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I-80 Second Week Of October


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#1 OSCARPOWER

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 12:32 PM

The second week of October we will be passing thru Kansas, going up to I-80 and across to Ft Collins, CO. I've been told that the weather is crazy these days and it might be dangerous if it snows... What is your opinion of I-80 in that time?

Then, the second weekend of October, that is the 12th, we were thinking of going from Ft. Collins to Mt. Rushmore which is about 5-6 hrs away.... would that be crazy?

 

We have a 28' m/home and are towing a small car.

Thanks!


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#2 TBUTLER

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 03:29 PM

Check the forecast before you depart and keep an eye on it as you travel.  The weather is always doing crazy things and if you read or study a little weather history you will know that it has always done crazy things.  That said, the second week of October doesn't bring up worries about cold weather or snow for that area of the country.  You will get some cool weather, maybe some frost on the pumpkin if you put one outside at night. 

 

The Weather Channel has a good presentation of the weekly weather across the US frequently, it used to be 20 minutes after the hour every hour but that has given way to their many special programs.  I don't even keep track of the time when they show that now.  Anyway they will illustrate the Jet Stream location and forecast changes.  If you are north of the Jet Stream it will be cooler, if south of the Jet Stream you will be warmer.  The Jet Stream shifts constantly but usually in gradual ways and meteorologists have become pretty good at anticipating and predicting those shifts.  Along the Jet Stream is the storm track.  Low pressure areas will track along the Jet Stream path and low pressure brings cloudy rainy and stormy weather. 

 

By the way, if I-80 is dangerous they will close the highway.  I've never heard of that happening in October.  Having lived in the central US most of my life, October is my favorite time of year.  The days are usually mild and the colors of the trees changing in the fall are spectacular.  Go and enjoy.


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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#3 OSCARPOWER

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:12 PM

Hi Tom...

We are getting our "T-2" ready and should leave FL on Sunday the 5th...hoping to cross Atlanta on a less-traffic day, then continue N, NW.

Thank you for your note!

Jocelynn W Power
Gainesville, FL
2004 Concord/Coachmen
w/tow
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#4 TBUTLER

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 10:47 PM

We're on I-80 tonight in West Wendover, NV.  We drove in rain much of the day on the way from Evanston, WY through Utah.  It was a light drizzle with occasional rain.  There were mountains with snow, some near the elevation of the highway just west of Salt Lake City.  The night before we were in the car traveling through the Uinta Mountains in NW Utah, NE of Vernal, UT.  There was real snow with accumulation on the roadway.  Driving in the high elevations with frequent switchbacks, the trucks were creeping along.  Those were elevations near 8000 feet and above.  You won't see those on I-80.  This is an unusually cold period which should be gone by the time you get here. 

 

Enjoy your trip.


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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#5 OSCARPOWER

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 11:03 PM

Ouch! But yes, I think I know where you were driving.. I don't think we will plan to go all the way there this year (we did, last year!) We'll drive west up to Cheyenne, WY and there South to Ft. Collins. We'll be there for awhile and maybe go a couple of days to Mt. Rushmore area before going south again. Enjoy your trip, too! And thank you!
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#6 OSCARPOWER

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 07:32 AM

Well, Sunday is here! We should leave GNV,FL around noon, crossing most of GA today. Monday night we should decide the definite route to go West. With all that freak snow, I'm afraid to take I-80... must probably will take instead I-70.

Hope the Butler's have arrived safely at their destination! We signed up for Perry, GA's rally next March. Hope to meet you there, thank you for your advice!


Safe travels!
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#7 desertdeals69

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 12:24 PM

I think I heard on the radio that there was 3.5 feet of snow in South Dakota this morning.


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#8 OSCARPOWER

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:24 PM

Ouch! Definitely We'll take I-70. Us Floridians are not used to driving in snow, least of all an RV.
Hopefully I-70 is okay!
Thanks for the input!
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#9 TBUTLER

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:42 PM

By the time you can drive from Florida to western South Dakota, the roads will be clear and dry!  We're safe in California.  We'll leave Friday headed for Olympia, Washington to meet with an artist friend that has completed a carving for us.  Next Sunday we'll head east to St. Louis on I-90, weather permitting.  At this time I'm not expecting any problems but I'm watching the forecast to see what is developing.


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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#10 OSCARPOWER

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:56 PM

You think so? Our plan was to reach St Josehph, MO Tuesday night and Wednesday continue N to I-80
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#11 OSCARPOWER

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:58 PM

You think so? Our plan was to reach St Josehph, MO Tuesday night and Wednesday continue N to I-80
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#12 TBUTLER

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 02:00 AM

According to information I'm looking at the forecast for Monday is a high of 58 in Rapid City and Tuesday they are expecting 62.  Temperature is not forecast to drop below freezing overnight either night.  It is 48 degrees right now and is expected to be 35 overnight Sunday night.  The rest of the week, highs should be near 50 and lows above freezing. 

 

This is a part of the country where they have snow removal equipment capable of taking care of the snow in the heart of the winter.  With warm temperatures helping out, I'd say that all you will see when you get there is piles of snow where it has been plowed.  I would expect all roads to be clear.  Check with your anticipated campgrounds to ensure they are open for business just to be sure.


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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#13 btate84

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:47 AM

Mr Butler,

Thinking back historically, what is I80 like during the 1st & 2nd week of December? -weather-wise...

 

Thanks!


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#14 OSCARPOWER

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:58 AM

I-80 will be! Thanks :-)
Thou no c/grounds necessary for now, as we ate going to our daughter's house at Ft. Collins, CO.
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#15 TBUTLER

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:52 AM

Mr Butler,

Thinking back historically, what is I80 like during the 1st & 2nd week of December? -weather-wise...

 

Thanks!

I don't have a historical record for I-80 or that region of the country.  I do know that there have been heavy snows experienced at times in the midwest in December.  You are definitely in winter storm territory and my only advice here is to watch the long term (Weather Channel weekly) forecasts.  The weather could be quite nice or you could encounter highway closings due to heavy snow or ice.  In your motor home you are much better equipped to face the consequences of closed highways than other motorists.  You have your motel with you and can conveniently wait out bad weather.  People do travel all these roads all winter long.  If you aren't on a have-to schedule, you can take your time and work your way along as the weather permits.

 

As mentioned above, I am planning to be leaving Olympia/Seattle, WA headed East on I-90 this time next Monday.  If weather looks questionable for that route I could drop south and take I-84 to I-80.  This illustrates another way to handle storms, if you don't want to wait them out, travel where the storms are not going to affect you, change your route.  I will be on a schedule that will require about 400 miles a day to reach the St. Louis area by Friday so I'll be looking to get some road behind me each day.  If we fall behind one day, we'll try to make up some of it the next day.  This time of year, the options are more open than they may be in December.

 

By the way, your note brought back to me the name of a magazine I had forgotten.  Weatherwise is a publication of the American Meteorological Society.  I found their web site thanks to your use of the phrase. If you are interested in weather, this magazine features great stories about weather and also has some incredible photos. Unfortunately there is only a print version available though the archives can be searched electronically.  I don't know if you can download reprints or if they have to be mailed.  I'll be looking into that.

 

I just did a brief search and found an abstract of a 2010 article, "When Winter Comes to Fall."  It described a snowstorm that hit the Denver area the end of October.  Up to four feet of snow fell in the foothills and I-70 was closed for a period of time.  That brings to mind a late fall trip to Colorado we made in 2005.  It was the second week of November before we were ready to leave the Denver area.  We pulled up stakes late one afternoon with the forecast of a storm on the way.  We stopped at a rest area north of Colorado Springs.  I got up at 5:00 a.m. and turned on the Weather Channel to see the storm coverage from Denver featured on the morning show.  The radar showed the snow just north of our location and moving our way so I woke Louise and we did an emergency - get out of town - drill and were on the road in about 5 minutes.  We stayed ahead of a pretty good snow storm that time.  Any time I'm traveling in late fall or winter I am always watching the weather!


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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#16 btate84

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 09:59 AM

Thank you for your reply! I appreciate the info and links. I just realized that I never did reply since having taken the maiden voyage from Central Illinois to Portland, Oregon (my home area) in the second week of December 2013. It was quite the adventure...

 

Wouldn't you know, my need to drive back home from Illinois (to Oregon) fell on one of the coldest Decembers recorded. We stuck to I-80 traveling through Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah then up through Idaho and Central Oregon for a quick stop in Bend. We rolled through temperatures of -20 and more! At the time I had only had this coach for about two months, so you can imagine I was a little bit nervous to be putting her through paces such as this, and on such a stringent timeline but I can't sing her praises enough! There was only one stretch through western Wyoming where the air suspension valves in the front started to freeze, but besides the annoying howl it made, no problems or damage. The temps were so cold that the LP stopped flowing, and the furnace wouldn't work. From that point on (Mid Nebraska somewhere) we were all bundled in insulated coveralls and blankets - it was quite the sight!

 

The CAT engine purred all the way, climbing that steady grade from the Midwest to the west coast. We bounded through Central Oregon on HWY 20 as if we'd done it a hundred times before, climbing the Steans Mountains and floating through the high desert valley.

 

When we stopped in Northern Utah for some sleep, my dad who had flown in with my grandpa to make the drive with me for fun, was at the helm through Wyoming and by the time he got to Utah around 3am, was seeing non-existent figures out the windshield so it was time to stop! I awoke around 6am to see snow flurries out the big windshield. I immediately hopped up from the sleeper sofa, released the brakes and headed from our truck stop "slip" to the fuel island. We topped off the diesel tank, and headed for Idaho. From Idah to Oregon it was the worse section of the drive - snow snow snow and more snow. Cars in the ditch everywhere, we counted at least 30. But the big 'ol Beaver held her ground and stayed true, not giving one sign of slipping or sliding. We kept up with the truckers, followed their lead, and were into Oregon by 10am. I took lots of pictures, but included a couple for those coming across our story.

 

I am alive today to say, the trek accross country in winter - it can be done! It might get a little hairy but as with anything difficult, you just have to keep on truckin'!

 

ORdec.jpeg

 

ORdecID.jpeg

 

ORdecID2.jpeg


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#17 jlandon13399

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:35 AM

You can also call the stat's DOT for road conditions. If you are in the state 511 works in most states.
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Jack & Sheralyn Landon

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