Team name: The Never Settlers
They met as open ocean kayak guides and the adventures haven't ceased since. Now they've hit the road on a trip they've drawn out for years: driving the coast of California from San Diego to Oregon, then circling back through the Eastern Sierras, living out their moto "SEND IT!!!!!" in every way.
2018 Road trip details: We plan to head from San Diego up the California coast into Oregon. From there we will hit the Columbia River Gorge to the San Juan Islands. We will the head up to Banff, Canada and return south into Idaho and the Eastern Sierras. We chose this route because it is a trip we've planned for years. The coast, mountains, and forests. We've seen countless photos from fellow adventurers in these areas and we hope to follow their steps and make our own!
Participants: Garret, Sammi, Lindsay
Can't leave home without:
Lindsay: Coffee Mug
Garret: Board shorts
Favorite tune to listen to on the open road:
Lindsay: September by Earth Wind and Fire
Garret: Going Up the Country by Canned Heat
Sammi: Ride by 21 pilots
Signature/go-to camp food:
Lindsay: Cup of Noodles ( anything to be boiled).
Garret: Breakfast Burritos
Sammi: Dried Mango
"Best known for"/"claim to fame"/"trip role":
Lindsay: Best coffee maker and confused trailblazer( running full speed in wrong direction)
Garret: Pulls the weight and Team Atlas ( Holds the team together and on the right track)
Sammi: Daredevil and "the Lightbulb" ( Best ideas at the perfect time)
A perfect trip would include these three items:
Lindsay: Great climbing tree, questionable trail shortcut, an epic sunrise ft. coffee.
Garret: Photogenic lighting, off-road trails, starry night.
Sammi: The edge of a cliff to sit on, perfect hammock trees, a solid sunset.
Recreate their trip
Thinking about the route that we took and the split second decisions we made along our 8 day dash through the west coast, it’s safe to say that the recreation of this trip rests in its mindset rather than its physical destinations. With no reservations and essentially no plans, it seems as though we set ourselves up for complete failure. However, what we found upon looking back is that by not planning the smaller details of our trip, we were still in fact planning out our adventure in a less traditional way. It was absolutely insane, but we loved every second of it.
(Here’s the entirety of the 4,077 mile route if you don’t believe us: From San Diego to the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah, to the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, to a rainy night in the trees near Missoula, Montana, to Whistler, BC, bungee jumping, hiking, camping in Squamish, to spontaneously making it back to La Conner, Washington for a gorgeous sunset, to the San Juan Islands for Orca whales, to snow camping at Mt. Rainier, to driving through Gifford Pinchot National Forest, to crossing into Oregon for Multnomah Falls, to craving the ocean and hitting Cannon Beach, to beach/forest camping on the Oregon coast, and finally, to hitting Alabama Hills for an epic sunrise on our way back down to sunny San Diego. It was just as exhausting as it sounds.)
All in all, we discovered that the best way to shape a spontaneous adventure came to be defined by a total of five key things: 1) Knowing who you’re with 2) Studying up on your surroundings 3) Packing the right gear 4) Understanding the mpg of your vehicle 5) And being ready to leave your comfort zone.
In the same way that not all best friends make the greatest of roommates, the same can be said for who you choose to travel with. It’s imperative for you to find others who are ready to take the adventure, uncertainty, and inevitable adversity in the same direction that you are. Does a rainy day mean you play cards and cook up an awesome feast indoors? Or do you hike to waterfalls and bungee jump soaking wet off of a bridge? The only right answer here is the one that aligns with the goals of your own adventure. Clearly, our crazy trio went with the latter.
In addition to being on the same page, it’s also important for each individual to understand his/her own role in the band of misfits. Garret made sure we got where we were going, Sammi made the best split second decisions, and Lindsay kept the energy and enthusiasm up (with plenty of coffee). This trip wouldn’t have been possible without all three of us to keep one another going through the sleepless nights and daily mini adventures that pushed us well beyond our comfort zones.
Though we didn’t make any reservations before leaving San Diego, we definitely did our research on the general land we would be driving through. With all three of us being avid campers and hikers, our basic knowledge of what kind of adventures we were looking for and where the best places to sleep along the way would most likely be, gave us the confidence to be so spontaneous. By knowing where to look for BLM land and making educated guesses about what areas would have vacant campsites, we never ran into very much trouble in fixing our sleeping arrangements. We wanted the freedom to change our plans at a moment’s notice, and it was our individual experience levels that allowed us the reassurance that things would always work out at the end of the day.
After assembling our adventure crew, the next biggest decision was deciding what gear we wanted to bring. For us, jet boils and a mini stove proved perfect for essentially every meal along with reusable plates, cutlery and insulated coffee mugs. Other essential items included clothing for every type of weather, solar powered chargers, hammocks, sleeping bags, YETI cooler, hiking backpacks, and most importantly, our Tepui tent. We can’t say enough about the creative liberties that this tent allowed (and even encouraged) us to pursue in making the route of our trip.
Being able to set-up or pack up camp in about 10 minutes total, we never felt compelled to stay in the same campsite (or even city) for more than one night. Normally, setting up camp is like having your own little home away from home throughout your trip. You can leave to go hiking, and come back to all of your belongings waiting for you. For us, packing up camp every morning meant that we were truly free to go and stay as far away as we could manage. The elevation of the tent allowed us to comfortably explore every type of terrain, all the while knowing you wouldn’t wake up freezing on the snowy ground or with a cactus stuck in your tent from the desert. Ultimately, the confidence we had in our spontaneity and “full send” attitude wouldn’t have been possible without our Tepui tent.
Another important thing that we discovered about driving 4,000 miles in 8 days: Make sure that you ALWAYS know how far away the next gas station is (or bring an extra fuel container)... Crossing through Nevada on our way to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, we found ourselves 9 hours into the trip, reaching a gas station at 1am and filling 15.6 gallons of our 16 gallon tank. Needless to say, we had a very stressful 60 minutes of praying to the Subaru gods that we would make it to a gas station because none of our phones had service. Luckily we never had to draw straws to see who would be running a marathon to the nearest gas station and back.
Lastly, the willingness to embrace chaos and get out of your comfort zone can’t be left behind on a trip like this. The route was crazy, day to day activities were adrenaline rushes, and we never knew what state we would be in just 24 hours later. The opportunity to let go and live in every moment isn’t something that we’ve all been able to recreate in our daily lives. But together, we can create more memories and push ourselves past even our greatest fears just a little bit every day. Finding that feeling and holding on to it for a moment, that is the greatest Endless Adventure we could ever imagine.
Shots from their adventure
Gear that got them through