MISSOULA — It’s the road trip adventure story of the summer, making its way from Montana across the globe. MTN reporter Holly Brantley met with the "BAM Bus" crew in Missoula—three women now famous for busting their cheating boyfriend in what was way beyond a love triangle, then turning the tables by becoming friends, buying a bus, and embarking on the journey of a lifetime.
It’s the story of three young women brought together by one mutual acquaintance—of sorts. For the purposes of our story, we’re going to pretend his name was "Tom".
And now plenty of people around the world would actually like to say "thank you" to him for being the catalyst behind this summer’s feel-good adventure story that looks something like "Vacation" meets "Thelma and Louise" and currently takes place right here in Montana.
The real-life movie features Bekah King and Morgan Tabor from Boise, and Abi Roberts from Salt Lake City. The three young women became instant celebrities in mid-July when their story hit the Washington Post.
Morgan says she never suspected her childhood friend-turned-boyfriend was cheating until she uncovered some questionable activity on social media, accounts featuring her boyfriend with another woman.
“I was devastated by it and then I message her and she was like, ‘I’ve almost sent you the same message, we need to talk,’” said Morgan.
Morgan and the other unsuspecting lady, Malia, followed his trail and uncovered a half-dozen other women also involved with their man. And what happened from there became a moment made for a movie.
“Lo and behold, I hear this rumbling outside and it’s his car, and I still have Abi and Malia on a FaceTime call and I say, 'Ladies, it’s showtime,” said Morgan.
“So finally he is like, ‘How’s your day been?' and I’m like, ‘My day is good, I’ve made some new friends.’ And I’m reaching back and I grab my phone and I flip it in his face to Abi and Malia on a FaceTime call."
From there, three of the ladies caught in a web of lies decided to turn what might have been a negative experience into an inspirational story of friendship, connection, and adventure.
“We all had this independent dream of living on the road or something adventurous,” said Morgan.
So they bought a bus, renovated it, and started planning to hit the road.
“I think it was important for us to put our energy into something productive instead of destructive,” said Abi.
They were more than happy to provide the grand bus tour: “You can see our sunshine painted on the stairs,” said Bekah.
They are set up to rough it with a touch of class. “We do our laundry in creeks sometimes. For showers there’s a lot of jumping in lakes and rivers,” said Abi. “I also have a Planet Fitness membership, so we shower there. It’s a hack of road life.”
They have a couch named ‘Pamela’, a hardwood floor, plants, and other cozy comforts. And: “We do have running water which is nice,” said Bekah. “We have to show off our sink!”
There’s also an emergency bathroom, a source for power and electricity to charge their devices, bunks for each of them, a closet, and a place for bikes.
As for who drives the rig, they all do. “Driving this thing is a beast but it’s really fun,” said Bekah.
So far they’ve been to the Grand Tetons, Bozeman, and across much of Montana.
“We made so many connections and lifelong friends and doors open for us,” said Morgan.
Meanwhile, this "fine crew" has become famous.
They have nearly 60,000 followers on Instagram (@the.bam.bus), including celebrities like Reese Witherspoon. The BAM Bus name comes the first letter of each of their names: Bekah, Abi, Morgan.
“We cried when Reese followed us,” said Abi. “We literally all laid on the floor sobbing.”
The message to their followers: This bus trip adventure is not about getting back at an ex-boyfriend. It’s not about revenge, not in the least. It’s about making the most of every moment of your life, uncovering what could be beautiful, looking forward, and only reflecting on the past with a smile.
“It’s way better to place that energy into something good,” said Bekah.
“It’s just so incredible and we feel so blessed to be able to do this,” said Abi.
The girls are employed. They bought the bus and are funding the trip through remote work and other projects.
Next it’s off Glacier National Park and then the Pacific Northwest. They plan to stay on the road at least through the fall and make this the first of many adventures.
Another interesting note: the ladies didn’t go looking for fame or for this road trip to become a viral sensation. Abi’s hometown paper actually contacted her for a story on the housing crisis and their decision to spend the summer living on a bus. From there, that savvy reporter uncovered the real story.