Lucille & Found

Mary and Adam are fulfilling a shared dream by traveling the United States in their ’71 Shasta trailer (Lucille).  They have spent five months on the road thus far, with no end in sight.  On the road, Mary runs a vintage shop called “Lucille and Found.”  In it, you can find slices of every town they spend time in, as well as photo journal entries of their trip.

All photos above and below by Adam Rondepierre of Lucille & Found.

Editor’s note: This interview took place in fall of 2014. Now Mary & Adam are off the road and running a contest (with a small entrance fee) to giveaway their trailer. If you’re interested, head over here for details.

Meet Adventurous Mary

Tell me how your trip came to be. What was the reaction of your friends and family?

In college I started daydreaming about seeing America’s open roads and experiencing its freedom. During class, I sketched trailers and the truck I would pull it with, along with the mountains I would walk up. These sorts of dreams take money and planning.

I took an awesome job in Santa Barbara right out of college and vowed to myself that I wouldn’t get caught up in making money.  Following this dream was going to be the priority over climbing the corporate ladder. This proved to be very difficult!  I loved my job, where I was living, and the community I had built. Luckily, I fell in love with this sweet surfer boy from Santa Barbara who happened to have the same longing for this lifestyle.  After four years of working and saving, it was time to break up with the 9 to 5.

My friends and family are incredibly supportive.  While they thought I was a fool for giving up a job that I actually loved, they were proud of me and and always encouraging!  I think most of them wish they could do the same.  Some people just don’t get it, and that’s fine, less people on the road!  It’s absolutely not for everyone; it’s a scary thing to leave the security of a consistent work life.  We just decided that we wanted to do it more than we were afraid of it.

How long had you and Adam been together when you hit the road? 

We had been together 2 years 9 months and found our dog Gromit a year and a half before we left.

Why the Shasta trailer?  Did you toss around any other options?

Photo by Adam Rondepierre
Photo by Adam Rondepierre

Since college I wanted to restore a 70’s Shasta. I love the era and how compact the smaller ones are. Lucille has all of the necessities and nothing more—exactly how we try to live our life. After looking at different vans, camper tops, and tons of crappy old trailers, we found Lucille in the desert of Arizona and I was in love. I think Adam would still prefer a van (it’s a California thing), but he loved the months of work restoring Lucille.

You curate a vintage shop from the road.  How did you become interested in vintage goods?  What inspires you?

Walking through vintage shops and antique stores excite me!  I studied and grew a great appreciation for the history of fashion in college and how it is related to current economic and social trends.  I admire the craftsmanship behind American made items and I want to share them with people to show off the quality and help inspire the movement of buying American-made again.

What is your process for finding vintage products en route? 

We try to stop at one or two antique shops in each town we spend time in.  Our shop is curated to match our lifestyle as well as the style of the towns we find ourselves in.  I really like the item to embody something about the location and tell a small story about it so customers and viewers can feel like they are a part of the trip as well.  I only have 20 items in the shop at a time to eliminate clutter in the trailer.

How did the shift from a 9-5 world treat you?

Photo by Adam Rondepierre
Photo by Adam Rondepierre

It’s incredible!  Sitting inside at a desk all day was slowly wearing on me.  I used to drink a coffee at 3pm for a pick me up, now I have explosive energy at 3pm. It’s very exciting!  I think it really took taking the leap for this new lifestyle to realize how important it is to be outside for my body and overall well-being.

If your “trailer roles” were a ven diagram – where would they overlap?  How would they differ?

We both LOVE to cook and hate to do dishes, so we trade off every meal.  When we set up or leave camp Adam takes care of the external and I make sure the internal is dialed.  It’s a beautiful flow now, but that came with a lot of patience and repetition.  Adam does the majority of the driving and I find where we will camp for the night and I control the music. I think he would be happy if he never had to hear another Willie Nelson song again.

You and Adam look like you are having so much fun in your photos. What have you learned about Adam that you might not have without this excursion? Has your relationship changed?

Thank you, we are having an absolute blast. I have always known Adam is a self-less person, but I didn’t know to this extent.  He is always giving things away to the less fortunate and he put together bags of healthy food and water to hand out to the homeless in each town we stop in.  He has set such a wonderful rhythm to this trip that is much larger than ourselves. It would be very easy for this lifestyle to be selfish and all about us having a good time – he has done a good job reminding me to see the whole world and not just mine.

Any post-hike beer recommendations?

Yes! Soo many, but I’ll give you my top three so far:

1) Santa Fe, New Mexico: Santa Fe Brewing Company, Happy Camper IPA

2) Portland, Oregon: Captured By Porches Brewing Company, Invasive Species IPA

3) Bozeman, Montana: Madison River Brewing, Salmon Fly Honey Rye

What has been your most beautiful view?

Back in May, we woke up one morning in Taos, NM after it had rained all night and snowed at elevation.  It was the most beautiful sight I have seen so far.  The snowcapped mountains met the high desert in such a dramatic way.  Adam snapped a 35mm shot that has been my very favorite from the trip.  These mountains hold all the secrets of the Southwest.

What’s your backyard right now [August 28, 2014]?  What’s next?

We are currently parked at my parent’s property in NW Montana at the base of the Swan Mountain Range.  We are spending the month of September exploring my beautiful home state and celebrating my big brother’s wedding.  After the wedding we are East Coast bound through the fall, making our way South for winter.


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