Jay and Dana Cadwell biked tough routes on Mammoth Mountain in California and at elevations as high as 12,000 feet in Colorado.
At one point, near the town of Kremmling, Colo., they were recruited to join a rafting trip and ended up navigating some serious white water on the Colorado River — Class V rapids.
The list goes on and on.
The Pasco couple’s epic, three-month road trip last summer took them through about half-dozen Western states and more than 15 national parks.
But they didn’t have to tangle with tents, sleep on the hard ground or do all their cooking over a campfire. Their Dutchman T@B teardrop trailer ensured they had some creature comforts on their grand adventure — like a bed and kitchenette.
“We really enjoyed the experience,” Dana Cadwell told the Herald. “We want to share that with other people. That’s where this came from.”
“This” is the Cadwells new teardrop trailer rental business, Explore More Northwest.
It’s the only one of its kind in the Tri-Cities, and it’s believed to be the only rental company specializing in teardrop trailers in Washington and Oregon.
A teardrop is a small, light-weight travel trailer known for its signature teardrop shape.
The Cadwells have two in their inventory, but they hope to expand.
The current trailers are a 6-by-12-foot Dutchman T@B, and the Five Wide Little Guy trailer, measuring 5-by-8 feet.
The T@B has a u-shaped dinette that converts into a bed, a sink, a fridge, a two-burner propane stove, several 12-volt outlets and air conditioning and heat, among other features.
The Little Guy features a queen bed, a star gazer window, exterior galley with a sink and stove, optional bike rack and 12-volt charger in the galley and cabin. Both come stocked with kitchen supplies, from paper towels to utensils.
Their rates are $79 a night for the Little Guy and $99 a night for the Dutchman during peak season, with week rates also available.
The Cadwells also have many other accessories available, from coolers to a pop-up canopy and camping chairs.
Jay and Dana both are Tri-City natives. Jay, 30, graduated from Richland High School in 2005, and Dana, 28, graduated from Southridge High in Kennewick the next year.
They both ended up at Washington State University, after Jay did some “college-hopping,” in his words.
But they didn’t meet until they were both back in the Tri-Cities. Mutual friends thought they’d have a lot in common, though it took awhile for them to cross paths.
“I started rock climbing at the Tri-City Court Club because I heard she rock climbed there. And then after rock climbing there for 10 weeks, she finally showed up,” Jay said with a laugh.
Fittingly, their mutual love of the outdoors brought them together. They hiked Badger Mountain, they climbed Mount St. Helens.
They’ve been married now for three years.
Their road trip unfolded after Jay finished graduate school at Gonzaga University in Spokane. They were in a transition period and decided to seize the moment.
Since they returned to the Tri-Cities, they’ve been enjoying the outdoors here, from rock climbing to biking and the like. They even started a popular running club — it’s called Tri-Cities 5K Run and Brew — in which participants set out for a group run and then gather afterward for beer and fun.
As their teardrop rental company takes off, they’re excited about sharing their passion for the outdoors.
“We look forward to being a resource,” Dana said. “Maybe (someone) wants to rent a trailer and is at the start of planning their trip. They can call us for advice. I feel like we’re professional campers at this point.”
For the couple, the Explore More Northwest isn’t merely their business, it’s also an ethos.
Being outside, “is a great way to bring happiness to your life. You take a deep breath of fresh air and sit and relax,” Dana said.
“We want people in this area to be able to go adventure on a whim,” she said. “Hook up and go, that’s kind of our motto.”
To learn more about Explore More Northwest or rent a teardrop trailer, go to www.exploremorenorthwest.com.