Portland, Maine to Reno, Nevada

We’re not quite crossing the country, technically, but driving from Maine to western Nevada qualifies as “almost”. It’s a 5 ½ day trip from Portland to Reno, covering almost 3000 miles, putting us at a pace of 67.6mph. we’ll lose most of that time in New England, because I-80 will be very forgiving through the center of the country. Expect 541 a day, which will be pushing it on Day One, but easy in subsequent days.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)


Cool high pressure has infiltrated New England, but that’s only going to last today. Expect a little post frontal trough to rotate through the eastern Great Lakes into tomorrow, and intercept our course in the mid afternoon. The particular concern this time, is that temperatures are going to be chilly enough that snow flurries aren’t out of the question, and starting in Herkimer, New York and continuing west through the Finger Lakes, there will be a chance for some light flurries until we arrive in Dunkirk, south of Buffalo. We’ll potentially have snow on the ground as we call it a night in western New York.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
The nice thing about our burst of snow on Wednesday is that it will move very quickly to the east. We’ll be in clear skies by the time the sun rises on Dunkirk, and high pressure is going to set up across the Great Lakes and central Plains by the end of the week. There won’t be a threat for any showers, storms, or maybe even clouds throughout the day. We’ll make t to Ottawa, Illinois by day’s end.

DAY THREE (Friday)
The drive west on Friday will be a bit more tenuous. There are the early indications of a cold front developing just west of the Mississippi, though nobody is completely sold on the precipitable impact for our route. If we see any wet weather, it will come quickly between the Quad Cities and Des Moines. After Des Moines, expect blustery conditions and a noticeable drop in temperature. We’ll stop between Lincoln and Kearney, in Shelton, Nebraska, where it will be cooler but dry.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
If we thought we had high pressure on Thursday, well, the ridge setting up on Saturday will really knock our socks off. It’s going to be so stable in Nebraska and Wyoming as the weekend gets underway. We’ll reach Table Rock in south central Wyoming to end the day. Good luck finding a spot to stay, but it’s going to be extremely tranquil, wherever we go.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
The monsoon season isn”t quite over in the southwest, but it is seriously slowed down. Showers are going to work their way north into Nevada, but a large part of the activity will stay down around Las Vegas. Still, don’t be completely surprised if there is a dark cloud on the southern horizon between Wells and our destination for Sunday night, Valmy, Nevada.

DAY SIX (Monday)
Monday looks like a pretty good day for driving to Reno, so long as you stay out of the mountains. You are staying on the route, and out of the mountains, right? Because there will be some high elevation snow up in those things. Reno? Reno looks real nice.