On The Road Again

Heading out of Vegas north to Arizona, Utah, and eventually Colorado. I may check in from the road, since I bought myself a Verizon Aircard for Christmas. Hope Santa was good to everyone…

[Late evening update]

The plan had been to make it all the way to Denver tonight, but we got a late start from Vegas, and we would have gotten in very late, so we stopped in Grand Junction. Looking at the weather in the room, it looks like it was a good move, because there’s a lot of snow on the road up ahead at the Divide. I hope it will be better in the morning.

[Saturday morning update]

Well, it’s better this morning, but still looks like a slow drive. The snow isn’t blowing any more, but there are icy patches and packed snow ahead. I’m guessing five hours, but maybe we’ll be able to do better.

[Evening update]

We made a lot better time than I hoped — about three and a half hours. The only places where the roads were a little iffy were in Vail Pass and climbing up the the RooseveltEisenhower tunnel, but it generally moved at better than sixty and eighty for much of the trip. The nice thing was that there was little traffic, and virtually no trucks, doubtless due to the holiday.

Are there any Denver-area blogger parties for New Years?

12 thoughts on “On The Road Again”

  1. Ah, traffic will get better just a wee bit north of Vegas, on I-15. It sounds like you may go north, up to I-70 and then east. Good luck, hope the weather is OK.

  2. Good thing you’ll be crossing Vail Pass on a Saturday, and one hopes early. I bet the ski traffic through there back to Denver will be hideous on Sunday.

  3. After reading the update about icy patches, I’m reminded of one of my worst drives from San Francisco to Denver. I’d taken the northern route, because it was winter, but alas I-80 through Wyoming was one solid sheet of ice and snow. I drove something like 100 miles in 2nd gear. Blech.

    The odd thing is that big trucks are often better under these conditions — high wind, flat, icy — because of their weight, so while I was gingerly poking along at 20 MPH they would be blowing by at 40.

    Meanwhile, this, for those playing at home.

  4. I’d taken the northern route, because it was winter, but alas I-80 through Wyoming was one solid sheet of ice and snow.

    That’s when you take the southern route on I-40 through Albuquerque and up. It’s warmer, drier, and lower elevation than any of the other major routes. It still gets snow (I rode in a vehicle that spun out heading to Flagstaff from Albuquerque), but your odds are as good as they’ll get.

  5. This is the kind of weather that makes me glad I got a Subaru Impreza 2.5rs. My car has realtime all-wheel drive with a set of Fuzion VRi all weather tires and I was just cutting through the snow and ice like a hot knife through butter. Had to drive to the parents house on Christmas Eve going from east Texas over to the Mid-cities between DFW right at the time the blizzard was rolling through (yes a couple inches of snow is a blizzard for Dallas area). On the way back the highway was shut down right at the 183/I-35 merge due to a pile up. I was stuck between exits so I just made my own. I cut over a snow covered embankment. kicking up a rooster tail of snow and mud. I was actually having quite a bit of fun driving around in all the mess. I have to admit though that over 2 hours for a drive that normally takes 45 minutes I was glad to finally be home.

  6. Two blizzards in two weeks, half the country, or better, under snow for Christmas. Is THIS the infamous Global Warming we’ve heard so much about? Or is it the Climate Change Global Warming became? Or is it the Global Cooling that smog and petrochemicals was inevitably bringing on in the 1970’s?

    Or is it JUST weather? The same damnable, changeable weather man has fought since time began? And cold weather when and where cold weather usually exists, half a week into winter?

    And who COULD have predicted it?

    Be careful all, while coming back over the river and through the woods. Watch out for a rain of toads or tadpoles. Unless, of course, Al Gore is calling for them too!!

  7. I-40/I-25 would add several hundred miles to the trip coming from San Francisco. It’s a reasonable alternate route, and in fact probably the best winter one, coming from LA, but since we went to Vegas, it would also have been quite a bit out of the way.

  8. That’s the Roosevelt Tunnel along I-60 in the state of Jefferson, right? ‘Cause in Colorado there’s a Eisenhower Tunnel (which seem shorter than I’d expected.)

    I was hauling a trailer once up the pass between Laramie to Cheyenne when a gentle snowshower turned into a white out. All I had to follow were the tracks of a truck that preceded me, and then those started to disappear. It the truck had gone into the ditch, I’d have followed him. Then there was the other time, westbound that in that short stretch, in which my radio antenna (along with the rest of the vehicle) picked up several inches of rime ice from 40mph or so headwinds. Or the time an overturned RV in a construction zone caused a 20 mile backup between Rawlins and Rock Springs in the aftermath of an April blizzard.

    There’s a reason they have those closure gates outside every town along I-80 in Wyoming.

  9. As a matter of fact, Rand, a good portion of People’s Press Collective will be at my place on New Year’s Day. Email me at the PPC address attached to this comment, if you’re interested (not my MarsBlog address, since that doesn’t go to my phone).

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