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Old 01-04-2009, 02:20 PM   #1
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Hi all,
I have never been any further west than central Kentucky, so I have no knowledge of the weather conditions/ patterns in the Northwest, and in the Northern Mid west. My daughter is in the Air Force, currently at Kadeena AFB in Okinawa. In February, she goes to her new assignment at Mountain Home AFB. in Idaho. She is 23 years old, has very little experience in driving in snow. She is a good driver though. She has the idea in her head to drive from our home in Eastern North Carolina, to her base in Idaho in the middle of February. She will be traveling by herself, with a 1 1/2 year old child, in an older model Chevy Blazer that is 2 WD. I am looking for thoughts, suggestions, and opinions as to the saftey, and "wiseness" of this trip at that time of the year. I think she needs to fly there, but I am an overprotective parent, and grand-parent talking. What do you think?
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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Hi all,
I have never been any further west than central Kentucky, so I have no knowledge of the weather conditions/ patterns in the Northwest, and in the Northern Mid west. My daughter is in the Air Force, currently at Kadeena AFB in Okinawa. In February, she goes to her new assignment at Mountain Home AFB. in Idaho. She is 23 years old, has very little experience in driving in snow. She is a good driver though. She has the idea in her head to drive from our home in Eastern North Carolina, to her base in Idaho in the middle of February. She will be traveling by herself, with a 1 1/2 year old child, in an older model Chevy Blazer that is 2 WD. I am looking for thoughts, suggestions, and opinions as to the saftey, and "wiseness" of this trip at that time of the year. I think she needs to fly there, but I am an overprotective parent, and grand-parent talking. What do you think?
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:29 PM   #3
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Weather in Mid Wes and Northern Mid West can be unpredictable during that time of year. I would highly recommend you or some family member go with her then fly back home. Also be sure to have a set of chains for the Blazer.

Good luck and safe travels
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:33 PM   #4
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I am originally from Central New York (Ithaca area). I don't see the trip as unreasonable but I would take an additional adult along to help with the child. Check the weather each night for the next day, travel only in daylight hours and be prepared to stay over an extra day if bad weather rolls in. Black ice is what scares me more than the snow. No one can drive on ice.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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Old 01-05-2009, 06:13 AM   #5
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Machman72
You got some good advice. My thoughts are that she should fly and buy an older car to use when she gets there. Feb. is not a good time of year to be traveling across country especially for an inexperienced driver. If she were so unfortunate to have a fender bender it would probably total the car. If she still wants the blaser it could be driven to Idaho later and she probably could get her money back on the car she bought in Idaho.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the good input. I think I/ we have her convinced to fly in, and get another vehicle there. Her brother has her Blazer in Orlando anyway, so roaming all around the country, and risking dangerous winter driving conditions for a 90 something used 2wd blazer is just dumb.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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As long as she sticks to the Interstates as much as possible, she shouldn't have a problem. The Interstates will be the first roads cleared in the event of a storm, and if she does have problems, she'll be somewhere with lots of traffic.

I'd recommend she get a good cell phone service AND a CB, just in case she's out of cell phone range. Also a good ERS service would be well worth the money.

I would also suggest she carry a "survival kit" just in case she gets stuck on the road somewhere and help won't get to her for awhile.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #8
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Just a coincidental tidbit: At 6:00PM MST this evening the Idaho State Police issued an advisory that all state highways, including the Interstates be used only in case of emergency. This is because of snow, freezing rain, and low visibility.
This is not a rare occurance from December to March. If you are going to travel you should have a really fexible TOA.
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Old 01-09-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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Trust your instincts to protect your daughter and grandchild. Flying there, then buying a vehicle. would be my recommendation too.
I've driven from Ft. Ben,IN to Ft. Lewis, WA in November, not a pleasent drive in inclement weather. The mountains presented snowy roads(some western states require 4wd+chains onboard under snowy conditions),lower elevations presented rain and fog, the plains presented strong winds and very cold temperatures. We all remember the news reports of local residents beoming lost/stranded in a sudden blizzard.
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:15 PM   #10
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I was stationed at Mt. Home, and loved every moment of it. Granted it was in 1980, but the area is great.

I traveled from Danville, Va to Wright Pat in Oh. caught I-70 and ran it all the way to Denver, took I-25, to I-80, to I-15, to I-84 right on to Mt. Home. She will drive thru town and head up the mountain to the base. Best I can remember it's like 5 miles or so to the front gate. I'm trying to go from memory here. I do know that it's one of the best kept secret in the USAF, and I envy her.

The weather was not that bad there, We only had about 2 inches of snow the year I was there. It was hot in the summer, a dry heat, and I remember we had to be careful not to get burned.

I can't tell you how beautiful the area is there, if she likes the outdoors then she is heading to the right place....

I traveled by myself, and it took me four days to get there. I ran into snow half way across KS. and in Colorado, and this was in the late Nov, early Dec time frame.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:24 PM   #11
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I live in Northern Utah along side I15/I84 just before the split. I am originally from South Dakota and have traveled I80 many times. If there is bad weather coming across Wyoming it can get real bad. In February is one of the iffy times to travel.
I am an Air Force retiree and have made many trips north to Bosie Idaho and have been to Mountain Home, and Kadena AB Japan.

I would suggest flying and bring the Blazer later. after the weather warms up
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:23 AM   #12
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So for the years that she is assigned to Mountain Home, she is never going to drive in the winter? It snows there all winter long so you plan on asking her not to drive? I don't get it. It is interstate all the way, about 85% of all vehicles on the road are two wheel drive and tens of thousands of them drive daily on the same interstate highways you are talking about. If she doesn't drive into a blizzard, then it should be no different then driving any other time or place in the country. It's an easy drive and if she takes her time, there is no reason to be leaving cars behind, flying and buying another car.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:22 PM   #13
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One item to note - if she is flying on a commercial flight the nearest commercial airport is in Boise which is 45 miles northwest of Mt. Home.
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:04 PM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It's an easy drive and if she takes her time, there is no reason to be leaving cars behind, flying and buying another car. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Bubba, I beg to differ. It is one thing to drive an older vehicle around an area that you know and, IMHO, quite another to start off on that many hundreds of miles by yourself with a child. Not that it cannot be done, but the odds of problems somewhere along the way are pretty high, among weather and potential breakdowns.

I grew up in the Northeast and was driving on snow and in nasty conditions from the time that I got my license. I remember taking a '53 Mercury to the high school parking lot after it snowed and practicing putting it into skids, just for the fun of it. I've driven through severe snowstorms in upper NY state. On top of it all, I'm a good enough mechanic to work through potential breakdown situations. I, personally, would not want to make that trip alone and I would really shy away from it with a young child. Sure, lots of people do things like that successfully all the time. The odds are not in favor of that, IMHO.

If she is going to be driving in snow at her destination, especially with a small child, investing in a 4WD vehicle when she gets there would make a lot of sense to me. Taking a rental car at her destination airport and driving it for a week or so is a very cost effective solution. I'd have to work it out but my guess is that travel costs, motels, gas, food, etc, especially with potential delays due to whether could easily exceed the cost of flying and a rental car upon arrival.

Charlie
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