- The short answer is I think you'll be fine. I'm in Golden, CO, so you're route is about a day south of me. I drive my Elise on day trips in my area all the way into November, but I pick the days and obviously avoid snow. My temperature criteria for Yokohama AD07's is to plan to avoid anything below 40° F and to turn around if I get to within a few degrees of freezing. If I really want to go somewhere and know the conditions are iffy, I will carry an infrared thermometer with me to check the road surface temps . . . the road temp will lag behind air temps by several days, especially where the road has the benefit of heating with direct sunlight.
> This will be the week of Oct 9th...is this already a dealbreaker for weather?
Not at all. Just be prepared to turn around or take an alternate route if you run into conditions that threaten your safety. At that time of year, you may run into freezing conditions generally above 10,000' MSL.
> Are there more than enough places to pull off and wait things out?
Plenty of places to pull off, but you might have to wait a day or two, so I would plan to turn around rather than wait something out.
> Should I be concerned about altitude sickness slowing me down
Probably not. You can search and find lots of resources about altitude sickness. The cabin of a commercial airliner is typically pressurized to 8,000' MSL and it's pretty rare to experience the effects of altitude sickness at or below that altitude. Most routes through the Rockies don't put you at altitudes above that for very long because you are climbing and descending steep mountains. Again, if things go badly, turn around. I carry an altimeter in my Lotus for entertainment / situation awareness when we are in the mountains. There are inexpensive altimeters available for less than $100 if you want one.
> Cell coverage is junk, right? Do i need to rent a sat phone for safety?
No to the sat phone - too spendy for so little benefit. Cell coverage can be spotty in the mountains, but in an emergency you should be able to flag someone for help - your routes aren't going to be devoid of traffic. And having phones with two different carriers is awesome - there are lots of places ATT doesn't work that Verizon or Sprint will.
> Is this, in general, a dumb idea? I'm more than happy to just ship the car, then make it back out to CO later when we're settled.
Not at all. I would definitely do this - like I said, we drive our Lotus all the way into November. Just be ready to reverse course and go back to where conditions were better. I would build in an extra day so you have no qualms about turning around when necessary. If you just *have* to get to your destination at the minimum time for your route, *that's* when I'd say it's a bad idea.