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Deer Valley and driving there on I-80 in late November

I'm really looking forward to working at Deer Valley in Park City, Utah this winter season.  I will be driving on I-80 almost the entire way. I have lots of experience driving on I-80 (coast to coast), but it's been during some relatively safe driving conditions.  Driving from Chicago to Park City the last week of November, I know there's some real potential for hitting driving hazzards.  I've driven on I-90 and I-94 in some bad conditions, but got through that with some patience.  If I buy snow tires before I leave I won't have enough gas money to get there.....I'm wondering if anyone has made a similar drive during a similar time?  Are highway closures frequent during this time?  I'm giving myself 3 days to drive there.  I've driven to Bryce Canyon from Chicago in 2 days before (which is a longer drive), so giving myself an extra day buffer zone for weather will be enough I hope?


Any advice about working at Deer Valley would be welcome too.  I've heard lots of good things about the resort, both in person and online.  Since this will be my first season there, I'm getting the company provided housing, and will have one roommate.  The housing manager described the rooms as small, but I was wondering if anyone out there knows first hand just how small.  Rent is fairly cheap anyway, so I really can't complain...but just curious.


I appreciate any feedback.

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Hey Brendan,

Not sure about I-80 at all, but I will also be heading to Deer Valley for the winter. What position are you working? Also, I am not sure which dorms I will choose. The ones that are further out of town seem nice, and they have a stove top which is cool. Hope to see you out there :)

I recently received an e-mail with my housing assignment...didn't get to choose, but I hear all the housing is good. I'm going to be working as a baker at the Snow Park Bakery.
Oh awesome man,

I'll be sure to stop by then :)
Hey Brendan,

It really could go either way - could be dry as a bone or a blizzard. You just never know. If you can't afford snow tires, maybe pick up a used pair of chains. I've driven 80 a bunch - some wide open country across WY before you get into UT. If it's stormy, that makes for windy conditions and bad visibility. But it could be bright sun and dry. Just check the forecast before you hit the road. You just never know about the weather.
Tire chains haven't been allowed on Chicago roads since the 1960s due to all the road dammage from it's not easy to find them around here. I'm familiar with the I-80 winds (yep, in Wyoming), especially since I have a tall vehicle...replaced all four shocks a year ago, which makes driving through the high winds a lot easier now. Someone once told me that there is something called beads that you can put on your tires....similar to chains but considerably smaller and innocuous....wondering how effective those are? Thanks for your thoughts Kathi.
I've traveled on I-80 through Wyoming and half of Nebraska several times, once was right around Thanksgiving and another time was just before Christmas; Laramie is the only spot that's ever given me serious worry. (I won't mention Kansas, since it's not on I-80 :) My front windshield is currently sporting *two* cracks courtesy of Wyoming, and the last one was picked up in Laramie, so it's really not my favorite. I have also encountered fog in that area, at noon, but I digress...

As for road closures, it's only happened once to me, on I-80 westbound, Cheyenne to Laramie, when there was over 2' of snowfall one night. I don't really know what the "rules" are governing closures, but there are some great webcams out there that will give you an idea of what's going on."" It's a huge help to have someone back home keeping an eye on the weather for your route for you! Remember, black ice and "slick in spots" are the biggest hazards, for you and the other drivers.

Having said all that, I've made it through just fine; once in a pickup, other times in a car, all without snow tires, chains, or all-wheel drive. Just puny little rear-wheel drive, and a lot of patience! Go slow, be alert, and you should be fine. If the other drivers are crowding you, don't hesitate to turn on your hazard lights - truck drivers use it, you can too, b/c it's a good tool for communicating with those other drivers. I hope you have a safe trip, and a great season at Deer Valley! :)


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