Lodge for Less at The Ranger Inn

It was our backup plan, our failsafe: in the scenario where we can find no decent rental before the end of the month, we’ll move in to The Ranger Inn. Because at The Ranger Inn, “You can lodge for less!” and pay by the week OR the month – a temporary solution if we need more time to find our […]

There’s No Place Like Home

The population of Maine increases with the temperature: each day we see more and more cars on 1A (the main highway between Bangor and Acadia National Park) and our once-quiet lake community is overrun with the buzzing of pontoon boats, yapping of dogs and/or their owners down on the railroad trail, and the shrill screams of children as they take turns cannonballing […]


One thing our sailing adventure on Free Range taught me was to be comfortable living a more ad-lib lifestyle. To-do lists, routines, and type-A personalities just don’t really mesh all that well in the Hefti household. We have learned over the last few years that we operate best as a flexible, minimalist, impromptu kind of couple.   So the fact […]

A Country-Kind of Wedding

It’s 941 miles to Detroit, we’ve got a full tank of gas, a cooler full of spritzers, it’s dawn and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!   We kick off the week-long festivities with a non-eventful but full-on day of driving to St. Clair Shores for the wedding of my big brother Pete to his girlfriend (now wife!) of four years, […]

Where the Magic Happens

The weather in Maine has shifted and spring is here! The days shuffle between gray and calm to blue-sky-sunshine and breezy. Regardless of the wind factor, we have been treating our Cabin Fever with mega doses of granite walls, root-infested trails, and cold, clear lakes.   The first few climbing days spent at Eagle’s Bluff – one of our local […]

The next home away from home

We keep having close calls on the sale of The Great White Buffalo (and Truckee, the 2WD-diesel-wonder-mobile). Thanks to the awesomeness of our slick used RV salesman, one Dan Quigley, and the magic of Craigslist, we are definitely getting some bites. Now that spring is here we are hoping for The Big Bite. While we enjoyed our time roaming free […]

Some Observations on Maine

Stereotype Busted In telling people that  we were moving to Maine, we often received this response, something along the lines of, “Good luck with that, everyone is mean to outsiders in Maine.” Leaves you with a big warm fuzzy, right? Well, after living here for 3+ months, we can say with confidence that nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone we have met […]

Intake, Burn, Repeat

Our days as of late have taken on a steady, simple rhythm: ingest calories, burn calories, repeat. Egg, turkey sausage, and cheese breakfast sandwich (don’t forget the slice of tomato- tomato makes it); hit the trails on the bikes. Homemade vegetable soup (Stéphane makes the best vegetable soup); a session of sweaty P90-X plyometrics upstairs. Hike up Mount Megunticook for […]

Free Range Update

  Remember that time when we bought a sailboat and went for a 9-month sail? Well we are happy to report that our beloved Free Range is having a great Chapter Three of life down in Antigua with her new owners.                      

Road Trips & Redemption Centers

I remember when I was little sometimes my mom would let me keep all of the aluminum can deposit money if I rounded up all of the cans, cleaned them out, and took them to Farmer Jack’s (well, she would take me to Farmer Jack’s since I couldn’t drive). At the front of the Farmer Jack’s stood a wall of can-sucker machines – mouths the […]

Random thoughts on a rainy day

Outside, rainwater drips ceaselessly off the eave of our cabin; the pine trees, which house our fat squirrel friends, shift and shiver in the wind. I sit here in a tank top sweating as a I type because Stéphane has built an outrageously hot fire. He’s out sitting in his “new” truck learning how to use all the gadgets in […]

On furniture, helicopters, & snow

It’s not that we live in the total backwater of Maine, but the furniture selection here sure makes it feel like we do. One’s furnishing options in Bangor range from the “unfinished” Maine log-cabin look to Great-Aunt Matilda’s frilly, floral-patterned loveseat complete with matching pillows and ottoman – not really our style. (Please note I did not say “grandma’s frilly loveseat” […]

Swiss Road Trip

Time to explore Switzerland! We packed our clothes and ice climbing gear and headed east to see more family and find some ice.                                                                             […]

Switzerland: Week Two-ish

In the flurry of final fondues with family, packing up the trailer once more, and driving to Maine, I have yet to complete the Switzerland 2015 category of eeeeeep.   So without further ado….   Week two (ish):                                             […]

On Thin Ice

After picking the brain of one of the locals at the sports shop downtown, we set out discover our first Maine ice, Frankfort Quarry: quarry by spring / summer / fall, but during the winter, a place for snowy hikes and icy climbs. We found the spot easily enough (“turn at Waldo Mountain Road, park on the left when you […]

Maine Misc.

  One day last week I threw my camera in the front seat and took a drive. It felt like a Colorado day – blue-sky-sunshine – except a lot colder. Driving alongside the Penobscot River, where ice chunks clattered against each other as they raced towards the Atlantic, I came upon the little town of Bucksport. The drive through Bucksport’s downtown, four blocks long, […]

First Week in Maine

We’ve been in Maine for a week and a half. In that time, we have purchased a mattress, television, a set of twenty (twenty!) pyrex containers, a few loads of groceries and a cord and a half of firewood. It is amazing how quickly one can accumulate things if one has the space. And we have the space! Our 1800 […]

Becoming Mainers

During our non-stop, full-on, month-long trip to Switzerland, we paused a few times to discuss (in English, a nice time-out for my brain) our potential future on the east coast in Maine. So when the Offer Of Employment from SevenBar Aviation popped into Stephane’s inbox, we already knew the answer. Although there was another potential gig on the table that […]

The Elephant In The Room

Since returning from our sailing adventure, our focus has been job search and conserving our funds. But Stéphane hasn’t been home in over three years and I have yet to meet my sisters-in-law and their families. Add to this the fact that we have a lot of free time now and will have less once Stéphane is flying again, and […]

Cross Country

After *almost* either selling The Buffalo or getting scammed and losing The Buffalo (we really weren’t sure if the guy was trying to scam us or really was a scammer), we winterize her, pack up The Tig and the trailer, say goodbye to our friends, and hit the road. We’ll hopefully sell the truck and Buffalo this spring, once the […]

On The Verge

(or, “On The Edge”, but then Stéphane would wail: “of glory!” à la Lady GaGa so we’ll leave Verge in there and move along).   It’s definitely taken longer than we had initially anticipated, but the extra months of searching and waiting have allowed us the time we needed to shift our priorities; re-organize what we thought we wanted our lives to […]

Here’s To Tom & Melisa

Our very-best-good friends, Tom and Melisa, got married this past August at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. If you know Tom and Melisa, then you know that this ten day hike up to the highest point in Africa epitomizes the life they enjoy together: multi-pitch crack climbs out in Indian Creek, whitewater kayaking class IV / V down in Costa Rica, climbing […]

Adventures Closer to Home

We finished our Great Northern Rockies Roadtrip with a spur-of-the-moment push south, back home to Colorado, to spend the weekend in Escalante climbing with Team Duck Tape.           We spend a solid 4.5 days in Montrose: Stephane chasing job possibilities, me working and setting up my portfolio in hopes of drumming up more contract gigs. Myra […]

Mission Accomplished

We’re going into the third and final week at the Laurel, Montana airport.       On this particular Thursday, Stéphane is taking check rides for fixed-wing commercial and ATP. So while he is flying around in planes and helis, I work and stare out the window, watching the comings and goings of the little airport community. Wherever we go, I always […]

The Beartooth Wilderness

After a week of training and flying @ Northern Sky Aviation (Stéphane) / working in the parking lot of NSA (me), we are both ready for and excited about  the prospect of an actual, real weekend! (When you don’t have a “regular” routine, you tend to forget what day it is and you lose appreciation for Fridays and weekends. Now that […]

Easy Button Camping

  We were only there two nights because we do not gravitate towards RV parks and/or such places where groups of campers gather together in confined spaces. That being said, if you’re going to spend some time in a more public venue, Ich-Kep-Pe park is one I would recommend. We discovered this park on, a website created for and […]

We’re Fixing a Slide…

So there’s these things on RVs called “slides”- their purpose, to grant you more real estate when you’re camped and less when you’re driving. Some RVs have slides on both sides, some on just one side. Some RVs have one giant slide on one side, some have multiple, smaller slides.   Taking its name from its function, a slide does […]

A Coke for My Captain

Congratulations, Bug! After much prep and studying, Stéphane took and passed the written portion of the ATP!!   With that achieved and after nearly two weeks dragging The Buffalo places she really shouldn’t be, it’s time to put northwest Montana in the rear-view mirror and head east. Stéphane found a flight school where he can complete his CFI & ATP certifications […]