Raleigh, NC to Seattle, WA mid-January HELP

Old Dec 17th, 2019, 01:08 PM
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Raleigh, NC to Seattle, WA mid-January HELP

Traveling from Raleigh to Seattle. Leaving January 17 (very early) and must arrive by January 21 for new job.

What is the best route to take? There are two of us and a dog. Traveling in a Subaru Outback. We don't mind long days of driving. Would rather just get there as early as possible. Hope to do 750 miles per day.

Advice appreciated.
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Old Dec 17th, 2019, 02:09 PM
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Don't do more than 500 miles per day. Be safe for yourself and others on the road. LaQuintas are great for traveling with pups. I'll be back with a route suggestion.
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Old Dec 17th, 2019, 03:42 PM
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Here's one option. I'd slow it down and see things along the waym but you don't have time.
Each city has a LQ -
Jan. 17 - Charlotte to Clarksville TN - 7 h 13 min (454 mi)
Jan 18 - Clarkesville to Omaha NE - 10 h 23 min (695 mi) - long drive day
Jan 19 - Omaha to Rapid City - 7 h 23 min (524 mi)
Jan 20 - RC to Bozeman MT - 7 h 10 min (459 mi)
Jan 21 - Bozeman to Seatte - 10 h 11 min (677 mi - long drive day
Use Google maps to see the route.
LQ locations -
https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/laquin...BoCP5wQAvD_BwE

But that won't work for your new job.

42 hours of driving in 4 days is hard driving. In January, you may run into big storms/ blizzards. You really need another day for the drive - to drive it safely. Don't drive more than professional drivers are allowed to drive - safely.

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Old Dec 17th, 2019, 03:43 PM
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750 miles on some days in rural America isn't offensive, with two drivers.

The problematic part is the mid-January element.

A random online map service listed two alternatives (as perhaps the fastest - AT the moment I made the query)

And it is far more sensible to take the southern-most of those two paths, than to take the northern path among them.


Somebody with the OP's time constraints need not bother enlisting others for scenic routes or interesting stops...

You've just gotta GET (here) - a-LIVE!

Best to monitor the weather AS you travel, and improvise sensibly along the way.

A path through Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming has the true test when trying to get through the Rockies east of Salt Lake City on I-84. The rest of that path is likely to be decent.

Another reason to HAUL A#% on days when you can, is so that you have 12-24 hours to stop and wait for weather if need be.


On the final leg, when you reach... Pendleton, Oregon... be monitoring the weather along I-90 into Seattle... and at/near Pendleton, go west on I-84 toward Portland IF weather is threatening on Snoqualmie Pass, which is I-90.

Indeed it could be terrible weather on that route too, but the Columbia River would likely be more tame than the mountain pass (not always - as ice storms come to Portland now and again using the Columbia River Gorge as a feeder of cold air).

IF you got to the Portland area that way, bad weather from there to Seattle is most often RAIN... which you're going to have to get used to anyway.
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Old Dec 17th, 2019, 03:55 PM
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New 4 day version -
Raleigh to Evansville IN - 10 h 26 min (688 mi)
Evansville to Sioux Falls - 11 h 31 min (774 mi)
SF to Bozeman - 11 h 55 min (802 mi)
Bozeman to Seattle - 10 h 11 min (677 mi)

Make hotel reservations. You don't want to be making this drive with a dog without reservations.

Last edited by starrs; Dec 17th, 2019 at 04:09 PM.
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Old Dec 17th, 2019, 05:04 PM
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And what if you run into weather?? That is VERY likely. You really do need to leave a day or two earlier . . . and still pray to he weather gods.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 03:17 AM
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Having driven to Denver (1600 miles from Charlotte in two days) regularly for 30 years, and sometimes in the winter, NWmate has the best ideas. And as a parent of kids who have done it non-stop by switching drivers, it is possible. Equip your car for winter--food, water, blankets, safety kit, flashlights, etc. PHONE CHARGER. Keep Booking.com on speed dial if you are going to stop at a motel.

I looked at google and from Raleigh they take you up through a lot of crowded places--Indianapolis/Chicago. If you take that route, DON"T do the Chicago part.

I looked at going straight acrosss to Denver and then up to Seattle and it might be only an hour or so "longer". From my experience, St. Louis is the only metropolitan area of note on that and it is easy to navigate. The motels along I70 (and probably most interstates out west) can be very economical and many allow dogs. I've done the trip with a dog also.

Watch the weather channel 4-5 days in advance of your start and perhaps make your decision on that.
One year I did this trip in February and started a day later than I meant to. Coming across Kansas was a sheet of ice and after going off the road twice I stopped in western Kansas short of my Denver goal that day. However I80 to the north was having a blizzard (real blizzard). I knew about the waather in advance and hoped.
Colorado is good about keeping the interstates open in snow --better than Kansas was that trip, I discovered!!

The other thing you will do is "gain" time as you go through the time zones and a little more daylight, but in winter that isn't a whole lot of help. But it helps psychologically!!

Last edited by Gretchen; Dec 18th, 2019 at 03:37 AM.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen
Having driven to Denver (1600 miles from Charlotte in two days) regularly for 30 years, and sometimes in the winter, NWmate has the best ideas. And as a parent of kids who have done it non-stop by switching drivers, it is possible.
It certainly is possible.
Is it a good idea? Debatable.
I drove non-stop to Denver for about a decade but I was a lot younger then. My brother drove 30 hours non-stop (switching drivers once for a nap) several times a year for 30 years. Certainly doable. But when he got "home" (in both directions) he went to bed while the wife and kids enjoyed visiting with family.

It appears the OP is trying to make a strenuous drive to get to Seattle in time for a new job. As a hiring manager, I'd be concerned about how sharp s/he will be for the first week on the job. As a new employee, I'd be stressed about what happens if there is a storm and a delay. I flew from Greece to Chicago (with a short stop at home for a few hours) and I know I was dragging in that week's meetings. Is that a good way to start a new job? IMO it's better to have 1) some sort of cushion of time and 2) not start a new job after four days of 11 hours of driving each day. We are all adults and can make our own calls. I have weeks in which I fly/drive to work in four states in one week. There's a big difference between "doable" and "smart", especially when a new job is at stake.

But drive straight through if that works for you.

Re finding a hotel that accepts dogs along that stretch without reservations = others are far luckier than I have been. But Motel 6 and Red Roof Inns accept dogs. I don't feel comfortable staying at those motels but it adds to the options.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 05:53 AM
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So, if we drive on the 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 (arriving mid afternoon) - would it be best to try to get a really long drive day in on the first day, if possible?

What is the consensus on the best route to take?

I am nervous about weather. Afraid of getting snowed in with nowhere to stay. I don't want to book hotels in advance because if the weather is good, and we can keep driving - I would like to do that.


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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 06:00 AM
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We have made the drive a few times from the east coast to/from Seattle. There is no way I would opt for anything but the southern route in January. We always had limited time for these drives as they were part of our military moves, so I definitely understand needing to just get to your destination. If this were me, I would basically take 10 across the south and then I-5 up north. You still have to deal with a few areas, such as the Grapevine in southern CA and then the passes at the OR/WA border. You would want to plan your driving so that you are coming through those areas as the warmest time of the day.

With 2 drivers you can definitely make good time, but a route with better weather odds will be a major safety factor.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 06:37 AM
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I most recently drove the 2 days to Denver at age 83 with my husband who does not drive.. I do like to drive--it is basically relaxing to me. I said NOTHING about driving "non-stop". Our kids did it a few times with multiple drivers.
Oh, one more thing I would have for this trip--A AAA membership.

The point about western driving is that the speed limits are high and the expanses are long. I stand by the suggestion to take the I70 route--take a look, OP. You may have to do two searches to get it to work--Raleigh to Denver and Denver Seattle.
I have not had any problem staying at the cheaper motels along I70. Columbia Missouri (about an hour west of St. Louis) is a college town and has a boatload of motels. And one time when I was there, there was a dog show in town and they were all there!!
From Raleigh if you wanted to dial in a motel there it could work pretty well--it would make a long day's drive but with 2 drivers,
might not be bad. On Booking.com you don't have to pay until you get there but can reserve. If you choose this route I would try to get past St. Louis. Do not stay in East St. Louis.
You just can't do anything about the weather except watch it days in advance and then as you go. The time it happened to me I easily found a motel because there had already been a decrease in traffic--and in these western expanses, there just may not be that much traffic.
Sorry about this link--pet friendly motels on I70
https://www.google.com/travel/hotels...S0xMi0yNVICWAU

Last edited by Gretchen; Dec 18th, 2019 at 06:44 AM.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 06:39 AM
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The fastest I've ever driven cross country (Philly to Seattle) was in 4 1/2 days in early April. The big problem as I see it with your plan is the combination of bad weather and darkness. In mid-January Seattle has over an hour less of daylight than, say, Los Angeles. If you take a diagonal route (as suggested by the likes of Google Maps) you're going to have shorter daylight hours as you head west and north; if you took more of an "L-" shaped route (stay south for as long as possible) you'd have more daylight hours for driving as well as a better chance of snow- (and, importantly, ice-) free passage.

So even though it can create a time deficit on paper, I'd give strong consideration to putting in the long hours by staying south - an I-40/I-10 route ideally - until you're past the Great Plains and Rockies, then turn right and head north. Use detailed weather forecasts to see if I-40 is clear through northern Arizona (high elevation = snow and ice risk) and if it's dicey, stay on I-10 where the odds are lower that it will be wintry.

But honestly, and I know this is probably on the mind of every poster, even if they don't say it, but trying to do this route in the dead of winter and hoping to set some kind of speed record, especially with a doggie that needs to eat and pee... well, I don't like the plan. At all. Is there any way possible you would intercede with somebody - your current or future employers, etc. - to give you more time? My concern is that it sounds like you really have to make certain deadlines - when you can leave and when you must arrive, and "certainty" in cross-country drives in January - three mountain ranges (Appalachians, Rockies and Cascades or Sierras) as well as the Great Plains where there can be 60 knot crosswinds on icy highways - in the dark - is just not something you can expect. You could easily use up the time "savings" offered by a direct route with just one day of being weathered out - hunkered down in some motel next to a icy freeway for example.

Or think about this. There are several daily nonstop flights from RDU to SEA which in January will cost $99 per person. If the pup can travel with you in the passenger compartment, that's doable; if he/she needs to be crated it's done all the time, and having a nonstop will make it easy on him/her. You can ship your vehicle from Raleigh to Seattle for around $1000, maybe a bit less (lots of online shipping services for estimates) which will probably be a little more expensive than gas, food, and four or five nights' lodging during the drive, but probably not that much more.

But you'll be safe, you can take the time to stay in Raleigh or get to Seattle early. Rent a car for a few days while yours is en route, and get on with things. With all the stress of relocation, a new job in a new city, etc., why add to it with a scary, dark, cold drive? Just my 2c.

Last edited by Gardyloo; Dec 18th, 2019 at 06:43 AM.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo
... if you took more of an "L-" shaped route (stay south for as long as possible) you'd have more daylight hours for driving as well as a better chance of snow- (and, importantly, ice-) free passage.

So even though it can create a time deficit on paper, I'd give strong consideration to putting in the long hours by staying south - an I-40/I-10 route ideally - until you're past the Great Plains and Rockies, then turn right and head north..

...But honestly, and I know this is probably on the mind of every poster, even if they don't say it, but trying to do this route in the dead of winter and hoping to set some kind of speed record, especially with a doggie that needs to eat and pee... well, I don't like the plan. At all. Is there any way possible you would intercede with somebody - your current or future employers, etc. - to give you more time? My concern is that it sounds like you really have to make certain deadlines - when you can leave and when you must arrive, and "certainty" in cross-country drives in January - three mountain ranges (Appalachians, Rockies and Cascades or Sierras) as well as the Great Plains where there can be 60 knot crosswinds on icy highways - in the dark - is just not something you can expect. You could easily use up the time "savings" offered by a direct route with just one day of being weathered out - hunkered down in some motel next to a icy freeway for example.

Or think about this. There are several daily nonstop flights from RDU to SEA which in January will cost $99 per person. ....

But you'll be safe, you can take the time to stay in Raleigh or get to Seattle early. Rent a car for a few days while yours is en route, and get on with things. With all the stress of relocation, a new job in a new city, etc., why add to it with a scary, dark, cold drive? Just my 2c.

I completely agree with everything Gardyloo wrote, but in particular the above.

The southern route makes more sense at that time of year, but takes more time. In short, you need more time. If this were just an ill-advised winter vacation route, I'd be more optimistic about it. But if you need to be there to start a new job (and or to check in for a military assignment) it's a really bad idea. You need more time no matter route you take. The southern route is "smarter" but you need the time for it.

We've sent dogs back and forth via Delta Dash or similar. You may want to see about getting YOU there on time for a new job and have the other person take a more leisurely drive out with the dog. Of both of you fly out and then have someone from "home" send the dog to you when you are settled in. Not having the dog along for the ride means a lot more flexibility re hotels/ motels.

If you can move up your depature day by at least two days, you'll have a much better experience. Or you get out there on time and figure out the other details. If it weren't a new job, I'd have far fewer concerns. Getting stuck in a blizzard and having to hunker down for a day or few means you are late with no alternatives.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 07:24 AM
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I would not worry at all about taking a dog along. We always had our pets with us for these drives, including a frog once. There are loads of places to stay with pets, and as kong as you have access to a phone, it is easy enough to find pet friendly lodging at a moments notice, IME.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 07:30 AM
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I may plan several routes, then look at weather to determine best route.

So far:

Route 1 - TOTAL 45 hours 3000 miles
Raleigh to Denver (1691 miles, 25 hours) - This route avoids weather north (West VA)
Take I-40 W, I-24 W, I-57 N, I-64 W and I-70 W to Denver.
Denver to Seattle 20 h (1,316 miles)via I-80 W and I-84 W

Route 2- ~45 hours 2900 miles
Raleigh to Evansville, IN - 10 h 39 min (688 miles) via I-40 W
Follow I-40 W, I-24 W and I-69 to US-41 N
Evansville to Sioux Falls, SD 11 h 33 min (774 miles)
via I-70 W and I-29 N
Sioux Falls to Bozeman, MT 11 h 53 min (802 miles)
via I-90 W
Bozeman, MT to Seattle, WA - 10 h 17 min (677 miles)
via I-90 W

Route 3 51 hours, 3400 miles
Raleigh to Las Vegas 34 h (2,331 miles)
I- 40
Las Vegas to Seattle 17 h 22 min (1,125.1 mi) via US-93 N and I-84 W


Route 4 ????
Southern route I-10 to I-5
what would be the best place to pick this route up?



PLEASE critique these routes and suggest other safer or better routes keeping weather in mind. Assume 5 days driving.

Thanks
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo
The fastest I've ever driven cross country (Philly to Seattle) was in 4 1/2 days in early April. The big problem as I see it with your plan is the combination of bad weather and darkness. In mid-January Seattle has over an hour less of daylight than, say, Los Angeles. If you take a diagonal route (as suggested by the likes of Google Maps) you're going to have shorter daylight hours as you head west and north; if you took more of an "L-" shaped route (stay south for as long as possible) you'd have more daylight hours for driving as well as a better chance of snow- (and, importantly, ice-) free passage.

So even though it can create a time deficit on paper, I'd give strong consideration to putting in the long hours by staying south - an I-40/I-10 route ideally - until you're past the Great Plains and Rockies, then turn right and head north. Use detailed weather forecasts to see if I-40 is clear through northern Arizona (high elevation = snow and ice risk) and if it's dicey, stay on I-10 where the odds are lower that it will be wintry.

But honestly, and I know this is probably on the mind of every poster, even if they don't say it, but trying to do this route in the dead of winter and hoping to set some kind of speed record, especially with a doggie that needs to eat and pee... well, I don't like the plan. At all. Is there any way possible you would intercede with somebody - your current or future employers, etc. - to give you more time? My concern is that it sounds like you really have to make certain deadlines - when you can leave and when you must arrive, and "certainty" in cross-country drives in January - three mountain ranges (Appalachians, Rockies and Cascades or Sierras) as well as the Great Plains where there can be 60 knot crosswinds on icy highways - in the dark - is just not something you can expect. You could easily use up the time "savings" offered by a direct route with just one day of being weathered out - hunkered down in some motel next to a icy freeway for example.

Or think about this. There are several daily nonstop flights from RDU to SEA which in January will cost $99 per person. If the pup can travel with you in the passenger compartment, that's doable; if he/she needs to be crated it's done all the time, and having a nonstop will make it easy on him/her. You can ship your vehicle from Raleigh to Seattle for around $1000, maybe a bit less (lots of online shipping services for estimates) which will probably be a little more expensive than gas, food, and four or five nights' lodging during the drive, but probably not that much more.

But you'll be safe, you can take the time to stay in Raleigh or get to Seattle early. Rent a car for a few days while yours is en route, and get on with things. With all the stress of relocation, a new job in a new city, etc., why add to it with a scary, dark, cold drive? Just my 2c.
Yes, I have been looking into this. I got quotes for the car ranging any where from $1100 to $1500.
Flights are cheap.
Cost for dog in Delta cargo is $371.

I am honestly trying to work this out to be the safest route. The job cannot be delayed.

Can anyone recommend a reliable auto shipper?
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 07:35 AM
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As I already mentioned, I would opt for route 4 for safety reasons. We always did the trip from GA and FL, so I can't make the personal recommendation on where to pick up that route from NC. Just take a look at the map and see what is fastest. Five days of driving is doable. We have done that as well. Not leisurely by any means, but doable.
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mms
As I already mentioned, I would opt for route 4 for safety reasons. We always did the trip from GA and FL, so I can't make the personal recommendation on where to pick up that route from NC. Just take a look at the map and see what is fastest. Five days of driving is doable. We have done that as well. Not leisurely by any means, but doable.
I could take I85 down to Mobile and pick up I-10. Would I take I-10 into San Diego? Where would I pick up I-5?
I've been looking at the map, but I can't figure the rout without connecting cities.

Once you are on I-10, which route do you take into Seattle?

Thanks.

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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Annadeg
Assume 5 days driving.

Thanks
MUCH better than 4!
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Old Dec 18th, 2019, 08:19 AM
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Decide 5 days before you leave by the weather report for snow. You can take rain in the east.
I recognize the "reasons" for the most southern route but it could end up being a full day longer just by the number of metropolitan areas travelled through.

I would rule out Route 1 categorically in the winter. You can hit winter weather from the very beginning.

An all wheel drive vehicle will help you but please remember, NOT in braking distance and particularly NOT ON ICE.

Last edited by Gretchen; Dec 18th, 2019 at 08:25 AM.
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