We’re heading on a lengthy trip today. It will take about 4 1/2 days to make it from northern California to southeastern Michigan. The drive covers 2305 miles, which we will consume at a pace of 64.6mph, which means our goal distance will be about 516.7 miles a day, except for that last day when we slide into Jacson, of course.
DAY ONE (Tuesday)
The first few hours of our journey will take us through the Sierra Nevada mountains and through Lassen National Forest before turning south towards Reno. It should be very pleasant. Then we will get to the soul crushing emptiness of northern Nevada. We’l get to Deeth, which is east of Elko, and is pretty much just a ghost town. We will do so without seeing only partly cloudy skies and moderate temperatures.
DAY TWO (Wednesday)
A clipper sliding through Montana and the Dakotas is going to drag some cooler air into Wyoming, while a developing system in the 4 corners will make sure it stays in place. We won’t have any problems through Salt Lake City, but as we encounter this change in temperature, we may face some brisk winds between Salt Lake City and about Rock Springs, Wyoming. No snow in the forecast, fortunately, and things should calm down for the rest of the drive, which will culminate in rural Wyoming, east of Rawlins. The area is described on Google Maps as “Walcott” but you will be better off just saying “exit 238”
DAY THREE (Thursday)
Low pressure will continue its journey through the southern United States, which is great news for us. There will be another clipper sliding from Saskatchewan to western Ontario, but it will have no moisture to work with. We will get to the Denman, Nebraska, between Kearney and Grand Island, without a hitch.
DAY FOUR )Friday)
The clipper to our north will continue to ominously trudge southeast towards the Great Lakes, but the system to the south will become parked over the Gulf of Mexico. There really isn’t much of an opportunity for moisture to get drawn into the Clipper, and that will continue to be to our benefit as travelers. The drive through eastern Nebraska, Iowa and a part of Illinois will be quite manageable. We’ll make it to Sheffield, Illinois, which is 50 miles east of the Quad Cities for Friday night.
DAY FIVE (Saturday)
Anyone who lives in Michigan knows the situation all to well. An otherwise unimpressive clipper moves through the Great Lakes, and suddenly it’s laden with snow. Indeed, the heretofore dry clipper to our north will enhance over Michigan thanks to the lake of the same name. We will make it through Chicago unscathed, but from Portage, Indiana to about Battle Creek, Michigan, we’re likely to see some snow, perhaps heavy in the Benton Harbor area. There will still be some clouds to contend with in Jackson, but it doesn’t appear that the fetch will be strong enough for snow to continue.