Your Questions About Pass To Seattle Conditions

Steven asks…

Drive from SF California to Seattle Washington Safe?

I have to drive to Seattle Washington from San Francisco very soon. It rained today and it’s probably snowing in the Pacific Northwest. Is it safe to drive from SF to Seattle using the standard I-5 route? I don’t want to wind up like the Korean man who died while he was driving his family through Oregon.

admin answers:

You are right to be concerned about traveling I-5 in the Winter or early Spring. But, typically the only area of concern is crossing the Siskiyous on I-5 between Yreka, Ca and Ashland, OR. This time of year, you must carry chains (even if you don’t need them). Its only about a 14 mile stretch or so, but I won’t kid you – the driving can be treacherous if there’s a storm. The highway will close down if the weather & conditions warrant it.
I would check out the road conditions for that stretch when I reach Redding. At that point, you’re not comfortable with the conditions or the highway is closed, you could take HWY 299 to Arcata, Then 101 to Crescent City and 199 to Grants Pass, OR. This is a 5 hour detour, and involves some very windy roads (but, beautiful scenery).
Try to take a laptop so you can access the internet to check on road conditions before you go. Even if the road is good, always be prepared for winter driving. In Redding, if you don’t have a computer, I’d stop at the highway patrol 2485 Sonoma St (530-225-2715). Siskiyous Pass is to be taken seriously!
The remainder of I-5 to Seattle will probably be just wet.

The following website is an excellent link to webcams & road conditions.

Robert asks…

OK to drive to Seattle from Minnesota in december???

I am planning a trip to Seattle, Washington in December. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to drive. We are planning on driving I-94 the whole way. My main worry is the mountains. Will it be a white knuckle ride the whole way? We will be having a cell phone with, just in case.

admin answers:

I wouldn’t recommend this drive during „prime“ winter months such as December to anyone.

You are looking at driving part of Minnesota, completely across North Dakota (I-94) is pretty desolate even along his highway. Not to mention North Dakota’s winter road maintence isn’t great. No salt use and little sand use. Next you’ll be traveling completely across Montana (pretty much the same as North Dakota). After this you’ll be traveling across Idaho (not great in the snow). Now you’ll be entering Washington (again not exactly a winter drive paradise).

You’re talking about a long fairly rural drive (and by rural I mean nothing in between towns that are miles and miles apart) in states that generally have a decent amount snow accumulation, lots of deer crossings. This area (ND and MT) tend to have what we call „dry snow“ and due to the lack of trees the snow (even when not actively snowing) blows and blows across the roadways making blizzard like conditions for visibility and with high gusting winds. Then when the winds are not blowing you will have to contend with truckers who still think 70 mph is okay in winter conditions, as they pass you whether headed the other direction or are passing you on a dotted line you will experience „snow fog“ meaning the wind generated by the truck going so fast creates blizzard like conditions and zero visiability immediately around your vehicle.

Now taking all this safety into consideration, I would suggest weighing your fuel costs, hotel and meal costs, the very real possibility that you will be significantly delayed due to road/weather conditions; and consider flying.

Please note that in Idaho and the mountainous areas of Montana you will encounter „chain areas“ in which you are supposed to put chains around your tires for added traction to keep you on the winding hills that do not have guard rails.

Susan asks…

Is it safe to take Nyquil and breastfeed?

My wife took nyquil and then „pumped and dumped“ at night, shortly after she took the nyquil. Next morning she breastfed the baby. Would all the active ingredients in nyquil be out of her system and breast milk by this morning?

admin answers:

That is exactly what the Dr. Would have advised her to do if she had consumed alcohol. Your breast milk is a bodily fluid and as such changes with the rest of your body.
I am going to use alcohol as an example because I am familiar with it, but Nyquil or any other medication would follow the same concept (as well as food – so watch it with the very spicy stuff).
When a nursing mom consumes alcohol, as long as she feels no effect – neither would the baby. One glass of wine over dinner for example. However if the mom feels an effect, she can make her baby drunk as well if she were to nurse while she was in that condition. Once the mom is sober again, her milk is safe again. The reason most Dr.’s will recommend that you pump and dump has more to do with supply and demand that alcohol content. The alcohol would take up to 13 hours to leave your system. Most newborns nurse every 2 hours, so if you were to go 6 feedings without expressing the milk, the mom would probably be in pain and her supply would probably diminish the next day. You want to remove my pumping the amount that the baby would have eaten had she nursed. Even if you did not pump though, the milk would not have alcohol in it after the correct amount of time had passed for it to leave the mom’s body.
Does your wife have a lactation consultant? I don’t know much about Seattle, but here is the La Leche League list of Washington support groups. Maybe there is one close or one that fits her schedule?
I had a lot of fun gong to the meetings and weighing my baby and meeting other moms. Plus its free (at least in my area – Alabama) and it was somewhere to go other that to the Dr’s office in those early weeks 😀
Here are a couple of websites that you should book mark for future use:
And the main La Leche League site.
Your baby is fine – And your wife should be commended – breastfeeding is a very hard thing to do – but totally worth every bit of it! And you are a great dad to be concerned about your babe!!!
Your baby is very lucky to have suck great parents!

Sandy asks…

Is it safe to travel to CA from WA?

I’m thinking I’m going to drive down to Southern California from Seattle next week to visit some family. Is that a bad idea this time of year? I have a 2009 Corolla S with front wheel drive and no tire chains. Are there any mountain passes that could be an issue either in Washington or Oregon that should make me think otherwise?


admin answers:

Yes. You should look carefully at the conditions and forecast for the Siskiyou pass in southern OR. It can become pretty bad during and right after a storm. At time, chains may be required.

Sharon asks…

Recommendations for traveling in the winter to WA?

My family and i are moving from southern CA to Fort Lewis WA in January. We are driving and I am kind of nervous bc it will be winter. We have never planned a road trip before usually we just get from point A to B asap. Can anyone tell me how to do this? Any interesting places to stop or must see places…as of now we have one week to get there… unless we can leave earlier. We have never been that far north before. Any way to find dog friendly hotels?

admin answers:

You will probably just shoot up I-5 because Fort Lewis is just south of Seattle. Might get some rain in California, but that part should be an easy drive. Throughout Oregon and Washington you are likely to have a lot of rain and drizzle, but probably not too much snow. On rare occasion Portland and Seattle get a dusting of snow, but it’s not very often or very much. If you run into snow, it will most likely be over Siskiyou Pass on the Oregon/California border. Check the weather report. It is wise to get through the mountains during the day to reduce the risk of black ice. You should invest in some chains ahead of time. You’re supposed to carry chains during the winter just in case and prices from roadside chain sellers are outrageous.

I don’t know what you have already seen along the way, but here are some suggestions:
* San Francisco is worth a day of sightseeing, but don’t drive to the city, parking is a nightmare. Instead, take 580 about 45 minutes west of 5 and park at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station and take BART to the SF Powell St station. You’ll come out right at the cable cars and stuff.
* The California State Capitol in Sacramento is worth a couple of hours and it’s not too far off the road. Tours are free, but you have to pay for parking. You might catch a glimpse of Arnold if you’re lucky!
* Shasta Dam in far northern CA is worth a stop for a couple of hours. They give free tours inside the dam.
* Crater Lake National Park is a couple of hours east of 5. The road around the rim is closed for the winter, but if the weather is good you can still get to the visitors center.
* Multnomah Falls is only about 30 minutes east of Portland on I-84. It’s a huge waterfall worth seeing and free.
* If you like seafood, check out Jakes Famous Crawfish in downtown Portland. It’s pretty pricey for dinner, but not too bad for lunch.

I’ve made the trip from central CA to Seattle many times. If you have a week, you can be pretty leisurely. I normally stay at Comfort/Quality Inns along the road. Some take pets, you can put that in on their website and they will tell you which ones do. I usually take my laptop and make reservations for the next motel while I’m staying at the first one. That way I can judge how tired I am and how far I think I will get the next day. Usually they have much better rates if you book online rather than calling or just showing up and you can accumulate rewards points. From my travels, the Comfort Inn in Red Bluff is especially nice and the one in Yreka is especially bad.

If you are concerned about road conditions, you can get current information:
CA: -or- 1-800-427-7623
OR: -or- 1-800-977-6368
WA: -or- 1-800-695-7623

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