The Stuff-Doer Vehicle

Donna Zucker

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“Looking out my window, I’ve got four inches of snow, and it’s still coming down,” says Katelyn Sheehan, an international adventure guide living in Alaska. “I have to drive to a glacier today to lead a group, but I don’t really have to worry if I can get to work. The Ford Escape is absolutely going to do the trick.”


This is a typical day in the atypical life of a modern adventurer. Brooklyn-born, Katelyn spent four years of active duty in the military and the next five in advocacy. Among the work she did was crisis counseling for rape victims in emergency rooms and anti-human trafficking in India. Along the way, Katelyn was credentialed as an EMT and learned several languages, including Hindi.


These days, you can find Katelyn working as a guide at Matanuska Glacier in Glacier View, Alaska, about 100 miles northeast of Anchorage. “Being a guide invokes all the skills I learned in the military, in emergency response and as a crisis counselor.”


She says that her 2005 Escape XLT is perfect for her life and work. “This is the vehicle for someone that is outside doing stuff. There are ‘stuff-doers’ and ‘not-stuff-doers,’” she laughs. “This is the ‘stuff-doer’ vehicle. It fits me. I love that I can put all my gear in there.”


Katelyn takes full advantage of her Escape on days off as well, driving into the mountains for a hike or climb, seeking to commune with nature’s “vast wilderness.” In addition to group tours, Katelyn works as a private guide, often helping women set up adventures and even traveling with them to places around the world. Katelyn is passionate about showing that there are no limits to what women can do. This currently includes helping to organize the first team of all-women veterans to attempt to climb Denali.


Katelyn shows no signs of slowing down, and neither does her Escape. “When you invest in a ride that can get you where you want to be,” she says, “it opens the possibility of what you can do.” 

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