Category Archive for "Our Travel Queen"

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So many continents, so little time

Unlike our other adventures around the world, our recent trip to Morocco meant more. That trip marked the end of an era filled with adventure, leading to Sean backcountry snowboarding all seven continents, and me skiing five. The end of that journey marks the beginning of a completely new one for us. (One that we’re excited to tell you more about in the coming months!) To honor that chapter of our lives, I’d like to take a trip down memory lane today—bear with me… 4 years is a long time. I began my journey with Sean in 2010. He, having…

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How we came to own a grease-powered RV

I remember the conversation like it happened yesterday. Sean came home one night in January, 2012 and told me the news: He and Russ found a 1977 Dodge Travel Queen Motorhome for sale and they wanted to split the purchase, fix it up, put in a waste vegetable oil fuel system and drive it to Alaska and back with the four of us—Russ, his wife, Brittany, Sean and me. Oh, I shouldn’t worry about the fact that the motorhome was older than me…by 11 years. And that I hadn’t seen it. And that it might have a wood burning stove coming out of the roof. The original engine had been…

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5-Star Travel on a Budget, Busby Style

One of the most common questions we get is, “How do you afford all your travel?” For starters, we work with a lot of rad sponsors/partners that believe in what we do. Secondly, we SAVE. Like it’s our job… because, well… it is our job. We forego things at home in Montana so that we can add more to our travel fund. Those new jeans you see on sale? To us, those jeans represent a night at an authentic Moroccan kasbah this February. When we drive our veggie oil-fueled VW Golf into Glacier National Park, we take the money we would have…

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Peak Diaries: The Travel Queen (trailer)

You guys, in the past two weeks, Sean has logged over 70 hours (easily), sitting with his face pressed against his MacBook Pro putting together the trailer for our Travel Queen adventure. I’m so proud to post it up today! Last week, you got the official tour. This week, you get the Trailer: a preview of the webisodes to come that take a peek into what life was like on the road for 32 days, driving from Utah to Alaska and back, running on Waste Vegetable Oil and Solar Power. I hope this makes you smile. If it does, please…

Powder Lines Peak Diaries: Tour de TQ

I’m so proud that Sean was finally able to finish the first of a series of videos about our summer TQ adventure! It gives an introduction to what the TQ adventure was all about, in addition to an EXCLUSIVE tour of the Travel Queen, herself. (If you’re new here and have no idea what I’m talking about, we drove a veggie oil-powered motor home called “The Travel Queen” to Alaska this summer… see my full coverage of the TQ adventure here.) Thanks to all the people and sponsors who made this dream a reality! Without further adieu… the TQ! PowderLines.Com…

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Day 32: The TQ’s maiden voyage is complete

I’m proud to report that yesterday morning, the crew made it home after 32 days on the road! And get this: NO MECHANICAL ISSUES for the entire 3,000 mile return trip! Although we enjoy being smashed into 27-feet, I think this photo conveys our excitement to be home. Even Ava got pumped: What an adventure we’ve had. After thinking about this for a few days, I want to convey the things I’ve learned. There is a LONG list (and I’m sure it’s enough for many blog posts to come), but for today’s post, I’ve compiled the short list… the down…

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Day 31: And you thought a 1977 motor home couldn’t do it…

We’re about ten and a half hours from home and feelin’ good. No mechanical issues to speak of—WAHOO! I feel this photo from Canmore, Alberta really speaks to the mood of our month-long adventure, don’t you?

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Day 24: Walking on a glacier

Yep, check that one off my bucket list. According to Russ and Britt’s research, Matanuska Glacier is a family-owned operation. Basically, you roll up to mile marker 102 on the Alaskan Highway, pay $20 and sign a waiver, and get to drive right up to a glacier and walk around and do whatever you want. The other glaciers we’ve seen in AK have been roped off and don’t allow people to access them. Matanuska is a free-for-all. So we donned our YakTrax and crampons and headed off into the great unknown… Here she is, in all her glory: Putting on…

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Day 23: Skiing on the summer solstice

Skiing on the summer solstice last week proved both successful and exhausting. After scouting the terrain the day prior, we headed to what the locals call “Peak Three” in the Chugach State Park right outside Anchorage. It was about 75 degrees out, and likely hotter in direct sunlight—needless to say, we loaded up on Aloe Up and began our trek. We knew there would be hiking involved until we got to the snowfield, but I don’t think either of us anticipated the feeling of carrying a 55-pound pack uphill for an extended period of time—in heat, no less. Once we got…

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A recap of the TQ’s Mechanical Tour of North America

Before we leave Anchorage and head back to Utah, I wanted to do a quick mechanical recap to bring everyone up to speed on the trial and tribulations we’ve been dealt on this trip at the halfway point. Yes—I know, I know… it’s a 1977 motor home, so what did we expect? LAY OFF. They don’t call it an ADVENTURE for nothin’. Utah: The bike rack that we had in the beginning attached via the trailer hitch. An hour and fifteen minutes into our journey, we nearly lost a pin, and thus unknowingly dragged my road bike’s tires along I-15…

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Days 21-22: Scouting out terrain

Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! Today, we will experience 24 hours of daylight here in Alaska. The past few days have been devoted to exploration. Whenever Sean and I arrive in a new place, it takes a few days to get acquainted with the land. We’ve spent our time traveling down to Seward, saw the warf and had some Huckleberry ice-cream, and then yesterday took a 2-hour hike in the Chugach State Park, scouting out lines for today. Now we’re off with our heavy packs and skis/splitboard to get some AK snow. While we get after it, please enjoy these pics from the…

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Day 15: Why I ski

I think it’s the challenge that hooked me most on skiing. It’s the challenge of looking at a line, and clenching my abs before I drop in, and then letting my skis take me down, back and forth. Even the hiking back up is worth it to be able to get to do it again. When Sean first introduced me to the concept of “earning my turns,” admittedly, I was skeptical of not using the chairlifts (even though that’s what they’re for). But the concept of heading out your back door to a mountain, climbing up on your own accord—getting…

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Days 16-18: Flipping my granola switch off and on

This July, I have been given the great honor of standing up in my best friend, Lisa’s wedding as the maid—er, matron of honor. (Still getting used to the fact that I’m married.) In planning her bachelorette festivities, we set a date in mid-June for a girl’s trip to Chicago… and then literally that same week, the Travel Queen came into our lives and the month of June was devoted to driving north. What’s a girl to do when both the open road and the best friend call at the same time? Make it happen. Thus, I took a flight…

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Biding time

We’ve been busy for the past 15 days, getting after various passions on our journey north. Here are just a few of the ways we bide our time on a month-long aventure to Alaska. At the skatepark in Calgary… Slacklining and lounging in the Kammok in Fort Nelson… Making friends with 10-year-olds in the Fort Nelson skatepark… Doing calisthenics with new friends in Watson Lake… Ava, wanting to play frisbee every minute of every day… Rock climbing in Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory with the TQ nearby, soaking up solar power thanks to Goal Zero… Getting after summer snow in at Mt. McIntyre in Whitehorse, thanks…

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Days 10-12: Making new friends and finding new roadblocks

The good news is that we’ve had four days of mechanic-free driving—SUCCESS. The bad news is that we were completely stuck in Watson Lake for two days, and by no fault of the TQ. On Saturday night, we pulled into the Laird Hot Springs around 8pm, only to find the campground completely full. Due to the flooding past Watson Lake, many travelers—like us—found themselves stuck until further notice that the road to the north was open. Two hundred feet of road north of Watson Lake literally got washed away in the abyss of the overflowing river, and crews were forced…

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Days 8-10: The Old Motorhome That Could

Another day, another adventure! After retrieving the TQ and her newly minted transmission from A1 Transmission in Red Deer, we (and by we, I mean Sean and Russ) proceeded to drive through the night till 6 in the morning to a little town called Pink Mountain, where we were forced to stop and sleep to wait for the gas station to open. Our stop wasn’t because we were out of vegetable oil, but rather we needed diesel because our fuel filter was done. When that happens, it’s usually no big deal… if you have another fuel filter, which we didn’t….

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Days 2 through 4: Yellowstone National Park

As we’re currently on the road, I’m going to do a throwback to last weekend. Our mission was simple for that first leg of the trip: Test out the TQ while enjoying the peaceful serenity of Yellowstone National Park. There were so many things to see, patterns to photograph, and wildlife to film. The TQ handled things as best as it could with a broken transmission, and our spirits stayed high. By the time we headed out Sunday night, we felt like we’d seen the great majority of attractions in the park. Success! Britt and I took a mile-long hike to see…

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Days 6 and 7: Fiesta at Flying J & a new transmission for the TQ

So I realize I’ve been a little vague about how the TQ is performing these days. To be honest? It’s been AWESOME… the tires are hardcore, we haven’t spent a penny on gasoline, and there is enough room for us to comfortably live in the TQ with four people and a dog without wanting to strangle each other. There’s just one thing that’s been underperforming: The transmission. Early on, we noticed that the transmission had a leak. Once we found the balance between filling it back up and overfilling it, we were set… we even had a quick repair in…

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Day Five: Why we’re here

Yesterday, we spoke at Summit Preparatory School in Kalispell, Montana about our adventure in the TQ and what the trip means for each of us. As we sat at a picnic table in Missoula planning our presentation, it became apparent to me that each of us—although united with a common purpose—is exploring his or her own individual passion on this journey. For Sean, the trip satisfies his sense of adventure, and need to see new places that do something that not many people have done before. There’s also an element of snowboard/mountaineering exploration and a desire to document his journey…

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Cute jumping photos aren’t for everyone

We’ve spent the last few days (days 2 through 4 of the TQ adventure) in Yellowstone National Park, watching buffalo, hiking, skiing (yes, we did), and enjoying the incredible riot of geology that is YNP. While I take another day to go through all the photos, I want to share a series of photos that makes me laugh. You know when people are on the top of a mountain or in front of a beautiful landscape and they jump in the air, looking all excited and coordinated? Well apparently not everyone can be so smooth, namely me. I tried the…