Home sweet home: Steamboat couple returns from dream road trip
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – They saw. They became one with the dirt. They even conquered a hitchhiking mouse squabble.
Thanks to Tepui’s Adventure Contest, Steamboat couple Brian McSorley and Natalie Teer had the opportunity to go on a dreamy road trip, but it was not without a few surprises, mishaps and ‘hangry’ breakdowns.
“This trip made us realize we could get through some things even though there’s going to be a few ups and downs along the way,” McSorley said.
“We can be brutally honest with each other,” Teer added. “Whether we want to hear it or not, it’s probably what you needed to hear at the time.”
The couple camped in Tepui’s rooftop tent during their 31-day adventure, which took them through the deserts of Utah and Nevada to northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Mount Hood, Olympic National Park and all the way to Jasper National Park, Banff, Montana and Wyoming.
The highlight? Canada.
“There were some really cool places on our route that we didn’t know much about and didn’t have any expectations about,” Teer said. “Canada – we really were just blown away.”
From climbing almost to the top of Mount Rundle near Banff, with a sketchy scramble near the top before a storm rolled in, forgetting shampoo at the grimy state fairgrounds and having to turn around while trekking across a glacier, patience was the mantra.
“When you picture your dream road trip, you picture dream weather – so the first few days were a bit of an adjustment,” said Teer about the couple’s experience in Tahoe, where they ran into a few storms and mostly rain the first five days.
And there were some locations where they stayed longer than others.
On their list of places that exceeded expectations were Jackson, Wyoming, Banff, Canada, Olympic National Park, the Redwoods National Park and Lost Coast trailhead.
They weren’t able to stay as long as planned in Glacier National Park, where they were a little too late for winter and a little too early for spring.
“We had a schedule but not really,” McSorley said.
“That was something we had to keep reminding ourselves – Brian would remind me that we’re not really on anyone’s time but ours – there’s no hurry, and if we really enjoyed a place, to stay, and if not, we could leave.”
They were glad they brought all 15 pairs of socks and other frequently-used items like water jug, backpacker meals, tuna packets, coffee filter and hatchet – a last-minute purchase made while leaving town.
If they could do anything differently, McSorley said it would be to bring bikes to a few of the places they visited. Also, they would have rethought their oddly-shaped camp grill, which didn’t fit with the packing tetris.
“Don’t expect it to go as planned,” McSorley said when asked about takeaways from the trip. “Roll with the punches … just be prepared for the variables.”
“You really do need patience, especially when remembering that people think differently than you and react to things differently than you do,” Teer added.
Another discovery along the way? There’s no place like home, even on a dream road trip.
“I’m sure that travel-itch to get back on the road will come back quickly, but for right now, we’re enjoying Steamboat’s summer,” McSorley said. “It’s good to be back.”
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