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plastics91

Advice on travel plans for interviews

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Hi guys,

I'm interviewing at Edmonton then Saskatoon the day afterwards. I'm from Ontario so I'm not 100% sure about what's the best way to travel, considering weather conditions.

I'm planning to fly out on Friday March 16, do my interview (1230 to 330 ish), then rent a car to drive to saskatoon. I've looked into bus and planes but bus routes don't exist around 4pm and flights are quite pricey for one way. Plus, I thought I'd save some time and energy from taking local buses between airport to lodging.

What do you guys think? Is there a bus route I'm missing between Edmonton and Saskatoon? Is driving 6 hours between Edmonton and Saskatoon OK? It is winter so I'd like to stay away from driving if road conditions are precarious.

Thanks a lot!

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Just now, plastics91 said:

Hi guys,

I'm interviewing at Edmonton then Saskatoon the day afterwards. I'm from Ontario so I'm not 100% sure about what's the best way to travel, considering weather conditions.

I'm planning to fly out on Friday March 16, do my interview (1230 to 330 ish), then rent a car to drive to saskatoon. I've looked into bus and planes but bus routes don't exist around 4pm and flights are quite pricey for one way. Plus, I thought I'd save some time and energy from taking local buses between airport to lodging.

What do you guys think? Is there a bus route I'm missing between Edmonton and Saskatoon? Is driving 6 hours between Edmonton and Saskatoon OK? It is winter so I'd like to stay away from driving if road conditions are precarious.

Thanks a lot!

It's possible, but it might be tough: you're looking, realistically, at a 4-4:30 - 11-12 drive, so it'll be entirely in the dark. Above all else, then, be safe. Or see if you can get an earlier interview because of the need to drive and your desire not to hit a moose.

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9 minutes ago, insomnias said:

It's possible, but it might be tough: you're looking, realistically, at a 4-4:30 - 11-12 drive, so it'll be entirely in the dark. Above all else, then, be safe. Or see if you can get an earlier interview because of the need to drive and your desire not to hit a moose.

Is it really 11-12 hours driving? Google tells me ~5 hours?

I definitely don't want to hit a moose.. Is that a common occurrence? I'm also thinking flights might can canceled whereas if you drive you're for sure going to at least be trying to get there

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11 minutes ago, plastics91 said:

Is it really 11-12 hours driving? Google tells me ~5 hours?

I definitely don't want to hit a moose.. Is that a common occurrence? I'm also thinking flights might can canceled whereas if you drive you're for sure going to at least be trying to get there

No, it's not that long, I meant that you'll probably end up arriving somewhere around 11pm after you factor in stops for gas/food and actually picking up the rental car. I'm not sure that the risk of hitting a moose is necessarily high, but if you're driving at night, there's always a risk that an animal will jump on the road. Winter driving is never perfectly safe, but I would personally feel confident making the drive. Perhaps splitting the driving with canada747 might help reduce any fatigue-related issues

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Hi plastics91.  Congrats on receiving an invite from Saskatchewan......amazing stats required for OOP!

Anyway, the drive is about 6 hours from Edmonton to Saskatoon in good driving weather.  I do not think you have to worry about hitting a moose as much as the possibility of a deer! ;)   Perhaps you can contact U of A Med Admissions to see if an earlier time slot might be available under the circumstances.  Personally, I would not risk that drive in our winter season when I know I have to be someplace for a one time interview.  But that is just my $.02 having lived in Alberta and having extended family in Saskatchewan. Good luck. 

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21 minutes ago, Livinalberta said:

Hi plastics91.  Congrats on receiving an invite from Saskatchewan......amazing stats required for OOP!

Anyway, the drive is about 6 hours from Edmonton to Saskatoon in good driving weather.  I do not think you have to worry about hitting a moose as much as the possibility of a deer! ;)   Perhaps you can contact U of A Med Admissions to see if an earlier time slot might be available under the circumstances.  Personally, I would not risk that drive in our winter season when I know I have to be someplace for a one time interview.  But that is just my $.02 having lived in Alberta and having extended family in Saskatchewan. Good luck. 

As a former Albertan I will second this advice. While the major highways are usually pretty clear, conditions can change pretty quick. You’ll also be driving in the dark for pretty much the whole trip, which depending on your driving comfort level may or may not make it riskier for you. I personally probably wouldn’t take the risk to drive that route in one night if I had somewhere I knew I had to be and I had other options.  But I’ve also banked some pretty ridiculous/stupid winter drives in my lifetime, so I admit I have probably become a bit more conservative about what I am willing to put up with.

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40 minutes ago, insomnias said:

No, it's not that long, I meant that you'll probably end up arriving somewhere around 11pm after you factor in stops for gas/food and actually picking up the rental car. I'm not sure that the risk of hitting a moose is necessarily high, but if you're driving at night, there's always a risk that an animal will jump on the road. Winter driving is never perfectly safe, but I would personally feel confident making the drive. Perhaps splitting the driving with canada747 might help reduce any fatigue-related issues

 

16 minutes ago, Livinalberta said:

Hi plastics91.  Congrats on receiving an invite from Saskatchewan......amazing stats required for OOP!

Anyway, the drive is about 6 hours from Edmonton to Saskatoon in good driving weather.  I do not think you have to worry about hitting a moose as much as the possibility of a deer! ;)   Perhaps you can contact U of A Med Admissions to see if an earlier time slot might be available under the circumstances.  Personally, I would not risk that drive in our winter season when I know I have to be someplace for a one time interview.  But that is just my $.02 having lived in Alberta and having extended family in Saskatchewan. Good luck. 

16 minutes ago, frenchpress said:

As a former Albertan I will second this advice. While the major highways are usually pretty clear, conditions can change pretty quick. You’ll also be driving in the dark for pretty much the whole trip, which depending on your driving comfort level may or may not make it riskier for you. I personally probably wouldn’t take the risk to drive that route in one night if I had somewhere I knew I had to be and I had other options.  But I’ve also banked some pretty ridiculous/stupid winter drives in my lifetime, so I admit I have probably become a bit more conservative about what I am willing to put up with.

Thanks a lot you guys, this is tremendously helpful. I managed to change my interview time to 8AM, and am now seriously considering driving because I won't have to drive at night.

Livinalberta & frenchpress: in light of schedule changes (now driving 1pm to 6pm ish rather than 4 pm to 10 pm), would you still not recommend that I drive? I'm also thinking about situation where weather conditions turn for the worse but in that case I actually think flights are more likely to be canceled and driving more dependable?

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1 hour ago, plastics91 said:

 

Thanks a lot you guys, this is tremendously helpful. I managed to change my interview time to 8AM, and am now seriously considering driving because I won't have to drive at night.

Livinalberta & frenchpress: in light of schedule changes (now driving 1pm to 6pm ish rather than 4 pm to 10 pm), would you still not recommend that I drive? I'm also thinking about situation where weather conditions turn for the worse but in that case I actually think flights are more likely to be canceled and driving more dependable?

I think that’s certainly a much better time to be driving.

In my experience, if the weather is so bad flights are cancelled, that’s not a particularly good time to drive. Sometimes flights can be cancelled by bad weather in other parts of the country if your plane is coming from far away, but a lot of these regional flights just go back and forth between two cities. So if the weather is THAT bad then I think you could have a hard time either way. Hopefully that’s unlikely.

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24 minutes ago, frenchpress said:

I think that’s certainly a much better time to be driving.

In my experience, if the weather is so bad flights are cancelled, that’s not a particularly good time to drive. Sometimes flights can be cancelled by bad weather in other parts of the country if your plane is coming from far away, but a lot of these regional flights just go back and forth between two cities. So if the weather is THAT bad then I think you could have a hard time either way. Hopefully that’s unlikely.

I agree with frenchpress.  If weather is bad I would rather be on a flight above the prairies than driving.  There is a good portion of the highway that is not 4 lane and blowing snow makes it very hazardous.  I would just take it on the chin and book a flight.  A 1 hour flight (although the darn YEG airport is 45-60 mins from the UNI!) that you can arrive refreshed to slay your U of S interview the next day.  Again.....just my $0.02.  Good luck. 

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2 hours ago, plastics91 said:

 

Thanks a lot you guys, this is tremendously helpful. I managed to change my interview time to 8AM, and am now seriously considering driving because I won't have to drive at night.

Livinalberta & frenchpress: in light of schedule changes (now driving 1pm to 6pm ish rather than 4 pm to 10 pm), would you still not recommend that I drive? I'm also thinking about situation where weather conditions turn for the worse but in that case I actually think flights are more likely to be canceled and driving more dependable?

Plastics91,

I drive from Edmonton to Saskatoon literally every other weekend. It is double-lane, divided highway the entire way  (110 km/hr) and it takes 5 hours one-way. It's not that busy of a highway, but it is a major artery and a high priority for snow clearing, although looking at the 14 day forecast, I don't think you need to be overly concerned (although you never know in Canada, of course). I think that driving is honestly the best way to go for you, and the most reliable out of all of the options. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions. I used to live in Saskatoon, currently living in Edmonton. 

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Also, the sunset table for Edmonton on March 17 is sunset: 7:40 pm. So if you are driving from 1 to 6 pm, it will be all in daylight.

I think I have the same interview time slot as you in Edmonton, but I'm not interviewing with Saskatchewan, otherwise I would drive you myself to show you how safe and easy it is... haha. But I do really think this will be the best option for you. Hopefully you can connect with some other people who are making the same journey!

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Another fact to consider: there is a one hour time difference going to Saskatoon (SK is later than AB). As for driving, it's hard to say since we don't know what the weather will be like.  But definitely try to change your interview time to 8am either way. You either need time to drive or time to deal with getting to the airport/hotel. No need to have extra stress in your life at this point in time!

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1 hour ago, Me11y said:

Another fact to consider: there is a one hour time difference going to Saskatoon (SK is later than AB). As for driving, it's hard to say since we don't know what the weather will be like.  But definitely try to change your interview time to 8am either way. You either need time to drive or time to deal with getting to the airport/hotel. No need to have extra stress in your life at this point in time!

Daylight savings is before then so Alberta and Saskatchewan will actually be on the same time again.

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6 hours ago, YoshCo said:

Daylight savings is before then so Alberta and Saskatchewan will actually be on the same time again.

Bonus! I hadn't worked that out in my head yet ;)  Just gained an hour of travel time! Thanks :) 

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Thank you guys so much, this has been tremendously helpful!

Because I am now interviewing in Alberta 8am, I think I will most likely make the drive as per YoshCo's suggestion. There is also a bus option but 1) takes about 2 hours more; 2) stops getting on and off are in the middle of nowhere (from what I gather on busbud greyhound?) so I will most likely drive..

Thank you guys so so much, and I may PM you closer to date :) Thanks a lot!

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35 minutes ago, Livinalberta said:

So, plastics91 and all interviewees travelling to Edmonton!  A weird storm front is moving through Alberta tomorrow and Friday.  FYI.

I was fearing a weather update from you..! Hope we all make it through our travel arrangements without too much hassle 

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43 minutes ago, Livinalberta said:

So, plastics91 and all interviewees travelling to Edmonton!  A weird storm front is moving through Alberta tomorrow and Friday.  FYI.

Thanks for letting me know.. Would driving be dangerous in the conditions then?

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27 minutes ago, plastics91 said:

Thanks for letting me know.. Would driving be dangerous in the conditions then?

 

I don't know what Livinalberta is referring to... I think this only affecting Southern Alberta. Right now it says Edmonton may get 1-3 cm tomorrow and 40% chance of 1 cm on Saturday... so nothing substantial. Not sure that constitutes a "storm front". Driving should be fine as long as it stays south.

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Ok macd.  Yes Edmonton may not get hit as hard as Red Deer and South.  Some of us are driving up from Calgary. Just sayin!

As per weather.gc.ca   Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge etc.

A change in the weather is expected for southern Alberta as a low pressure system is forecast to impact the province Thursday and Friday. Precipitation with this system will fall as a mixture of rain, freezing rain, and snow. At this time, there is still uncertainty as to where the highest amounts of precipitation will fall but some areas could receive up to 15 cm of snow by Friday morning. It is likely that travel will be impacted along portions of the Trans-Canada Highway and the QE2 Highway.

Environment Canada meteorologists will monitor the situation closely and issue weather warnings as required.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ec.storm.ec@canada.ca or tweet reports using #ABStorm.

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4 hours ago, plastics91 said:

Thanks for letting me know.. Would driving be dangerous in the conditions then?

plastics91.  If you are flying in to Edmonton on Friday, you should be fine. And if you are driving to Saskatoon on Saturday, also good to go as long as this system does not move East.

I posted this:

Calgary, AB< Red Deer and surrounding.....

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT ( as noted in my previous post)

 

Everyone take care.

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1 hour ago, Livinalberta said:

plastics91.  If you are flying in to Edmonton on Friday, you should be fine. And if you are driving to Saskatoon on Saturday, also good to go as long as this system does not move East.

I posted this:

Calgary, AB< Red Deer and surrounding.....

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT IN EFFECT ( as noted in my previous post)

 

Everyone take care.

Thanks for letting me know, I really appreciate it! I'll make sure to monitor the situation.

Sucks that med school interviews have to be during the Canadian winters.. but I guess it can't be helped :P

One day we'll have hologram-based interviews to avoid as much unnecessary travelling as possible!

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1 hour ago, plastics91 said:

Thanks for letting me know, I really appreciate it! I'll make sure to monitor the situation.

Sucks that med school interviews have to be during the Canadian winters.. but I guess it can't be helped :P

One day we'll have hologram-based interviews to avoid as much unnecessary travelling as possible!

If the holograms in the future stay visuoauditory only, then the adcoms won't be able to smell our fear

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