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-   -   Driving Cross Country in Winter? Interstate 80? (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk/402795-driving-cross-country-winter-interstate-80-a.html)

MrKen 12-30-04 12:43 AM

Driving Cross Country in Winter? Interstate 80?
 
Hi,

My wife is driving from San Francisco to Chicago in a week or so. We just did the drive over from Chicago in the spring and summer, but going back in the winter may be a bitch, or impossible.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of drive? Will the passes through Wyoming even be opened?

Thanks for any info!

Mopower 12-30-04 12:48 AM

You might try the Department of Transportation websites for each state. I know Iowa's has a map of Iowa with the major roads including I-80 and shows the road conditions at the time.

RaraFemina 12-30-04 10:00 AM

It's not that bad, but make sure she has chains or whatever may be needed in the mountains. I lived in California and my parents were in Illinois, so we made that trip on I-80 several times. We never needed the chains, but sometimes they require it. Just make sure she is patient, because trying to pass on some of those roads is dangerous, and even worse when you mix the snow and ice into to.

Groucho 12-30-04 10:05 AM

What kind of car is she driving? Does she have snow tires? Chains?

I drove on I-80 through Wyoming right after Thanksgiving. It was white-knuckle. A lot of people gave up and got hotels. Others were slid off to the side. It was a mess, but doable. But it gets a lot worse.

Be aware that they often close the road altogether, but it's based on conditions.

OldDude 12-30-04 10:20 AM


Originally Posted by MrKen
Hi,

My wife is driving from San Francisco to Chicago in a week or so. We just did the drive over from Chicago in the spring and summer, but going back in the winter may be a bitch, or impossible.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of drive? Will the passes through Wyoming even be opened?

Thanks for any info!

You are at the mercy of the weather. Passes on Interstates aren't closed all winter, because they clean and reopen them as fast as they can. If a storm comes through, they may be closed for a few days, and you just have to wait it out.

We drove from Detroit to St George, UT to see my wife's family once for Xmas (via I-80, I-76, I-70). There was a storm in the Rockies, and it was tough driving. Hours after we passed through, they closed I-70 near the Eisenhower tunnel, west of Denver, for 3 days; that would have screwed up Xmas nicely. The trip back was uneventful. So it is 100% weather dependent.

nevermind 12-30-04 10:23 AM

When we were in Lake Tahoe in March 2002 I-80 was closed at Donner's Pass for 2 or 3 days because of one helluva storm.

B.A. 12-30-04 11:01 AM

Or take a Southern Route.

Just go from San Francisco to Vegas. From Vegas to Santa Fe. From Santa Fe to Oklahoma City. From Oklahoma City to St. Louis. From St. Louis to Chicago.

Groucho 12-30-04 11:04 AM


Originally Posted by nevermind
When we were in Lake Tahoe in March 2002 I-80 was closed at Donner's Pass for 2 or 3 days because of one helluva storm.

Perfect opportunity to pull over and recreate some of that famous "Donner Cuisine".

BDB 12-30-04 12:40 PM

as you probably know there is a pretty severe storm hitting us and the tahoe area right now, so I'd hope for some letup before she hits the road next week.

HistoryProf 12-30-04 12:58 PM

Yep...the Sierra Nevada section tends to be far worse than Wyoming...that would be my biggest concern - especially with that huge storm that's been sitting on California for a few days now.

namja 12-30-04 01:39 PM

Yup, it's 100% weather dependent. Once when I was returning to Michigan from Steamboat Springs, CO, the I-76 east of Denver was closed due to snow, but they said that I-80 East was open. So we drove north from Denver to Cheyenne to take the I-80 East from there. When we got to Cheyenne 2 hours later, a blizzard was just moving in. On the radio, they said that the I-80 was going to close. Then about 5 minutes later, a sheriff drove past us, and a few miles down, he closed the freeway (there's actually a metal gate that they close with several flashing light messages starting at about a mile leading up to the gate). I was the first car to be stopped because of freeway closure that day.

I guess in a sense, I was very lucky. I could have been stuck on the road somewhere.

Hokeyboy 12-30-04 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by Groucho
Perfect opportunity to pull over and recreate some of that famous "Donner Cuisine".

:mad:

MrKen 12-31-04 08:20 PM

Thanks for the input. I think she should go through Vegas!


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