Road life. I’ve forgotten how chaotic it is!
Actually, the truth is we’ve been going 150 mph even before we hit the road. As my brother-in-law said to us, “it’s kind of interesting to see you two stressed out and actually working like the rest of us!”
Anyway, I knew I owed everyone an update. It’s a little stream of conscience, so bear with my scattered brain.
As a reminder, we are working this summer as the “Zero Landfill Team” for Subaru and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. The Zero Landfill Initiative is a partnership focusing on a goal of reducing, reusing and recycling waste in the National Parks, diverting as much as possible away from the landfills. Particularly, we’re working in 3 national parks–Grand Teton, Denali and Yosemite.
Our newly wrapped Subaru Outback is definitely an eye catcher.
We’ve been in the Teton Valley in Wyoming since June 15. Only 8 days, but somehow it feels like 8 weeks.
Teton Valley is GORGEOUS. I would post beautiful photos, but it has been quite rainy! We’re here until July 5, so I’m sure we’ll capture the area’s glamour shots. I do have a love for moody weather, but I am looking forward to those jaw-dropping mountain views the region boasts.
We’ve been facilitating a variety of events across the town of Jackson Hole. We’ve mainly been stationed at the KOA campground outside of town in a dry cabin. Dry cabin actually means no running water (because I know my sister will ask), but it’s also literally keeping us dry from the rainy weather. Sunday, we’re moving into our tent for the remaining time in Colter Bay Campground in Grand Teton National Park, as we’ll mostly be working in the park north of town.
We definitely forgot what it was like to live out of a car. 45 square feet (our Subaru Outback) is particularly difficult when you have it packed to the gills. It is certainly nice to be in one place and explode all our stuff.
Can you see inside the car? Nope, didn’t think so.
The Zero Landfill Team is a pilot program, which is equally invigorating and terrifying! We’ve had so much autonomy to set up our events, but given the sort-of last-minute launching of the tour, we’ve been scrambling a bit (a constant test to my Type A tendencies). As it turns out, our calendar booked up maybe a little too much on the fly because we’ve had something pretty much every day since we’ve been here, and some days more than one event!
We’ve also had random mishaps–construction traffic delays, delayed packages with supplies, a crack in the windshield, a malfunctioning trunk (we are NOT used to all the complicated electronic functions in these fancy cars; this Outback practically drives itself). It’s sort of comedic from an outsider perspective. But it’s all part of the adventure!!
Our first event will probably go down as our favorite. It was the Teton Valley Vanlife Gathering. Oh man, being around “our tribe” was the absolute best. There’s no explaining of the life less ordinary we’ve chosen. These people get it. A Saturday evening forum about the challenges and rewards of van life had us constantly nodding our heads in agreement. Vanlifers were also the most receptive audience for our messages of don’t feed the landfills, use reusable versus disposable items and leave no trace. They were actually teaching us as much as we were them!
Photo courtesy of @driftinghouse (IG handle)
Photo courtesy of @vanlifediaries
Other events have included a few youth programs, but mostly boothing events at various locations (i.e., farmers markets and recycling events). We love the day-to-day changes and I think things will slow down a bit after we settle our schedule more. In another post, I’ll have to nerd out on y’all about all the recycling and waste knowledge we’ve gained!! We have some disturbing facts in our brains.
We will start the drive to Denali National Park July 5, with hopefully some free time and a few adventures along the way. We’ll be in Alaska from July 13 until August 23, then we’ll head south to Yosemite National Park through Oct. 1.