing gates and tons of hotels/motels on the side of the road in these tiny little towns. He finally asked me what that was all about-him being a native of San Diego and all. I still don't think that he believes me when I recount the tales of sleeping in the lobby/hallway when I70 gets closed!
We love to spend the night at the Little America in Cheyenne-then it is 454 miles to SLC. Not sure if they take dogs though..
I say go for it! It will be a great adventure and Christmas in the Wasatch can be stunning!
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:05 AM
43 posts, read 94,536 times
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Originally Posted by KJAnsia View Post
Is your partner mentally stable?
That made me laugh!
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:59 PM
Location: Utah
4,892 posts, read 13,012,744 times
Reputation: 4719
I would echo what others have said about the drive through Wyoming and into Utah along I-80. I wouldn't want to drive that in the winter.

Best of luck to you for a safe trip and Merry Christmas.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:36 AM
Location: Manatee County
459 posts, read 912,354 times
Reputation: 277
I went from Chicago to Salt Lake last January. Made it in 23 hours, only stopping for gas, a little time at the casino, and food. It really wasn't bad, the worst part was on I-80 through Wyoming with the wind blowing, trying to maneuver a Suburban with 4 adults packed to the brim with luggage and other stuff down a mountain. Ran into a little ice here and there, but nothing that was intolerable. During a winter storm, I can see how 80 could get to be a little much to handle, but they also have gates to close it down when you leave cities through Wyoming, if it gets that bad.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:42 PM
Location: DEN-CO
360 posts, read 937,513 times
Reputation: 122
I-80 is particularly bad between Larime and Rawlins, WY. Last year they instituted a special lower seasonal speed limit and have lots of new signs warning of impending doom ahead. I would definitely check ahead from Cheyenne before attempting this stretch, which mostly consists of steep grades and is known for alot of wind.

Even if the conditions show blowing snow, don't take it lightly. I flipped off the 80 in blowing snow, and it can happen even when its sunny and blue skies. Don't let calm weather through this part give you a false sense of security, I didn't learn that until it was too late.

WYDOT Travel Information Service (Laramie)
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