Backcountry Basecamp Update

Road-trip Rage: Gas tank being continually on the wrong side of the truck sparks conflict

WYO. The Backmobile, that ostentatious Backcountry Basecamp mobile command center: a 2014 Dodge 2500 plus trailer, is configured all wrong. At the Laramie, Wyo. Exxon Big D #27, its flummoxed pilot struggles to sync the gas pump with the gas tank. Conflict spills over even before the pump is turned on.

“We’re over going against the grain, going in and out of parking lots the wrong way,” Backmobile co-pilot Rick Rock recently said in a speakerphone interview. “He [Bubba, Basecamp team leader] went in the back way in the gas station, and we ended up turning around because we were going the wrong way at the pumps.”

The Backmobile parked in a parking lot. [Photo: Bubba]

Diversity in road conditions across seven states has also forced the drivers to intermittently drive fast and then slow. “We’ve seen everything from dry roads, to icy roads, to wet roads, to snowy roads, slushy roads,” said Bubba. Night has also fallen three times on the tenacious tandem.


Unwinding after a long day on the road. [Photo: Bubba]

And as Rick and Bubba venture west, they also note a change in driving culture that, they say, feels unnatural. “We’re from Vermont, we go where we want,” Bubba said, referring to the independent, drive-on-the-lawn mentality of his home state. Rick agreed: “Yep, we go where we want in Vermont, but you can’t do that out here when you got a trailer behind you. We already had one 30-point turn in the hotel parking lot.”

After a few frustrating days on the road, the duo was pleased to spend last night in a Laramie, Wyo. Holiday Inn. “We had a nice time last night at the manager’s welcome party at the Holiday Inn,” Bubba said. “They had free wine and beer and finger food, and everybody there was not staying at the hotel. It’s kinda like a local’s race party, except there’s no race.” And no skiing. It was at that Holiday Inn where the two also indulged in a relaxing soak in the hot tub.

Today, Bubba and Rick are back on the road and should arrive in Jackson before sundown. In the meantime, the two must spend one last day sharing the road with fellow drivers. “We just got passed by a truck that had 12-foot Jesus letters on it. Bright Red,” Bubba said. “There’s like half an inch of ice and he was just flying down the fucking passing lane.”

About BASECAMP: Backcountry Magazine, in association with GORE-TEX, Patagonia, Marmot and Voilé, is embarking on its third-annual nationwide backcountry skiing and snowboarding tour. This year, BASECAMP is teaming up with AIARE to provide the latest in avalanche education at each tour stop.

At each BASECAMP stop, Backcountry Magazine staff showcase the newest backcountry equipment like skis, skins, splitboards and more; safety gear like beacons, shovels, probes and airbag packs; and technical outerwear, helmets, gloves, etc. all in a yurt-based setting. These two will not be leading beacon drills, but will be constructing a yurt. For more on that, stay tuned.


The view from the fast lane. [Photo: Bubba]

Speak Your Mind