Get Out! Getaway Farmstay

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.

2004 wall B&B wall tent

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.

  1. Krista Butters Davis says:

    One of these days I would love to stay at your B&B. It looks like so much fun and I know I would really enjoy exploring your farm. And I bet my kids would too. It sounds like we need to get my dad to come along too and make it a family adventure!

    • maryjane says:

      I’ll keep up the pressure on him. I would love to have all of you here, especially your darling children. If you hop a plane in SLC straight to Lewiston, Idaho, it’s only an hour flight.

  2. Debbie Fischer says:

    It is on my Bucket list to stay at your B&B MaryJane and to meet you. It looks like an amazing place to enjoy the outdoors, and to find peace and quiet. One Day!

  3. Nielsen,Winifred T. says:

    Oh my what a beautiful B&B you have designed and upgraded since those earlier days of the 2000s. Stunning! The location of your farm is also naturally breathtaking. The colors, the sky, the landscape speaks of many long ages of time and changes . Visitors have such a unique and different location to put aside all worries and just take in what Mother Nature has put together over time.

    I think I could be happy in that simple wall tent for the entire summer with a stack of books to read!

    • maryjane says:

      I’ve always pictured you here again sometime, Winnie. And that stack of books could be read during picnics on our prairie, around your campfire, or soaking in a tub of steaming hot water. Just saying.

  4. Rea Nakanishi ( Lacey) says:

    Your farm and B&B are just sooo beautiful!
    Some of our Brentwood Farmgirls plan to visit your Farm in 2025.
    We decided when we strted the group that we would save our pennies to visit your farm in Moscow Idaho.
    See you in a year!

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In Absentia … until May 21


On May 6, I turn 65. As a gift to myself, I’ve decided to go missing from most of my daily endeavors from now until Monday, May 21. I’m going to give my desk a good cleaning, close the screen on my laptop, and walk away. I want to revisit the unscheduled/quiet/uncluttered daily-ness of my younger, more eremitish self. Forty winks and a campfire, here I come. When I return, I hope to see your smiling faces again.

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  1. Rae Best says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I think you are giving yourself an awesome gift. Enjoy!!!

  2. Kathy Gaughran says:

    Good for you and a very Happy Birthday, we all need to do that at some times just connect to what makes you happy and enjoy your days.

  3. Evie, B. says:

    Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy!

  4. Debbie Klann says:

    Happy birthday to you! What a wonderful idea…enjoy every moment!

  5. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    Happy birthday early MaryJane! remember to bring along some of those books that you promised yourself to read eventually. You know that pile.
    Love that quote, here’s another:
    ” Be here now”
    It’s been my personal mantra for 40 years.

  6. Barbara Criss says:

    I totally understand your need for a break. I often wonder how you do all that you must have to do every day. I can barely keep up with my have to dos. I live a semi-hermit lifestyle every day and I love it. I can hardly stand to have to go do something at a certain time anymore. This living in the woods for twenty years has gotten me totally spoiled to doing what I want when I want. So Happy Birthday and enjoy you quiet time to the max.

  7. Goatldi says:

    Home is where the heart is. I just the last year of my sixth decade. I imagine the next decade will only get better.

    Happy exploring!

  8. Denise says:

    Enjoy life in the slow and easy. We will be here when you return unless in fact we all take a break from the busyness of life and enjoy a little away ourselves. Cheers to you MaryJane!

  9. Mary says:

    Happy birthday, my fellow Taurean! “I must break away and get out in the mountains to learn the news…For going out, I found, was really going in…” John Muir May beauty, joy and peace surround your 65th circle round the sun!

  10. PHYLLIS SKALKO says:

    My wish for you is that this time will be everything you hope it will be and more

  11. Rebecca McCoy says:

    Happy early birthday. Enjoy your gift to yourself.

  12. Jill Yelland-DeMooy says:

    What a wonderful treat for yourself! I’m envious, have a wonderful Birthday and may this time bless you!

  13. Bobbie says:

    Happy birthday! I recently turned 65 myself and I can say it’s not bad at all!

  14. Sylvia Jacibus says:

    Have the best birthday ever. You’ll enjoy the peace.

  15. CJ Armstrong says:

    HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY JANE! I hope you get renewed, re=energized, recharged and enjoy some special things that you want to enjoy!
    We will miss you!

  16. Diane Benjamin says:

    Wishing you all the best! I turn 65 in August, for me, it is an exciting time. I too am spinning a cocoon – so ready for this transformation!

  17. Emma says:

    I too am turning 65 May 13th. Happy Birthday. May you be strengthened during this time.

  18. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Enjoy your time and rest!! We will all be here when you return and excited to learn about all of your fun and adventures that you enjoyed.

    Happy Birthday wishes to you and BIG Farmgirl hugs on your special day!!

  19. Donna Rowe says:

    Thank you tremendously for all you’ve motivated us to do. May your solitude recharge you for the next era of your life. A wonderful happy birthday to you.

  20. Mary Lou Bender says:

    Congrats on your birthday, and most especially, taking care of yourself . Peace.

  21. Linda Segerson says:

    Hope you have a wonderful birthday! Enjoy each and every moment!

  22. Carol says:

    Happy Birthday! What a wonderful gift to someone who has given so many gifts, tangible and intangible, to all of your readers.

  23. Donna Rowe says:

    I am a may baby too. And 4 years behind you in age. I love the idea of taking a time off. Regrouping for the next 20! Thank you so much for sharing your talents and helping us make the world a little saner and homier. Happy Birthday!

  24. Holly says:

    I miss you; come back!

  25. Deb Bosworth says:

    Happy belated Birthday MJ! And it’s a milestone celebration to boot! I’m having some away time at the cottage this week and catching up with you here is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. So glad I popped in to find you on respite. You’ve earned it!!! Fill the well with all you love and enjoy!
    Farmgirl hugs,
    Deb ( Beach Farmgirl))

  26. Avigail says:

    I too have been away and am glad to rediscover you once again! Happy b-day!

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(n.) Origin 1760-1770

Definition: spoon, variant of obsolete spoom (of a ship) to run or scud before the wind + drift, spray blown from waves during a gale at sea. Spoondrift.

In other words, it’s what gives us “beach waves” in our hair (that are all the rage these days), and what cools off our sunburn during a trip to the coast. And it’s also the sea’s idea of an all-natural moisturizer.

Photo by Chris Richardson via Wikimedia Commons.

“Just the same, I guess I can show you girls a good time at spoondrift.”
The Corner House Girls Under Canvas, Grace Brooks Hill

“Spoondrift is the spray from the tops of the waves,” explained Pearl.
The Corner House Girls Under Canvas, Grace Brooks Hill

“And it was cold—oh, it was cold! The pinching cold was like a vise: spoondrift flew freezing, fold on fold. It coated them with ice.”
The Ontario Readers: The High School Reader, 1886 Ministry of Education

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  1. Barbara Criss says:

    I have never heard of this word. I looked it up in my dictionary just to be sure I understood it’s meaning right. It is also called spindrift. I like spoondrift better. I am not a fan of the ocean, but I do enjoy it’s mist. I used to spend summers in South Carolina with my sister and we went to the beach quite often.

  2. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    I have sailed through alot of spindrift as we called it. Sailed around the world on a ship for a year. Spend alot of my childhood on the seacoast as well.

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Melting snow, greening grass, blue skies= Early Spring at MJF is happening!

  2. How wonderful that you have not run out of new ways to view the Paloose, and the photos are never dull or repetitive. Life Lived Well is a Happy, Peace-filled life. milka “The Appreciator”

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    We’ve had a rainy weekend and this morning everything looks so fresh, green, and vibrant. It does a heart good to see a needed rain liven up all the flora.

  2. Daizy Bailes says:

    That is so beautiful. I love your photos and look forward to seeing them. Mz MaryJane, are you the photographer or is Mz Meg? I have been considering a new camera. What do you use? Keep ’em coming!
    Daizy #1093
    The Poor House Ranch

    • MaryJane says:

      Miss Daizy, I took these photos with my iPhone. Is that cheating?

      • Daizy Bailes says:

        Not cheating at all! I take good ones with my Android too…..perhaps I can forego the expense and learning curve of a camera. Thanks. I will rethink it.

    • Barbara Criss says:

      I love your farm name! Our farm is named Rock Bottom Farm because it is so rocky and we are always broke.

      • Daizy Bailes says:

        Thank you, Mz Barbara. It’s actually The Poor House Ranch on Poor House Branch. That is the name of the branch before the lake was made… Logan Martin Lake. My ranch boarders it but it is too long for use so I shortened it a bit. I like Rock Bottom Farm….I think it could also work for my ranch. I am always saying that I seem to “grow” rocks. They just appear!! And there is never enough cash!! Hugs!

  3. Barbara Criss says:

    How nice a warm rainy day would be-the nasty wet snow and mud I am viewing out my window are not very inviting. This photo makes me long for warmer weather. I love it!

  4. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    Is this ” lenten rose” ? just lovely

    • MaryJane says:

      Good morning Lisa!!! Yes, it is. Even though it snowed here last night, they insist it’s spring and time to provide us with beauty.

      • Lisa Von Saunder says:

        Good Morning MaryJane ,
        Yeah we just had 15+ inches of snow – it snowed for 2 solid days here ! I just got dug out yesterday.
        thanks for bringing some spring to my frozen hinterlands.

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  1. Barbara Criss says:

    My husband made us some bird houses similar to this one. It was such fun to find the different objects to decorate them with. I love the weathered wood on this one.

  2. Lisa Arthur says:

    Totally LOVE this birdhouse! I would add this to my collection if I could!

    Spring is near!!! ❤

  3. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Nothing like an A frame Chalet for that Swiss Alps feel. Now, If I start seeing tiny skis sitting up against the house on the outside, I am going to wonder if Spring has gotten high jacked from Alaska out your way!!

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  1. Barbara Criss says:

    Lovely—I’m still trying to see the beauty of winter even though it’s getting tedious and lingering a bit too long. Snowing here today. I hate late winter snows. Might as well be cozy and enjoy it though—spring will soon be here and bring tons of outdoor work with it. A good time to sit by the fire and read.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This photo makes it look like there is a huge snow drift that comes up to the upper branches of the tree. Is that correct, or is this tree one that naturally grows low to the ground?

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  1. Lisa Arthur says:

    Simple photo, but at the same time shows an interesting depth.

  2. Mary Rauch says:

    I really enjoyed this picture! You are doing a great job with your composition and color contrast!

  3. Barbara Criss says:

    Take me home country roads.—

  4. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Lovely photo. It feels like I am in a passenger car and this is what I am looking at,

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Are you a hodophile?

If you get your kicks on Route 66, then you’re likely a hodophile. Are you a lover of road trips? Of wanderings through greenbelts, pathways, casual strolls down a hiking path? Even a good, long meander down a driveway? Yep, you’re definitely a hodophile.

(n.) From the Greek. A lover of roads, one who loves to travel, a series of journeys, to pass from here to there, an account of one’s travels, to dribble the ball illegally, to travel for business or pleasure most often with luggage.

Basketball analogy aside, I get the itch to travel (especially with cute luggage).


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  1. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    Definitely! Been to 38 countries and always willing to go ” on the road” again. Willie Nelson’s ” on the road again” is my theme song!

  2. I love driving vacations, they can wear a person out but I love seeing the different areas of this beautiful country of ours!

  3. Barbara Criss says:

    I love to stay at home with my animals and keep to my daily routine–including a daily nap. MY hobby farm offers me something to do every minute of the day. I got to travel a lot when I was younger–so I have gotten to see and do enough to know that I would rather be home.

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  1. Cindi says:

    Who needs Dr. Who when you can have a Farmgirl Tardis 😀

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hahahaha, Cindi!! Perfect response this morning. You made me break out in a laugh immediately!


  3. Barbara Criss says:

    Tardis—From the name of the spaceship in the British TV program Dr. Who; which looks like a telephone booth from the outside but is big inside.

    • MaryJane says:

      Well, there you go, another symptom of growing up without the education of TV. Thank you! The booth in the photo is actually my neighbor’s. They built it for their kids to stand in while waiting for the school bus. But since then, they’ve outgrown the bus, and it sits empty and in disrepair. For sure, it knew happier days. Beam me up!

  4. Lisa Von Saunder says:

    looked like a Wendy house to me!

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