My mother’s pockets

My mom’s old navy blue zip-up jogger sweatshirt hung from the duck pegs next to the front door for most of the years of my life on Lange Street. At one point there was a burgundy version of it, and then a green-and-gray combo. But mostly I remember the navy blue one. When I was a child, I have a […]


Welcome to the Hefti family, little Freja! Freja was born January 18th and we got to pick her up in Worland, WY on March 9th. She is mostly potty-trained now: to let us know she needs to go, she rings bells that we’ve hung from the front door. She is still very much in puppy mode: lots of nipping and […]

Spring Break 2024: Dodging the Weather

With tools spread orderly about the driveway, work jeans covered in grime and various dirt renditions, Stéphane meticulously and determinedly brings the Gruffalo back to life. YES, the Gruffalo is ours again! As she begins the next chapter of her life with us, the Gruffalo was in need of some TLC: a leaky toilet, a second, random water leak, broken […]

Spring Break 2023: Las Vegas

Our plans to play in the Buckskin Mountains on the southern Utah/northern Arizona border fizzled when, just a few days prior to departure, its 10-day weather forecast read like a broken record: rain-rain-rain-rain-rain. Plan B was Las Vegas and I was not very excited about it. Red Rocks Canyon, a very well-known climbing mecca, lies just west of Vegas. It’s […]

The Long Winter

“We haven’t seen a winter like this in over twenty years.” Our next-door neighbors Forest and Gina didn’t grow up in Wyoming, but they’ve been here long enough to be considered “natives”. So when they tell us that this is just about the worst and longest Wyoming winter they’ve lived through, I take their word for it. Because surely, this […]

What is the point?

When searching online for “fat tire bike”, one of the first entries that pops up is “What is the point of a fat tire bike?” This question (statement?) is in complete alignment with what Stéphane and I had previously thought about fat tire bikes – what is the point? Why are the tires so fat, why do people ride bikes […]

Exploring Vernal

April 2022 North-East Utah is the land of dinosaurs. Dinosaur trails that lead to fossilized dinosaur footprints, dinosaur museums, and the Dinosaur National Monument. Entering Vernal, Utah, you are greeted by the happy pink brontosaurus (?); you can order an Allosaurs Amber at the Vernal Brewery or a decent (according to our German friend, Florian) Oktoberfest beer at the Dinosaur […]

Winter happenings

Stéphane hit an antelope on the way home from Rawlins Dan came to visit – charbonnade and museum. Guest house progression – more wires and pipes; Trip to Menards, let’s pick out some lights! and more: we need flooring, and cabinets – a fan! Tiglet retired; welcome Eagle to the clan: she’s white and she’s peppy, has minimal miles plus […]

The Driveway Dilemma

The slope of red rock across the street peeps out from under its blanket of soft, powdery snow; five inches of fresh white lies over Lander and its quiet and cold this morning. Hugo excitedly packs his little blue snow shovel in the Tig so that he can help clear the sidewalks at school, and all I can think about […]

Home On The Range

A herd of buffalo lounge about in the distance just beyond the back fence. A doe followed closely by her two skittish littles treads shyly across the yard; they all take a sip from the pond and lie down in the shade of the trees, expectantly. They are waiting for me to put more corn out under “the feed tree”. […]


The mid-afternoon light slants softly through the kitchen window exposing the little hand-print smudges on the refrigerator and magnifying the streaks on the glass windows (I thought I just cleaned those!). Outside on the deck, Thanksgiving is currently grilling. Just a few chicken thighs this year, nothing fancy. I pulled the bread out of the oven only thirty minutes ago […]

Endless Acronyms

  This is a post that Sara wrote in October of 2014. I noticed that it never got published and thought it deserved to be on here!   It’s raining today so I’m working on the computer trying to get our MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity). It’s like a phone number for your boat (you need one if you will be sailing internationally). We […]

Outdoor explorations

Our first weeks in Lander have been filled with meeting new people and discovering all of the places to explore and play once work and school are done. Sinks Canyon is a mix of bare, rocky cliffs on the south-facing side with pine and aspen-covered faces on the north-facing wall. The Popo Agie river flows down the middle. Dusty forest […]


You are five years old, Hugo! Although they change fairly frequently, the most popular books of the day are the adventures of Tinker and Tanker (particularly the two new “old” ones purchased for your birthday, which include Tinker and Tanker in the Wild Wild West – how appropriate). Every day you bring home sweet drawings filled with hearts, rainbows, and […]

First Goodbye

Wish his little blonde head peeping out between the two curtains that enclose his elevated nest in The Grizz, Hugo exclaims (twenty minutes prior to his morning alarm clock’s eruption), “Hurry we have to get ready for school!” It’s Hugo’s first day of school, ever. The first of many firsts for him. The first of many goodbyes for us. Thanks […]

Where the Rails End and the Trails Begin

The Heftis have landed in Lander, Wyoming! After much deliberation, soul-searching, school / town research, and early morning coffee chats poolside Chez Porthole Place (VA), we decided that this little town at the foot of the Wind River Mountains will be the best place for us. The fact that we have never been here does not deter us; we’ve moved […]

A few summer weeks in The Mitten

Carrying the physical contents of our lives, each carefully wrapped, strapped, and boxed, the UHaul growls to life, takes a final slow roll down Porthole Place, a left onto Mainsail, and from there West to Wyoming. Stephane leaves in the early hours of the morning to begin ticking off the 2,000+ miles between Suffolk and Lander. Hugo and I stay […]

Rad Dad

Dearest Stephane, Here’s to YOU on Father’s Day. Yes, you do countless craft projects with Hugo, teach him how to climb, bike and swim, and show him the difference between a Phillips and a flat head. You tell him No more often than Yes. You hold him to a higher standard and you always back me up. These things alone […]


One of my pet peeves is when words are not spelled properly. My cousin Anthony always called me “cuz” and, to my horror, he SPELLED it that way too. After a while, when texting him or sending him notes, I would write it “cuz”, too. But only for him. I guess it was our special thing. When Pete, Dan and […]

Three-Sport Weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains

After Stephane’s returned from a week-long shift at our old stomping grounds in Los Alamos, we packed up The Hungry Hippo (a.k.a our new pop-up camper) and took off for some outdoor family time. We drove straight to Love Gap, a small crag in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. A very nice little guide, available […]

Spring in Virginia

The homes of Harbour Breeze Estates Phase I slowly dissolve behind the new green growth of Spring out back. Spiky-haired cardinals blaze red against leaves and grass; frogs and crickets sound off in the evenings and the mornings are filled with chirpy chatter. It’s Spring in Virginia. The pool is unmasked, free to show her lovely, clear blueness. The boys […]

Elizabeth Furnace

When a warm and sunny mid-week weather window presented itself this past week, we did the obvious thing which was to pack up the camper and head for the hills (of Virginia). Actually mountains. We headed for the mountains of Virginia – specifically the Allegheny. I’m still learning about the mountains out here. I know there’s the Blue Ridge and […]

He Listens.

Buying a house, sight-unseen in a place you do not know can have its challenges. But Stéphane and I had the best group of house rustlers we could ever ask for. Team Trombley performed daring trespassing maneuvers and random “cold knocks” on front doors; they took countless video walk-throughs and perfected the “slow creep” drive-by. Fearless leader/real estate agent Crystal, […]

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Good night grippy rocks of Las Conchas, rising above the chattering East Fork creek. Thank you for all the fun climbs and social times; cold water rushing over bare feet, sweaty fingertips sliding off polished rock; flip flops clacking down the easy ramblin’ trail. One-armed push-ups on the footbridge; first leads. Sleep tight, Las Conchas. Good night San Antonio Hot […]

Just an hour ago

At the shrill little “ding” which was Stéphane’s night pilot texting to let him know he was officially off for the day, I hopped on my mountain biked and zoomed off for a quick ride on the trails before dark descended. Up Camino Uva, across the open space by the baseball fields, through the stables (go slow so you don’t […]

Right @ Chama

Chama, New Mexico is a tiny little town in Northern New Mexico that we had never really seen until this past trip. We always drove just up to Chama, then turned left, stopped at the gas station for gasoline fill-up and propane top-off, and continued on to Colorado. This time, we turned right. And we discovered a quaint, train-themed downtown […]

2020 Photo Catch-Up

A photo catch-up of life so far in 2020. Camping, climbing, trail running; more mountain biking than usual as Stéphane is preparing for a seven-day mountain biking trip through the mountains from Durango, CO to Moab, UT this September. Hugo has been spending lots of time on his bike and in his book nook (we are drowning in books, but […]