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WA to KY in January?

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  • WA to KY in January?

    There is now a good possibility we will be going from Seattle to Lexington in January hauling a trailer and horses as well as either a car pulling a small trailer or a uhaul/car trailer combo. I'm checking out AAA as well as some other info sources, but wanted to check in here for some input also. What would be the best (fastest and safest) route for us? Waiting until spring isn't an option for us.
    Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

  • #2
    I would call Charlie Gibson Horse transport and ask them which way they go. They usually make one or two trips in January. PM me if you need the number. I know there are two different routes they take depending on weather.

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    • #3
      Oh dear. Well, it so depends on the weather.
      We've driven across from SF area to Ky three times and gone I 80 in the summer, I 40 in mid October and all the way down to I 10 to I 20 just after Thanksgiving (DH went back on I 20 as well, New Year's, he said there were truckers snowed in in OK and the panhandle on I40 and plenty of other drivers pushed down to I 20 and 10. I don't want to tell you how many miles it added to the trip but we were driving a Penske truck towing a car carrier and just didn't need the headache of chaining up - not to mention I don't recall that there were even chains in the equipment on the truck.

      If you have chains and are comfortable chaining up and towing then I'd try the northern routes, coming from Seattle even I 80 is a bit of a drop down. Just watch that Weather channel like a hawk because getting stuck paying for a motel for a day or three could make a shorter northern route a wash vs I5 to I40 or lower and the extra cost of gas plus motel for the extra time.

      With the horses - no matter what is going on with the car they are stuck in a very cold box if it is freezing and snowing outside. I'd want to head south, I've seen way too many frozen chicks coming from PA, sitting in a tractor trailer for 16 hours when it is 20 degrees or lower outside. Horses are tougher, but I'd still worry.

      You also could get lucky and have moderate temps, like last winter, and not much snow. Make more than one trip plan and you'll be ahead of the game.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        I do not want the horses stuck somewhere on the road and cold. Calling the shippers is a great idea. Any other advice?
        Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

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        • #5
          ugh...go the long way by the southern route

          if your timing is off going the most direct route you might think you have stepped backwards in time to join the Donner party

          Comment


          • #6
            If you want to go the most direct route, you'll probably need chains and you'll need to become a pretty avid amateur meteorologist. You do NOT want to get stuck in white out/blizzard conditions. The storms can come up fast. So if you decide to go that route, I would try to line up some emergency stopping points along the way in case you need to hole up and wait out a storm for a few days.

            For example, I 80 between Rawlins and Laramie (WY) gets shut down semi frequently. There are fair grounds in Rawlins that you can rent a pen in to overnight. But the motels are few and fill up fast when the roads close. So I'd just take a look at your route and make some backup plans.

            (my family is from Rawlins, so that's my point of reference as I've been snowed in there on multiple occasions between Sept and late April--we don't even try to go out there for holidays anymore)

            Anyway...pro semi drivers do this year 'round, so it's not like it's not doable. It's just that you can't park your horses on the side of the interstate for a few days and wait out a storm like you can with a trailer full of canned goods.

            Another consideration might be to hire a hauler and make arrangements for the horses to stay put until there's a good weather window. I did that for trips from IA to TX and TX to MI.

            Best wishes on your move!
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

            Comment


            • #7
              If you are considering a pro hauler I would encourage you to call Coombes, http://coombestransport.com/

              They are out of the Seattle area and have a hub in KY. I have used them several times and have been very happy.

              I loathe hauling in the snow!
              Kanoe Godby
              www.dyrkgodby.com
              See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.

              Comment


              • #8
                Do you have a lot of experience in long-haul trailering?

                If not, I would strongly recommend you let the horses go commercial. You can use your trailer to haul whatever was going to go into the U-Haul. This way you don't have the stress of being caught in bad weather hauling horses.

                I know it isn't cheap, but weigh the costs against your peace of mind.

                Where are you heading in Kentucky?
                "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I don't have long distance experience but my hubby does, lifelong horseman from the Midwest who is also a mechanic with a CDL and can do anything with a semi. We have tire chains already and have taught the horses to load well once again. I'm not going to use a commercial shipper for various reasons, but just trying to figure out how far south we need to go in order to make it work. I'm headed back to Lexington and am unreasonably excited
                  Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Me: 5-10-20-30-40 Watch out going over Grant's Pass, Shasta, Flagstaff, and occasionally the Grapevine. Might be tempted to bypass LA and head over Tehachapi's to Barstow if there's no snow. But hey, Snow and trailers ain't my schtick.

                    But if he's BTDT with a classed rig and chains, I'd just plot the GPS, check the weather report, and go as direct as you can make it.... keeping a hawk eye on the weather before climbing the major ranges. It's a lot easier IMO to drive another 100 miles south than it is to deal with chains.... and 65 mph south makes better time than 15mph east when you have to do at least a 1000 miles of each.
                    Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...
                    http://www.wvhorsetrainer.com

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                    • #11
                      We have hauled long distances extensively and would stop at the truck stops as most had room to unload the horses and we could walk them around but the major benefit was the truckers.... they would always come over to see the horses, pet them some and talk a little.

                      ALWAYS once back on the road we had a fleet of truckers looking out for our welfare...blocking traffic, providing access and generally just watching out for us.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Belg View Post
                        Me: 5-10-20-30-40 Watch out going over Grant's Pass, Shasta, Flagstaff, and occasionally the Grapevine. Might be tempted to bypass LA and head over Tehachapi's to Barstow if there's no snow. But hey, Snow and trailers ain't my schtick.

                        But if he's BTDT with a classed rig and chains, I'd just plot the GPS, check the weather report, and go as direct as you can make it.... keeping a hawk eye on the weather before climbing the major ranges. It's a lot easier IMO to drive another 100 miles south than it is to deal with chains.... and 65 mph south makes better time than 15mph east when you have to do at least a 1000 miles of each.
                        We went 5, 58 over Tehachapi to 40, it was snowing over the Sandias at ABQ - panhandle-OK City so 93 (we should have taken 95 at Needles but hadn't quite commited to going south yet) to Phoenix and 10, 20 outside of El Paso stayed south of the cold front to 55 turned due north picked up 40 at Memphis 65 at Nashville and Bluegrass pkwy at Etown. Bluegrass Pkwy is a desert so fuel accordingly.
                        We dropped the car carrier off at the G'town Penske, Fayette/Scott county line, EZ access very convenient location. Emptied out the truck and ditto.

                        Cross fingers you have a boring mild weather outlook when you choose to go.
                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                        Incredible Invisible

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                        • #13
                          northen route

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