Joplin, Missouri to Chico, California

Let’s take a nice little trip out west. And by nice, I mean one in which we will almost certainly have to head through freshly snow covered mountain passes. The drive is going to take 3 days, with a pretty long day to wrap things up. The drive will cover 1887 miles at a pace of nearly 70mph, which will allow us to net 559 miles a day on those first two days of travel. I think we can handle this, snow and all!

 

DAY ONE (Sunday)

A cold front sneaking south through the Plains will bring some early morning drizzle and rain to eastern Kansas and western Missouri, which will be an auspicious start to what already promises to be a challenging journey. Fortunately, we will be north and west of the front by the time we hit I-70 at Salina. It will be cool and cloudy the rest of the way as high pressure settles in for a little while. We will make it into Colorado and the small town of Vona in the Plains as we prepare for the more scenic drives through the mountains.

DAY TWO (Monday)
The last day before we really lay it all on the table with a 700+ mile journey, we will contend with difficult enough weather. The city travel, in Denver and Cheyenne, will be just fine. We will pass through with little to no bother, save for the ever present risk of a traffic jam. When we reach the Elk Mountain area of Wyoming, however, we will start seeing delays of a different sort. Especially in the high terrain, don’t be surprised to see some light snow the rest of the way to Evanston, the stop for the day, with more significant bursts of snow in the mountain passes.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
Fortunately, the snow that we see in Wyoming will be part of the last of a multi speared assault on the west coast. We will see a clear path forged ahead of us through Utah and Nevada, which have ducked any significant weather so far this season. The trek through the Sierras might still be slow as the area digs out from the first major rounds of snow in that part of the world, but we will arrive in a clearer, drier Chico than the one it has been the last couple of days.