The Blonde Coyote travels the backroads of the American West with a pair of trusty canines, a Subaru named “Raven” and a handcrafted teardrop trailer named “Rattler”. Mary Caperton Morton (aka The Blonde Coyote) is a freelance science and travel writer, photographer and a professional housesitter who has spent the past couple of years moving around the country every four to six months. Mary used to live out of her car in between housesitting jobs and carried her camping gear on the car’s roof rack – until she fell in love with teardrop trailers.
“I saw my first teardrop at a campground at Guadalupe National Park in Texas and fell instantly in love,” Mary said. “Less than a month later, I bought my own. I had been casting about for the next iteration of my life on the road. After 7 years of living out of my car in between housesitting gigs, I was craving some personal space, but I wasn’t willing to settle in one place. The teardrop was the perfect solution!”
Mary purchased her 5×10 foot teardrop for $4,000 from an “octogenarian craftsman” in Nebraska who builds one teardrop trailer a year. The 550 lb. trailer has a full-sized bed with a memory foam mattress and storage space underneath, a fold-up table, two feet of floor space, drawers, cabinets and counter space. Outside, in the back, is a slide out kitchen/galley area with plenty of storage space for pots, pans and food and a propane burner for cooking. The trailer is insulated and has a large skylight above the bed.
Mary said that she loves the freedom of being able to go anywhere at any time and still have her own bed to sleep in. However, living almost full-time in a tiny trailer does have some drawbacks.
“Not having a shower might be the most obvious, but the hardest part for me is not having a refrigerator!” she said. “I lived for a year in a off grid cabin in Oregon without a fridge and I swore never again. But here I am, buying ice and avoiding perishables and leftovers. It’s annoying, but totally worth it.”
The road stretches on for the Blonde Coyote. This summer she will roam from New Mexico to Alaska with the Rattler and her dogs in tow. She recently turned 30 and has no intention of settling down soon.
“This world is too big and beautiful to stay in one place,” she said.
Photos by Mary Caperton Morton/The Blonde Coyote