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driving across usa

Victoria, Canada
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driving across usa

My husband and I want to drive from Portland to Savannah next March. We are wondering if there are best routes, or some we should avoid given the time of year. We want a fairly direct route since we would like to spend most of our time exploring new territory....that would be Savannah to Boston and maybe Kentucky and Tennessee. We will stay in motels, are happy to drive up to 10 hours a day and like to see new scenic places and picnic if weather permits. We welcome any suggestions.

Eugene, Oregon
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1. Re: driving across usa

Unless you like crossing mountains in winter weather and have 4-wheel-drive, you'll probably have to take a southen route...perhaps even going down to Southern California (as far south as San Diego) before turning east. Even then, you may hit snow, ice and other forms of bad weather going over the Siskiyous between Ashland and Yreka.

"Fairly direct route" to east coast and "March" don't get along well together (usually).

Baker City
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2. Re: driving across usa

It's easy to find weather information on the Internet and TV.

It's easy to find routes using aids such as Google maps.

Choose the most direct route (I-84 to I-80, etc.) Every day in March, tens of thousands of people in vehicles of every description drive this route. Because it is heavily traveled it is maintained very well.

When it is time to leave, check the weather. If it looks like there might be problems, take an alternate route. If there is an unlikely, unpredicted storm, you probably won't be delayed for more that a day, if that long. You probably won't have any problems at all.

Eugene, Oregon
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3. Re: driving across usa

That's a maybe OK for Oregon, Kuskokwim...but what about the Rockies?

I think it's a big gamble, even with tripcheck.com and other services to risk anything but a southern route in winter.

Vail, Colorado
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4. Re: driving across usa

I drove late last March from Hood River, OR to Rhode Island across 84 and 80. I had a blizzard in front of me and one behind me, it was a nerve wracking drive and I'm use to driving in the Rockies. I would also go as far south as possible. That's not to say you won't hit a blizzard in the southern plains but there is less of a chance.

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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5. Re: driving across usa

Hi mlunam, TripAdvisor has a forum just for Road Trips such as you are thinking of taking!

Click on this link to go there and start a new thread:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g1-i12567-Road_Tri…

Weather may be a factor in your travels. Some sections of the USA get a lot of snow, and there may be snow even as late as March. The major roads are plowed often and kept open, however, your driving will be slower and take longer, of course in poor weather.

How long do you have for your journey?

Baker City
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6. Re: driving across usa

If there is an unlikely blizzard lasting several days in the Rockies, you don't go that way.

Skiers drive to and through the Rockies all winter long.

People who live in Colorado and other places in the Rockies don't stay home all winter. They drive around just like people in Western Oregon.

UPS, Fedex and other cross-country freight isn't routed through San Diego in the winter. It goes through the Rockies.

We aren't talking about driving from Moscow to Vladivostok, we're talking about driving across the United States on the Interstate system. It's not a big deal.

Oregon/Washington
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for Portland, Sunriver
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7. Re: driving across usa

We have driven cross country multiple times. If you are comfortable driving in snow, then go whatever route you like best and just have a plan B if the weather gets too bad to continue for a day or so.

That said, heading down to San Diego and then across is good as far as weather. I will say that that route was one that both DH and I hated. When we finally arrived in GA, we said never again, lol.

Eugene, Oregon
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8. Re: driving across usa

Don't want to get into an argument with Kuskokwim, but with annual fatalities in the Cascades and even the Coast Range, I might be a bit more wary of winter weather than he is. And more cautious in downplaying the difficulties of driving in winter weather, even on the interstates. Here's a quote from Denver.Com:

March is the snowiest month in Denver, often with the biggest and most unexpected blizzards,

And this year in Oklahoma!

foxnews.com/weather/…

More Googling can uncover lots of other scary reports. My point is to be alert and take due precaution. Even the southern route has to go over high alttitudes in Arizona and New Mexico and it might be long and tedious (unless you have ample time and can plan stopovers in interesting places), I'd take that route in a minute rather than take chances on the Rockies or upper/middle midwest in March.

And I don't think it's responsible to tell people it's a stroll in the park, not Moscow to Vladivostok. It's not machismo to get stranded in a snowbank.

Portland, OR
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9. Re: driving across usa

I have done this a couple of times and from Oregon I head south during that time of year. I must say it seemed like it took a lifetime to drive across Texas but it can be an enjoyable trip, especially if you take your time and visit some off-the-beaten-path locations.

Vail, Colorado
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10. Re: driving across usa

Even if you are comfortable driving in the snow it doesn't mean that everyone else on the road with you is good at it. I have seen too many visitors with their rental 4 wheel drives in Colorado think it means 4 wheel stop.

Whichever route you choose, be prepared. Have a paper map, don't rely only on GPS, have food, water and blankets in the car and check the weather frequently.