Skip to comments.VANITY: Request for Travel Advice for Winter Road Trip
Posted on 12/17/2010 10:38:59 PM PST by rabscuttle385
I am contemplating making a road trip in January to visit friends out in Middle America. This thread is to solicit advice from fellow FReepers on winter travel in the West.
See the map below for my planned itinerary.
A few things to consider...
I have driven in the Rockies (Montana, Wyoming) in the late spring, including during the late May 2010 snowstorm in Wyoming and the Dakotas, so I'm not entirely unfamiliar with mountain driving.
My car is a four-door sedan with front wheel-drive and Michelin Weatherwise II tires with 25K miles remaining. I do plan to have a pre-trip inspection and service appointment with my mechanic.
I do have an emergency kit and full-size spare tire in the trunk.
I will get AAA roadside assistance.
I will check weather reports regularly.
I will stay on U.S. highways and interstate highways.
I will have about 11-12 days for the entire trip.
Any other advice, especially considering the portion of the route that's in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona? Any cool places to see?
Colorado Springs should be on your list of stops.
Just be sure to carry a blanket, flashlight, and emergency food with you. If you get caught in a snowstorm, don’t run your engine to keep warm, you might get carbon monoxide poisoning by doing that. And carry tire chains.
Red Rocks is the only thing worth seeing in Denver.
If you need some info on what to do or where to stay in Houston, let me know.
I don’t think the northern leg of that trip is going to be particularly feasible that time of year unless you have unseasonably warm weather, dude.
Have you been to the WWII (D Day) Museum in New Orleans? If not, and if that type of thing interests you, I would definitely head over there on your way to Tennessee.
Good thing you’re not driving over the Sierra mountains through Nevada, we’re having a Donner Party weather year!
That said, driving through any part of the country with snow, it’s best to have a couple 50 pound bags of sand in your trunk. One bag over each back wheel. Adds weight for traction and if you do get stuck , just pull them out, spread the sand in front of all four wheels, and drive away.
I could always make Nashville my first stop and get Algore to emit some more hot air, ROFL.
While in Tucson see the Pima Air Museum, well the few bucks to get in!
The Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum is a good choice as well.
If you don;t have a lot of time, hit the Titan II missile site - you can ‘do’ that in under 2 hours.
Actually, the closest I've been to New Orleans is Vicksburg. I may stop on the way back.
I am explicitly trying to avoid mountains wherever possible.
Such a schedule looks pretty tight. If I travel alone I prefer to limit my daily trip to 300-350, maybe 400 miles for ease and comfort. If your trip is 1,500 miles long West to East and another 500 miles North to South then the round trip distance should be about 4,000 miles. (You should have the correct number in your Google route.) There is no slack in this schedule, and even if you have a replacement driver (which on such a long trip is a must) then you won't see much on the trip; and if any road is closed and you need a detour then you are even further behind. Same if the car needs servicing or you need a day of rest. You simply won't have much time to meet your friends, and if you do you will be dog tired.
There’s good numbers of things to see in every location; my concern would be that the southern route is practically chosen for you unless you’re eager to increase your risk and heighten your general anxiety level.
That seems like a lot of ground to cover in 12 days. You should probably take more time or make the trip shorter.
I don’t think you’ll have much time to enjoy many places. 11 days for this distance is too short. But when in Durango, stop in The Diamond Belle Saloon at the Strater Hotel and I’ll buy you a drink.
Well, this is a tentative schedule. I haven’t finalized an itinerary yet, and some destinations will probably get dropped due to timing. I do also plan on at least one or two alternate itineraries in case, e.g., a snowstorm rolls across Kansas and Colorado, I could veer south towards Texas. I also could request more PTO, but I don’t want to use up everything in the first month of the year.
Also keep in mind that all-season tires does not apply to the rockies. Get winter tires.
I'm not going into Ciudad Juarez. ;-)