fbpx Skip to main content

What started as a casual conversation about needing a fresh perspective in work and life turned into an almost two-week-long adventure. Saddle up as we share our experiences and walk you through the pros and cons of taking work remotely. We found that this trip was beneficial in many ways. It was a great way to recharge, an opportunity to bond with co-workers and gain inspiration that can transpire into the work environment.

During the planning process, we agreed on a handful of things. We would be gone for about 14 days, Yellowstone National Park would be the end destination, and the car had WiFi which meant work would still get done. With less than 15 days of planning, the bags were packed, and three women and a two-and-a-half-year-old hit the road.

Amarillo was the first stop and we can tell you that having people you know along the way is beneficial when it comes to lodging. Initially, there was one lodging reservation in Chama, NM at the Vista Del Rio Lodge (VDRL) and we would wing the rest. The reason behind this plan was simply to avoid the stress of having to make our destinations in time. Although our timing was perfect, we can’t say that we recommend being as spontaneous during peak seasons like summer. VDRL greeted us with open arms and as a result of this trip, we gained a new client. The team is currently working on revamping its website. You never know what opportunities will become available, and we are so grateful for the folks in Chama.

After leaving Chama, we did what any tourist would do, a little shopping in Pagosa Springs, Durango, and Silverton, CO. We unanimously decided to put our money towards souvenirs and opted out eating at restaurants as much as possible. The car was packed with snacks, a cooler, kitchen utensils, and a propane griddle. Hauling around the supplies and making sure nothing was left behind that could attract bears or any other wildlife seemed like a chore at times, but overall it was a positive experience. We were able to admire our surroundings by cooking our meals outdoors.

The evening we arrived in Ouray, CO we came across Override Films, a broadcasting & media production company. The crew was working on capturing the new AT4 GMC lineup with everything from drones to camera cars with cranes attached to the top. From a marketer’s perspective you know how much work goes into a project and the village it takes to create a dynamic campaign. It’s always neat to see behind the scenes and the result of production.

We later visited the community park where we cooked supper, let the two-year-old enjoy the playground and the place where Cindy lost her SD card with photos of her late Great Grandmother. After searching for the card in the dark for almost 45 minutes we decided to head back to our hotel. Completely heartbroken, she refused to give up and decided to join the Ouray County Community Concerns Facebook group in hopes that someone would find it. You may think this is an odd piece of information to share, but we want you to know how powerful social media can be. The next day Cindy received a message on Facebook from a woman saying her son had found the card. The card was shipped to her and arrived the day after we got home.

Ouray was such a memorable destination, the locals were friendly, and the views were breathtaking. After all, it is known as the Switzerland of America. Before leaving, we hiked to see the Cascade Waterfall which sat on top of a highly elevated road. Then we visited Ray’s Jerky store and stocked up on some pretty tasty meat. We ended Ouray by cooking eggs and Jimmy Dean sausage links at the Amphitheater Campgrounds and hiked once more before driving to Moab, UT.

Rolling through Moab we couldn’t help but notice the insane amount of ATVs and people. As we struggled to find a reasonably priced hotel, we discovered that Rally on the Rocks took place that weekend. The second-largest economic event of the year for Moab. There was a slight panic, but we dodged a bullet, Amanda’s husband found us a room. Although it was a very pricey lesson, we made the most of it. We had an iced coffee at Moab Coffee Roasters and headed to Arches National Park. If you have never visited Utah, this is your sign, book the ticket, pack your bags and go.

We ate a complimentary breakfast at the hotel and were headed to our next stop, Jackson Hole. We teetered the Idaho-Wyoming border, and after eight hours, our destination was on our right. Jackson is quite the attraction, home to billionaires, the Million Dollar Cowboy bar, an elk refuge, and ski resort; it is full of history, views, and charm. The morning after arriving, Amanda’s cousin, Joyce, picked us up bright and early to give us a tour of The Grand Tetons National Park. There were bald eagles, bears, bighorn sheep, bison, elk, coyotes, moose, and an abundance of ground squirrels. After spending two nights in Jackson, we headed to Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone was great. We primarily spotted bison and elk, no bears or moose. Old Faithful, the Grand Prismatic Spring, and Mammoth Springs were among the most popular tourist attractions, aside from the original entrance to Yellowstone located in the charming town of Gardiner, Montana. There was no traffic like you see photos of during the summer months, which in itself was a blessing. It took us two days to explore the parts of the park that were open. A couple of days before our visit, there was heavy snowfall in Yellowstone. As a result, we were unable to experience the park and its entirety.

We stayed the night in West Yellowstone, MT, and had a nice dinner at Bullwinkles. Some of the team members decided to be adventurous with their meal. One of us had elk lasagna, and the other an elk burger, and everyone had a refreshing huckleberry beverage. Next, Google Maps guided us to the Rodeo Capital of the World, Cody, WY. However, due to last-minute changes, we decided to have a meal at the Millstone Pizza Company & Brewery and move on to Riverton to stay at Joyce’s home.

Riverton was a special destination specifically for one of the team members. Joyce brought out a box of photographs and began to share stories about her and Amanda’s family with us. Sitting at the bottom of the box was a red vest with committee badges, a newspaper clipping, and an old NFR ticket. Joyce explained that their grandfather was one of the founding fathers of the Santa Fe Rodeo. Unbeknownst to Amanda, rodeo marketing had come full circle in her family. Amanda has years of experience in rodeo marketing and has dedicated herself to bridging the gap between athletes and the industry as a whole. It was pretty amazing to see and hear the stories of rodeo pre- the era of Facebook. We visited Sinks Canyon, gazed at the beauty of the Shoshone National Forest, and headed down Steamboat Springs, then to the Rocky Mountain National Park.

Late last year Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas were affected by multiple fires, three of which were ranked the worst in Colorado’s state history. The fires burned a combined 500,000+ acres, including several historical buildings and other parts of the park. We were only allowed to see ten miles from the gate because of the damage to the park. But our spirits were quickly lifted by what we witnessed. We saw a herd of elk and several moose delightfully snacking on the new grass rising from the ashes of their home. Thankfully, Candice, our graphic designer, who has a background in photography, helped us sharpen our photography skills before we left. With her guidance, we were able to capture extraordinary photos on our trip.

After staying the night in Steamboat Springs, we took it easy and relaxed at our last two stops: Colorado Springs, and Amarillo, before heading home. Now you might be thinking, did you get any work done? The answer is yes, but it was very challenging at times. There were two days where the car ride was a solid five to six hours, and that would have been quality work time. Although the car had WiFI, the mountains preferred we looked at them and not our computer screens. Our saving graces were the hotels and the occasional internet connection. However, we were able to discuss important projects without the distractions of our emails. But, if working remotely and effectively is your goal, then you might want to reassess.

If you ever have the opportunity to embark on an adventure as we did, please note the following. Do not plan on having good reception on your phone if you visit Yellowstone. Make sure you pack Dramamine, roads can be windier when looking at a computer screen in a moving vehicle. Take your time and stay a little longer in places like Moab, UT, Jackson Hole, WY, and Santa Fe, NM. Lastly, make sure you look at the weather as you go, this could affect or even alter your travel plans. One day after leaving Yellowstone the park was shut down due to heavy snowfall. Overall, it was the trip of a lifetime and a great bonding experience for the team. We hope that this inspires you to be a little bit more spontaneous and seek more than the typical “9 to 5”. Remember, life is a journey, not a destination.

Leave a Reply