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Has anyone had to drive from MN to WA in the winter?

Tell me about it. I have to do it in January with 2 kids.

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Asked by sunshine58103 at 9:03 PM on Nov. 16, 2010 in Travel

Level 17 (3,585 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I did it last winter with 3 kids. There were som harry moments it was not so much fun. I timed the passed in Idaho and Washington during full sun. It was 30 below and there was so much snow and ice. The left lane was pretty much impassable but with the semis and a few cars travelling in the righ lane it was ok. I wouldn't say it was great and I probably wouldn't do it again unless it was avoidable. I saw a few dozen vehicles in ditches and off the side of the road. I was very thankful for four wheel drive. When on set of wheels slipped at all I had the other set that had traction and would correct everything. I made the trip in 3 days about 10 hours of driving a day.

    Answer by Melbornj at 9:07 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • My mom did it in April, but it was during one of the worst snow storms. Actually, it was to Oregon, not Washington. There were a few times she thought she was going to die. She actually feared for her life. She was driving a huge moving truck in a Blizzard. She has no idea how she did it.

    Answer by corbysmom531 at 9:27 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • Hey, my husband is a weatherman in seattle. go to his station web site before you leave (like the day before) to get a local forecast for the mountains. click on Weather. You can also email the station. Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:40 PM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • I drove from Seattle to Chicago in November once. It was the worst driving experience of my life. Once we were east of the mountains everything changed drastically. It was too cold to use salt so there was ice everywhere. Which got pretty scary in the mountains because there are no guard rails to stop you if you hit a patch of ice and start sliding. There are mandatory chain up areas so make sure you bring some tire chains (and make sure you know how to use them). They have these rampy things for whenever trucks or cars lose control you aim for it and you eventually roll to a stop in the bottom of them. And the radio kept talking about "winter survival warnings" and not to leave the house unless you have to and if you do, bring your "winter survival kit." What the heck is that? We had cats in the car and had to leave the car running when we stopped to eat so they wouldn't freeze. There was a storm and the police...

    Answer by DivaDynamite at 10:00 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • literally shut down the freeway with gates blocking all ramps. You had to find a hotel and keep calling "the pass" to find out when the roads opened up again.

    There were multi car accidents and semi-trucks jack-knifed everywhere.

    These conditions were in November. I'm from Michigan and winter driving is a way of life here. But this was way beyond anything I'd ever experienced.

    I tell you these things not to scare you but so you will know what to possibly expect. Be prepared. If I'd had known what to expect I think I'd have been better prepared to handle it. And there are cell phones and internet now. It should be better conditions with the current electronic devices we have now. Just make sure to bring preparations for really, really, really cold weather.


    Answer by DivaDynamite at 10:05 AM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • Thank you Diva. I'm nervous about it. Mostly for my kids. I'm seriously considering flying. Especially after the ice storm here in MN that bring back the reality of winter driving.

    Comment by sunshine58103 (original poster) at 12:02 PM on Nov. 22, 2010

  • Driving in the winter in Minnesota is NOTHING like driving in the snow or ice in the NW. The snow itself is different. It's wetter, so it ices easier. They do have ramps on the passes like Diva was saying, but they're not at every turn. If you can fly, then do it.

    Answer by corbysmom531 at 2:09 PM on Nov. 23, 2010

  • NW roads are ice in the winter...i would never travel that by my self with kids. on top of that the weather is unpredictable.

    Answer by Soniam301 at 3:04 PM on Nov. 23, 2010

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