The April/May 2024 issue of my magazine, MaryJanesFarm, will have two pages that showcase my fresh-air B&B, along with an invitation to come! Join me! For more details, go to the B&B section of my website:
(To read the text on the two pages below, scroll down.)
Outside, even if only a fantasy, can be better than an endless dose of inside. And a little bit of outside can go a long way toward improving your outlook on your inside life. If you get outside, you’ll more easily grow into its companionship, its comfort. It needn’t be a trip or a planned excursion, gear, and lots of outdoor know-how. A sleeping bag thrown down in your back yard can do the trick.
My mother gave me outside at an early age (often only a flannel bag and a pup tent 30 feet from her door), and it made an empiricist out of me. In other words, rolling gracefully with life’s punches isn’t all that complicated, because I know I always have the moon, the wind, or my own two feet … a soft place to rest, a walk alone at night. Nothing outside resembles the complexities of four walls and a roof, when behind the everyday modern-day door lurks an array of gadgetry—devices that overschedule, over-obligate, and overwhelm us.
Armed with my mother’s outside nourishment, I left home at age 19, headed for the wilds of Idaho. I landed my first outside job saving trees as a fire lookout, perched atop a 100-foot tower. After that, I moved back to Utah for two summers to work as a wilderness ranger in the Uinta Mountains. Then I came back again to Idaho to live year-round in the heart of the wilderness—the Selway-Bitterroot, 27 miles from road’s end, all of it before cellphones, before the excess of constant yammering, before the angst of 24-hour news.
Years later, I put what I had learned from my outside work into sharing what my mother and others had given me—outside how-to.
Helen Butters (my mother), 1925
“To have a mother who loves you for being independent is to have a mother who fosters rebellion in your heart and revolution in your bones.” – Judy Chicago
Not just how-to, more an approach, a runway with a soft landing, a starting place, where outside is readily accessible, obtainable—a space and place without fear of failure or judgment. When I broke ground on my wall-tent B&B in 2004 and launched the term glamping, outside was more hardcore—backpacking, skiing, water sports, gear. And regular old camping was still the domain of guys-in-charge-of-the-know-how, if you know what I mean. I wanted to change all that. Twenty years later, I think I have changed all that, one reader at a time, one B&B guest at a time.
What started out as a canvas wall-tent bed and breakfast in 2004 morphed into a bed and outdoor bath (providing guests with kitchens to cook their own meals). Given the number of different tent cabins, pavilions, cottages, vintage trailers, and RV hookups we’ve created, your spring/summer 2024 getaway farmstay will be based on several factors—family w/young children, family w/teenagers, soloist, girlfriends’ retreat, couple, family reunion, wedding party, etc. Each venue has an outdoor claw-foot bathtub, shower, flush loo, full-service kitchen, wood stove/campfire, organic bed linens, nap hammocks, and access to our farm store (chock-full of antiques and collectibles), U-pick gardens, and orchard. Right beyond your doorstep, our private 115-acre native plant and wildlife preserve provides stunning views anywhere you choose to wander.
Currently, we’re taking reservations for May 31 thru July 8. Depending on your needs and length of stay (we have a two-night minimum), creating your unique configuration will require going back and forth via e-mail (no phone calls please). For more details, visit the B&B section of my website.