Altoona, Pennsylvania to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

All right everyone, we’re on the road again. The trip today is going to be a long one, from western Pennsylvania to northern Idaho. It is going to take us about 4 days to make the trip that will cover 2311 miles. This means a pace of 68mph for at least 3 days. The fourth day will last 10 hours and will be longer, but those first three days will be over after 543.7 miles. We’re enjoying the far northern end of the country just as winter makes it’s first icy incursion.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)
Well, I can’t tell you that this is going to be a particularly enjoyable start to our trip. In order to get to the cold temperatures I threatened in the intro of this post, you will need a system to move through the pull in the colder temperatures. We will start out dry, but that will last maybe half an hour before we intersect the northwest flank of a very active system moving towards the Mid-Atlantic. Fortunately, this system will also bring north with it plenty of warm air, so as we drive from western Pennsylvania through Ohio and to Angola, Indiana, the precipitation we will be driving through will be rain.  Then, we will break through to a windier, colder environment as we finish off the drive into the south side of Chicago, where we will stop in Markham, Illinois.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
A trailing low, the one in charge of pumping cold air into the region, will be doing its job on Wednesday. There is a little bit of precipitation associated with it, and this will definitely be snow. We’ll be behind the cold front as we begin the day on Wednesday, and we should be able to stay dry through the Twin Cities. From that point, though, the chilly temperatures make for a conducive environment for flurry activity, which will be possible through central Minnesota, to the town of Osakis, between St. Cloud and Alexandria, where we will call it a day.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
A tendril of high pressure is going to be building into the  High Plains towards the end of the week. We will see some more flurries from Osakis to the North Dakota border, but from that point forward, we’ll be able to enjoy the vast horizon, as we drive westward. We’ll make it to Montana, and stop at Diamond Ring road near Terry.

DAY FOUR (Friday)
The next round of snw will move into Montana while we sleep, and there could be a ground blizzard through the eastern 2/3 of the state, before we reach the mountains. This could be a serious problem for us, as we may need to hold off driving on I-90, should the Montana State Patrol shut the road down. That will depend on the wind, because the snow won’t be terribly heavy. The wind will die down when we reach the mountains, but the snow intensity will pick up. We’re going to have to play it safe on this drive, as it’s going to be snowy all the way to Coeur d’Alene.

Coeur d'Alene