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Old 10-17-2008, 09:15 PM
 
29 posts, read 83,949 times
Reputation: 33

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I'm moving to Eugene and my last leg will be Oct. 31st going from Caldwell Idaho to Eugene. I'm contemplating making the drive across central oregon going on US-20 to OR-126 (avoiding OR-242). This is an iffy time of year for this drive, but it'd shave 100 miles off by not going up to portland on I-84 and would be a lot more scenic. I'll be towing a small 8' u-haul trailer.

Bad idea? Looks like it's already below freezing at night around Santiam Pass. But assuming I check the weather in Caldwell that morning and there isn't any snow on the pass, should I be good to go? Any other spots I might need to watch for weather? And even without snow, is this road good enough for driving on with a small trailer?
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:49 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,792 posts, read 10,581,020 times
Reputation: 9711
You just might get lucky and get an answer from someone who knows those roads firsthand. I wouldn't hold my breath. I mean that in a good way. This forum is very helpful but at the level of detail you are wanting I think you might want to call AAA or something in addition to posting here. Disregard this message if you have already done so.

H
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Old 10-18-2008, 11:24 AM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,785 posts, read 16,629,707 times
Reputation: 10647
Go here for up-to-the-minute road conditions and a forecast for the next couple days: you can click on weather conditions and pass cams.

TripCheck - Road Cams, Road & Weather Conditions in Oregon - ODOT
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Old 10-18-2008, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,971,247 times
Reputation: 5833
More scenic than driving the Columbia River Gorge? I'm not so sure I'd agree, though both are nice. You may shave off miles, but you'll take many more hours more with that route.

I don't think weather is likely to be a problem, though.
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Loving life
103 posts, read 489,441 times
Reputation: 88
I made the trip last June. I would bet that 242 will be closed. Stop at Bend and ask, then again at Sisters. Personally I think that this time of year I84 would be a better bet. Over all 20 is not a bad road. 126 is a steep down hill drive. Make sure your breaks are good!
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Denver
1,082 posts, read 4,426,816 times
Reputation: 553
Default use lower gear downhill

I drive in freezing mountains all the time with a regular car--instead of braking continuously, better to use the lower gears, even in automatic cars a 3 or a 2 gear will slow you down better, and you can keep in the gear as long as you need. Less worry about fishtailing, sudden stops, etc. Also better for mileage.

By the way, the weather on the coast today looks gorgeous. It's been a relatively dry fall in the Rocky Mountains so it seems that any untoward weather will be spotty at best.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:07 PM
 
30 posts, read 119,359 times
Reputation: 24
I've lived in Oregon many years and could drive most of the mountain passes with eyes closed (but I don't) <G> The Willamette (hwy 58) and Santiam (hwy 20) Passes should be clear until mid-Nov and even later. The ski areas are hopeful to open by Thanksgiving, but it ususally doesn't happen. All the pass highways are wide and well maintained. I would not even consider 242 pulling a trainer, even in good weather. As mentioned, log onto tripcheck.com and view the passes when the time comes.
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