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Old 11-20-2008, 10:59 AM
 
15 posts, read 57,967 times
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Hubby, myself and our 2 kids are making a cross country trip leaving from Seattle to Kentucky. Obviously safety is more important than the time it takes us so we're trying to map out the best route around the mtn passes. We will be driving a 4X4 excursion, so I feel good about that...but we've never taken this route before in the winter. We'll be heading out mid December around the 12-14th.

Anyway, I've been doing some research on the trip and we're going to try and drive by Yosemite. So, that will leave us taking either I-5 or the coastal routes through Oregon to CA...any suggestions?

I think we're going to drive down to Yosemite, then down to the Grand Canyon area, and then the southern route (NM, northern TX, OK) to Ky.

Suggestions, tips, experiences? All would be appreciated.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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We've done a bit of driving like that during winters and our experience is that as long as you stay on the main interstate highways and carry with you the appropriate precautionary gear (chains, or use snow tires, extra non-perishable food & water & snacks, blankets, flares, emergency kit, wind-up radio and flashlight or battery operated with extra batteries, etc.) everything should be fine. Most of the main interstates are watched and cared for during bad weather, and if they should have to close for snow removal or flooding or whatnot you just need to be prepared to sit and wait. Just don't take the smaller highways and roads - stay on the main highways and main mountain passes. You might also want to have your vehicle checked and any adjustments made for high altitude and winter driving.... especially have your brakes and tires checked. Carry extra clothes, waterproof clothing, etc. Basically pack like you're going camping. That's what we do, anyway, and we've always been fine. We were snowed in once in Washington state when an avalanch took out I-90... we had a long wait while they cleared the highway, but when you're prepared you are able to make the best of it, so we did and it was actually kind of fun for us and the kids.

Also you can carry extra already charged-up batteries for your cell phones, so in case something happens and you can't charge your phone, you can pop the extra battery in there and be OK for a bit. I've also seen wind-up phone chargers, but I don't know too much about them...

Good luck with your trip!
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:53 AM
 
15 posts, read 57,967 times
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Thanks,
so don't do the coastal route and stick to I-5?
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:06 PM
 
170 posts, read 302,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth100 View Post
Hubby, myself and our 2 kids are making a cross country trip leaving from Seattle to Kentucky. Obviously safety is more important than the time it takes us so we're trying to map out the best route around the mtn passes. We will be driving a 4X4 excursion, so I feel good about that...but we've never taken this route before in the winter. We'll be heading out mid December around the 12-14th.

Anyway, I've been doing some research on the trip and we're going to try and drive by Yosemite. So, that will leave us taking either I-5 or the coastal routes through Oregon to CA...any suggestions?

I think we're going to drive down to Yosemite, then down to the Grand Canyon area, and then the southern route (NM, northern TX, OK) to Ky.

Suggestions, tips, experiences? All would be appreciated.
Good luck on your trip! Watch for "ice" on the roads. That is the worst thing possible. You have very little control of your vehicle if on ice. Also, lots of "black ice". I remember it being in Seattle a lot when I lived there. Believe me, it is much worse and more common in this part of the country. It is not uncommon for I-40 to be closed for days. Especially around Amarillo, Texas, Oklahoma City, etc. The Interstates in my state are not maintained in bad weather like they are in Washington State. Take emergency supplies for winter weather and watch the weather hour to hour. It changes dramatically at any given time in this part of the country. God speed and enjoy!

Last edited by Old Hippie Lady; 11-20-2008 at 12:08 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:18 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 16,729,945 times
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The coast route will take at least 3 times as long as I-5 will - I say go down I-5 and, take that "saved" time at Yosemite and the Grand Canyon.

You will probably hit some ice and snow (definitely in Yosemite) and just remember that the Excursion is massive and heavy and, even with 4wd and good tires, does not stop well. While the 4wd will keep you going when traction is iffy, it will not really help you stop any better on slick roads. You'll need to have either "traction" tires (look for the mud and snow symbol on the tire rim) or chains - or both, preferably - and you need to know how to put the chains on.
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Old 11-20-2008, 05:42 PM
 
15 posts, read 57,967 times
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thanks so much for the advice. we had already decided to get the chains (but i'll have to suggest to practice putting them on before we leave - i hadn't thought about that) PNW-type-gal - thanks for the I-5 info. that was mainly what i was looking for.
thanks everyone! we know to take it slow..we have precious cargo
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