What Drives You?

Are you hitting the road for the holidays?

I am not – but I love a good epic holiday road trip. This time of year, I can’t help but think about some of the intense winter driving journeys that my family has made between Denver, CO and my mother’s family ranch in Lewistown, MT.

I remember being snowed in, snowed out, horrible roads, white out blizzards, chain laws and times when I wondered if we were actually going to make it over the river and through the woods. Oh and also there was the time my sister and I got a whole load of gum in our hair – with about 9 hours left in the journey.  Good times.

When esurance asked me to write about what drives me, I thought about the ranch.  The ranch was bought by my great grandparents and has been in my family since. My mother was raised there and I regularly spent summers and holidays there. As an artist, musician, reader, gardener, and rancher-to-the-core (and so much more), my grandmother was one of my favorite people.

Her memory and many of the lessons and values I learned from her and my time at this ranch is what drives me.

what drives me -lewistown montana
Last summer I had the opportunity to take my family to the ranch for the first time.  We loaded the car with gear and set out for a couple of weeks.  The agenda was vague; go to the ranch… and then as many national parks as we could on the way back.

The main house has been rented out so we camped in one of the pastures.  In fact, our car was our home for the full two weeks.

As I look through these pictures, I have a feeling of warm melancholy.  It was cold and damp, and a place like this just isn’t the same with out my grandparents being there. But we still spent many happy hours skipping rocks, climbing on hay bales, walking the rail road tracks and having adventures with cousins.

what drives me -lewistown montana

what drives me -lewistown montana

what drives me -lewistown montana

what drives me -lewistown montana

The road back took us through Glacier N.P., Yellowstone N.P., Grand Tetons N.P., Dinosaur N.P. and Rocky Mountain N.P. (ok – It was a curvy and not very straight road).  We hiked, we explored, we saw beautiful places, we lived out of the car, and we just hung together.

what drives me -lewistown montana

what drives me -lewistown montana

Excuse the expressions of sweaty exasperation – we earned them with a full day hike up to a remote glacier.

grizzly bear yellowstone mt

We even saw a couple of grizzly bears (yep – that dark brown thing is a giant bear!).

And then there was the classic Yellowstone moment, where I took comfort in knowing that the car insurance was up to date and easily managed. If anything were to go awry… we would be all set.

Therefore I felt free to snap some pretty ridiculous buffalo pictures as we nervously crept past. 😉
buffalo encounter yellowstone

When you make a decision to hit the road or live out of you car (for any amount of time), it is important to make sure that you are prepared for whatever might happen and that someone is prepared to help you protect your family’s safety... you know… just in case a buffalo decides to change things up.  From quote to claim, esurance helps make smarter, more efficient choices with your insurance. Using state-of-the-art technology, esurance offers a seamless online and mobile experience that reduce stress and lets you focus on the important stuff (like photographing a buffalo that is less than 2 feet away).

If you are traveling for holidays, I wish you the joy of adventure.  Take care.


This is a sponsored post in partnership with esurance and all words and opinions are my own. thank you for supporting the brands that help keep PITH + VIGOR online.

photos: rochelle greayer

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About Rochelle Greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.


  1. 1010ParkPlace on December 16, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    What a wonderful trip! I know how you feel. This place has a sense of home for you and always will. I’m a Texas girl and just recently sold my ranch and moved to the city. While I miss being in the middle of nowhere with nature, the city is what I need at this point in my life. Brenda

    • Rochelle on December 17, 2016 at 10:44 am

      I totally get that… I live “country” right now — but still only 55 minutes from boston/ Logan Airport and nonetheless, I am ctill craving the city. I have fantasies that I will move to the ranch in MT someday and love it there, but I know It will be way too isolating for me.

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