Stephanie Emery: Lead Guide, Driver and Cook
Originally from West Paris, Maine, Stephanie has been with Adventure Bus since 2003, and running the company for 13 seasons. She started out as a passenger on the Best of the National Parks tour back in 2002, came back for several more tours and did everything she could to be involved, until she eventually took over the company! She now lives in Moab, Utah.
How in the world did a girl from West Paris, Maine end up running an Adventure Tour Company in Utah you ask?
Born in 1973, I grew up in a small town in Maine in the foothills of the White Mountains, where my family has been for generations.
From ages 3-19, I spent my summers at Girl Scout Camp, where I spent days hiking, swimming, canoeing and cooking. My mom was the camp nurse, so I was fortunate to spend my entire summers outdoors. It was here that I learned essential survival and leadership skills.
In my teens, I was fortunate to do a lot of traveling with school, friends and family. A yearly vacation in Florida to see my grandparents, Washington DC, New York City, The Soviet Union, Denmark, France, Canada, England and Scotland were among some of my destinations.
My mom was a musician, and I too began performing at an early age. I learned to play the flute at age 7. I pursued every musical opportunity possible, including band, chorus, orchestra, musicals, select groups and music camp in grade school, and earned a degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY. I taught public school for 3 years in Salem, NY before moving to Boston to pursue a masters. The masters didn’t quite happen, but I started my own private teaching studio giving lessons on flute, recorder, saxophone and clarinet, a job I found extremely rewarding, and hope to do again at some point.
In the summer of 2002, I took a two week tour called the Best of the National Parks with a company called AdventureBus. I felt like I needed some inspiration in my life so I went with the intentions of taking lots of photos (a hobby) of beautiful places and meeting like minded people. I had no idea it would be a life changing experience.
I instantly fell in love with the scenery of the Southwest and AdventureBus. While pursuing my career in music, I lost sight of my love for travel and the outdoors, and AdventureBus brought it all back. Hoping that I could perhaps spend the school year teaching, and my summers on the AdventureBus, I went on another tour, and another, and ANOTHER to convince Kyle, the owner, that I would be an asset to the company.
It was on my 3rd tour, a Baja Sun Safari, that I really got to know Ardell who had been working for AB for a season. We found that we worked really well together, and both really loved this way of travel, so he put in a good word for me so that I could be his assistant for the next season.
It worked! So in March 2003, I packed my bags and headed to California to become an AdventureBus guide. Little did I know, but a year later, I would become the owner! So now I run the company with Ardell and live most of the time in Utah. I get back to Maine a few times throughout the year visiting my family, including my 3 beautiful nieces, Claire, Emily and Allison.