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Helen 12-13-2009 06:08 PM

Opinions needed
Dear trusted board members,

My Mother, whom I loved deeply, passed away on Thursday. I was fortunate to be with her as she died. She was the youngest 85 year old most people knew, and we were all actually shocked that she died. I am so sad that she is gone.

I am at my Mom's house in Michigan. She has an older cocker spaniel that I am taking back to Oregon with me. I don't think the dog would survive a plane flight and it sounds kind of good to pack up the dog and take a long road trip.

I plan to call my boss tomorrow and tell her I'll be back to work the week after Christmas. The service is this Tuesday and I could leave on Wednesday.

Does anyone have suggestions about what would be the safest route to take?

Someone suggested the northern route would be the flatest and might actually be safer. I was thinking of going south to St. Louis then heading west.

Thank you all for your suggestions on this I value your opinions.


travelover 12-13-2009 06:15 PM

Helen, so sorry for your loss.

Khan 12-13-2009 06:20 PM

Given the time of year, I would opt for the South then West route.

samclem 12-13-2009 06:34 PM

So sorry to hear about your loss.
I don't remember if I've been the northern route (I-94 and I-90), but Google says the distances are about the same (about 4 hours less to the middle of OR from the middle of MI going on I-80 than going the northern route).

I find the Interstates, even through the mountains, to be very comfortable drives without any drama. You and the pooch might appreciate the slightly warmer weather to be expected along the "southern" route this time of year as you go on the obligatory walks.

Again, very sorry to hear about your mom. Good luck.

most places 1 day, 17 hours to . The more southerly route (I-80)

Zathras 12-13-2009 06:40 PM

Helen, I am very sorry for your loss:(
I would recommend the southern route.
Be careful about any areas of freezing rain though.

calmloki 12-13-2009 06:46 PM

Very sorry for your loss - did a little looking and this site seems to have information handy for making your decision: Interstate Forecast Welcome

take it slow and easy...

Meadbh 12-13-2009 06:49 PM

So sorry to hear about your Mom, Helen. Losing a mother is always hard. Hopefully the good memories will shine through.

Achiever51 12-13-2009 06:54 PM

So sorry to hear of your loss.

I echo the suggestion of the southern route at this time of year. Be safe; God speed.

bbbamI 12-13-2009 07:04 PM

I assume you don't think the dog will survive if it is put in the cargo area. Are you not allowed to put the dog in a carrier and set it beside you on the plane?

I wish I could tell you the best route, but I'm afraid I can not. If you decide to drive, here is a website that will help you find a hotel that will accept pets....

Hotels that Allow Pet

My heart goes out to you Helen. I am so sorry for your loss. :(

mb 12-13-2009 07:12 PM

Sorry to hear about your mom, Helen.

With regard to the trip, I think that anything north of I40 through AZ and NM is subject to pretty severe winter storms and my guess is that going I40 would double your mileage.

I think I would opt for the alpine climber strategy of waiting for a break in the weather and then going like heck.


Rich_by_the_Bay 12-13-2009 07:36 PM

Deeply sorry about your loss, Helen. Mom would have appreciated your kindness toward the pooch, no doubt.

I'd go the southern route looking at the national weather. If it takes an extra day or you have to hole up an extra night with Fido, no big deal.

With your recent loss I'd rather see you taking your time and not worrying about snow.

KB 12-13-2009 07:49 PM

I'm so sorry about your mother, Helen. Hugs for driving the dog. I flew my dogs to Florida and back to California this year. It was traumatic for them and I was sorry to have to do it twice.

Moemg 12-13-2009 08:00 PM

Helen , So sorry for your loss !

Cruisinthru 12-13-2009 08:00 PM


I have no advice on the driving route, but I am so sorry about the loss of your Mother. Bless you for taking care of her dog! I hope your journey forward is smooth and safe!

Helen 12-14-2009 08:44 AM

Thank you all for your support and kind words. I guess I'll go 70 from St. Louis then either 80 to 84 or 80 to I5.

I have some pjs that I found in the dirty clothes basket to take for the dog so she will have my Mom's scent. I have a big flashlight/lantern, a blanket, water, some food, flares, and an atlas. I have AAA and Mom has Onstar on the car plus Sirus radio that might have a weather channel. The car is solid, pretty new (4k miles with good tires) and has that traction thing that kicks in automatically, so I think this is a good car for the trip.

Can anyone think of something else that would be smart to take along?

I think I'll call my credit card company and alert them that I'll be using my credit card a lot.

Thanks for any further ideas.


Orchidflower 12-14-2009 08:56 AM

Helen, I am also sorry for your loss. I'm probably going to go thru the same in the near future, and do not look forward to it.

I'm in the Midwest now, and I would definitely take the lesser icy roads; so, I'd go from St. Louis and over. Why take that chance to hit black ice going 65-70? Not worth it.
Go for the safety I say.

If the dog is hyper at all you can get doggie downers from the Vet. My friends did that for their dog, and it worked.

Don't forget doggie's bowl and food for doggie, and the leash.

Believe it or not, I always forget to bring enough cash (being so credit card dependent).

Rich_by_the_Bay 12-14-2009 09:26 AM

When I lost loved ones, I actually appreciated the long trips back home, a couple of which were by myself. Time to think, no need to keep a stiff upper lip, kind of reassuring monotony of the road. Add in the companionship of a dog who needs you and the whole plan could turn out to be a great decision.

KB 12-14-2009 10:01 AM

Take an ice chest with bottled water and juice so you don't need to hunt to find a drink. I would also take healthy snacks, but still stop every 2 - 4 hours to let the dog out. Take the dog's current brand of dog food so there is no change to his digestion. Dogs don't change food as easily as we humans.

You and your new best friend have a safe trip.

A small shovel in the trunk wouldn't hurt in case you meet a snow bank.

MichaelB 12-14-2009 10:07 AM

Helen, so sorry for your loss.

The dog might have a favorite toy, especially a stuffed animal. It also might have a pillow and/or blanket.

If you plan to make hotel reservations, a couple of web sites that show pet friendly hotels
Dog, Cat & Other Pet Friendly Hotels at Petswelcome.com
Pet Accommodations | Pet Friendly Hotels

You can build and print a TripTik at the AAA web site, and the online map will also highlight hotels along the route that are pet friendly. You can also stop by the local AAA office and get guidebooks with the same information – these are very useful when looking for a pet friendly place to stay.

Your local pet store will have a pet-friendly seat belt. It’s a type of harness that fits into the car seal belt. It will protect your dog in case of a sudden stop and also keep it in place while you’re driving – both are important.

Have a safe trip.

Moemg 12-14-2009 10:10 AM

When I used to drive in snow I always had an old blanket in the trunk . If I got stuck I would shove the blanket under the back wheels and back onto it . It provided enough traction to get unstuck .

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