My DH works from 8pm to 8 am and he is used to being awake at night. I try to nap while he drives. We definitely are drowsy the first day, but not too bad. The kids are usually calm being in a new environment and all, that first day. The first night on vacation is a good night of sleep! Then we are ready to go!
You do have the beautiful Rockies so close! We love doing the Calgary - banff - jasper- Edmonton run and try to do it every year. It's so sad to see those mountains become smaller in the rear view mirror when we are driving back!