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South of Chicago to Santa Fe, NM - Driving advice

South of Chicago to Santa Fe, NM - Driving advice

Old Feb 10th, 2022, 10:56 AM
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South of Chicago to Santa Fe, NM - Driving advice

I'm driving to Santa Fe, NM in March - Google, Apple, and Waze maps all are directing me as follows:
I 55 to Springfield, IL
I 72 to I 35 - thru Kansas City and into Wichita
US 400, US 54, US 160, K-51, US 56, US 412 to Springer, NM
Then I 25 to Santa Fe
Is this a safe route in March? Seems desolate compared to going via the St. Louis/Oklahoma City route, but shaves about 60 miles off the trip - thoughts?
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 12:13 PM
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Going via St Louis and Oklahoma City may be 60 miles more, but the time difference is negligible. I would stick to major Interstates. Faster traffic flow, more gas stations, more food sources close to the road, more hotels near the road. Easier to get help should you need it. Also, in bad weather, the Interstates will be the most prepared, usually.
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 01:22 PM
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Agree with Barbara 100%. We have been stranded too many times in snow storms as late as April, to want to be in a desolate area. Pick out several hotels ahead of time, just in case. Even if they are not reserved, knowing where you could get a room is a safety precaution. During storms, everything books up quickly, but if you see it happening, you can make a quick call and reserve one. Get some of those foil wraps to stay warm in your car in case you are stuck behind an accident, have snacks and thermoses of hot drinks. I am speaking from tons of winter drives where things looked great - until they didn’t. It does not even have to be snow, just a bad accident.
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 02:08 PM
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Yes, stick to the interstates. You don't want to get stuck in the desolate Oklahoma panhandle or northeast New Mexico on US 56. In some sections there aren't services for 80 miles. Besides Boise City, OK and Clayton, NM are hellholes (I went through them three years ago and made the mistake of staying in the latter).
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 05:50 PM
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Sassafrass - thanks for the tips on foil blankets/food/etc. - so easy to pack and a little extra insurance. Thanks.
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 05:52 PM
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Barbara, Sassafrass, and PrairieHikerII - great points, and very helpful feedback. I really appreciate it. Longer route it is!
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